NASA testing protoype rover that rides the underside of frozen lakes

Pasadena CA,

 

Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory mimicked martian landscapes by building the “Mars Yard;” complete with red rock obstacle courses meant to challenge a rover in development intended for a one way ticket to mars of Mars. But what about exploring things deep below the surface of a planet or moon? Take Europa; Jupiter’s icy moon thought to contain vast oceans of water frozen under miles of ice.

Enter BRUIE (Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration). BRUIE is currently being tested in the Alaskan wilderness, collecting primary scientific data on salinity and temperature, explicable to our own blue planet.  If testing is successful, then the first steps towards a launch to Europa could begin in a few decades. However until then, check out the video below to see BRUIE in action.

 

4 Comments

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Chris

    Here on terra firma, this would make a great auto-snow shoveler

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Patton

    Looks like an old school push-lawnmower!!

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Maxim Heiddeger

    How good is the traction on this thing? What degree of hillside grade is it capable of successfully roving up?

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Joshua

    I guess you could say they’ve reinvented the wheel(s)

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