The German Aerospace Center is working on an upcoming space mission to the Moon. But first, they turned to technology to make the trip as fruitful and streamlined as possible. All these innovations were incorporated in a lunar rover. Scientists are going to test the performance of this equipment in one of the most hostile places on Earth. This is about Mount Etna, Italy, an active volcano.
Mount Etna’s Unstable Conditions Are Proper for a Lunar Rover Test
The German Aerospace Center chose Mount Etna in Sicily to play a key part in their preparations for their lunar mission. This unstable region with uncomfortable conditions is the ideal place to be turned into a proper testing site. Its seismic activities, strong winds, and steep slopes offer a large variety of challenges that the agency’s rover needs to overcome.
During their testing sessions, scientists will not only test the capacity of their equipment, but they will also understand better what a space exploration needs to achieve success. Boris Behncke, a volcanologist at National Vulcanology Institute, Italy, stated that this operation resembles more of a simulation. The team used a lot of robotics to perform a wide range of tasks that only humans seemed to be capable of. On top of that, the operation can address both a trip to the Moon and Mars.
German Aerospace Center’s Studies Are Open for Robotics Experts
German space agency’s lunar rover travels on four wheels and is three feet tall. The vehicle had its first test drive on Piano del Lago volcano. The same place was used as a background for the iconic scene in the production “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.”
However, this project has also an international side. Numerous robotics experts from Italy, America, and Britain are participating in these studies to gain more insights into their field of expertise. This mobilization marks a fruitful cooperation for the benefit of space exploration.
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