The rover’s a robot, why does it need to see?
The rover needs to see so that we can see! What’s the point of sending a rover to Mars if we can’t see what it see?
We often send robots to places that are too dangerous or difficult for humans to go and use them to see in those places we can’t go.
For example, the Mole rescue pod has thermal imaging to help get a picture of what’s going on deep underground.
Or sometimes International Rescue will send M.A.X somewhere the Thunderbirds can’t get to and use his cameras to see what’s there.
So how does the Rosalind Franklin Rover see?
The rover has a few imaging devices used to see on Mars. One being the Pan Cam.
The Pan Cam has 2 wide angle cameras that can get panoramic images – they’re pictures that are super wide.
The rover also has a Close-Up Imager, this lets us zoom in close on the surface of Mars and any samples it finds.
So sticking some cameras on a rover, that seems easy enough
It’s not. First of all temperatures on Mars can get as low as -120°C so you can’t just stick a normal camera on top of the rover, it would break at that temperature!
Also it all needs to be assembled in a very special lab called a Bio Burden Clean Room. This is an extremely clean lab.
Why does everything need to be assembled in a clean lab?
To make sure that everything we send to Mars is super clean.
It’s really crucial that Rosalind and it’s equipment isn’t contaminated with bacteria or any biological matter before she leaves for Mars. It could damage the equipment and could get confusing when we’re looking for signs of life!
Think about it, if someone sneezes on the rover and then the rover finds the snot on Mars we might think we’ve found a new snotty life form.
Thunderbirds Are Go: Mission To Mars
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