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Mars rover mechanisms designed for Rocky 4A Mars rover prototype vehicle named Rocky 4 was designed and built at JPL during the fall of 1991 and spring 1992. This vehicle is the fourth in a series of rovers designed to test vehicle mobility and navigation software. Rocky 4 was the first attempt to design a vehicle with 'flight like' mass and functionality. It was consequently necessary to develop highly efficient mechanisms and structures to meet the vehicles very tight mass limit of 3 Kg for the entire mobility system (7 Kg for the full system). This paper will discuss the key mechanisms developed for the rover's innovative drive and suspension system. These are the wheel drive and strut assembly, the rocker-bogie suspension mechanism and the differential pivot. The end-to-end design, analysis, fabrication and testing of these components will also be discussed as will their performance during field testing. The lessons learned from Rocky 4 are already proving invaluable for the design of Rocky 6. Rocky 6 is currently being designed to fly on NASA's MESUR mission to Mars scheduled to launch in 1996.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rivellini, Tommaso P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Research Center, The 27th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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