Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-2291
2004-07-19

Exploiting Rovers for EVA Planetary Exploration – Some Integration Considerations for Advanced System Designs 2004-01-2291

When humans visited the moon, the lunar rover provided an enabling resource that dramatically multiplied the scope of their exploration activities and science yield. Due to longer expected mission durations and Mars’ larger size and higher gravity, rovers will be even more crucial to effective human exploration. Unlike the Apollo program in which rovers were added part way through the program, rovers for Mars can be fully considered and integrated into the development of EVA systems at the outset. Research and mission studies of Mars exploration systems at HSSSI and elsewhere in recent years reflect this thinking. However, specifics have varied widely from small, EVA-assist rovers that are not ridden to large, pressurized rovers intended to support extended traverses over hundreds of kilometers.
As during Apollo, the benefits derived from any rover options will be determined as much by their integration with the EVA system and resulting considerations, e.g., walk back distance, as by the capabilities of the rover itself. This introduces the question of what investment in EVA rover system resources will provide the greatest mission benefit.

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