May 26, 2017 08:45 AM EDT
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently launched Mars rovers that Virginia Tech and the University of Central Florida students had designed. The Mars rovers were sent into space for about 20 minutes to see how these machines would perform high above Earth's surface.
The students working on NASA's robotics project were from the University of Central Florida and Virginia Tech. These students used 3D printing to build the prototypes that could be utilized to explore the Red Planet. The rocket that sent was up at 154 miles, then brought down into the Atlantic Ocean, NASA reported.
NASA research engineer Jamshid Samareh said in a statement that part of the stumbling block they keep running into is packaging. They have to carry a lot of payloads such as rover and habitat. The space agency has to package them on top of the launch vehicle and rover is one of the big pieces that they want to be packaged.
Also, Samareh said that these students came up with the ideas that they cannot come up with. The students have a different mentality and it worked out nicely.
On the other hand, the Mars 2020 rover is slated to join NASA's Opportunity rover and Curiosity robotic rover on Mars in just a few years' time. An artist's concept highlighted by the space agency as an Image of the Day shows what this newest NASA rover will look like once it lands and starts exploring the Red Planet.
The basic design of the Mars 2020 rover was influenced by the space agency's car-sized robotic rover, Curiosity, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012, Space reported.
The focal point of the 2020 mission is assessing Mars as a destination for human exploration as well as looking for signs of past microbial life. Although NASA scientists are still deciding where to land the Mars 2020 rover, but they already have narrowed down three sites.
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