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Development of autonomous rover for asteroid surface exploration

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1 Author(s)
Yoshimitsu, T. ; Inst. of Space & Astron. Sci., Kanagawa, Japan

Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) in Japan has launched the engineering test spacecraft "HAYABUSA" on May 9, 2003 for the asteroid "ITOKAWA". HAYABUSA includes a very tiny rover named "MINERVA." MINERVA is the world-ever rover, which would move over an asteroid surface. The mission objectives of the rover are: (1) the establishment of the mobile system on the micro-gravity environment of small planetary bodies, and (2) the demonstration of fully autonomous exploration. This paper describes the design of the rover, especially focused on the two major objectives of MINERVA mission: the mobile system and the autonomous capabilities.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2004. Proceedings. ICRA '04. 2004 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

26 April-1 May 2004