Chinese Lunar Rover

The BBC have a story that engineers at the Shanghai Institute have unveiled a new prototype rover. This is nothing to do Longbridge - that is a different type of Rover - but instead refers to a rover which may end up as part of a Chinese mission to the Moon in 2012. Here is the accompanying picture.

Chinese lunar rover
Prototype for a lunar rover being displayed at the Shanghai Institute CREDIT: Reuters
I must admit that, like cars, planetary rovers appear to look very similar these days. They all seem to have gold foil bodies, solar panels spread wing-like, six wheels, and stereo cameras on a mast. For instance, compare this new prototype to the Spirit rover or ESA's proposed ExoMars rover (although ExoMars is starting to look a bit more like Jonny 5). I guess that once you've found a practical design you stick with it.

Another interesting thing I noticed in the image above is the presence of the Open University's Prof John Zarnecki (left-most of the group of three). Prof Zarnecki was the principle investigator on the Huygens Surface Science Package (landed on Titan) and is also the principle investigator for the UV spectrometer on ExoMars, so it makes sense for him to be visiting and perhaps sharing ideas.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 09th Apr 2007 (11:43 BST) | Permalink
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