Sunday, July 23, 2006

Exploring Mars Via Minibot Balls? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Mars is a harsh world and sending rovers to understand is not only expensive, but fairly limiting. But engineers and scientists may have found a new way to explore the red planet by using mini bot balls to scour the Martian surface.

(Universe Today) MIT engineers and scientist colleagues have a new vision for the future of Mars exploration: a swarm of probes, each the size of a baseball, spreading out across the planet in every direction.

Thousands of probes, powered by fuel cells, could cover a vast area now beyond the reach of today's rovers, including exploring remote and rocky terrain that large rovers cannot navigate. [...]

Scientists believe that lava tubes commonly seen on Mars are a promising location to search for signs of water. Lava tubes are tunnels left behind by underground lava flows. Signs of these tubes, which are also present in many locations on Earth, can be seen above ground.

Although observing the red planet through rovers is fine, what scientists need to do is locate water on the Martian surface. Despite being the focus of NASA and other space agencies for years, Mars desperately lacks resources for the human race.

These balls may be able to locate resources in hidden locations, since they are more expendable than a multi-million dollar rover.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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