Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tennessee Designers Make Mars Rover Move

It's deeply gratifying to learn that some very smart folks in Ooltewah, Tennessee are responsible for making the massive, newly-landed mobile laboratory on the surface of Mars actually move around.

The American Bicycle Group in Ooltewah (population: 687)  designed the legs to withstand to the landing and be able to move around the surface for the next several years, according to the story in today's TimesFreePress:

"The Chattanooga team left its mark on Mars, too. Each one of their names is etched inside the legs they helped create that have now found a permanent home among the stars."

As this new hallmark in robotic space exploration made it's landing, some thousands of folks gathered to watch it all live on the giant screen in Times Square. (click to enlarge)

The rover has a nuclear battery which could power the robot for some 14 years - the graphic below, via Space.com, reveals how it is loaded with cameras and equipment. (click to enlarge)

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