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Mobile science platforms for impassable terrain

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15 Author(s)
Curtis, S.A. ; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD ; Brandt, M. ; Bowers, G. ; Brown, G.
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Some of the most scientifically interesting terrain is among the most inaccessible, presenting problems for all mobility strategies. Lava flows, for example, can have structure at all scale sizes rendering traversal via appendage or wheel difficult at best. NASA researchers have been developing an innovative mechanical structure that provides mobility in terrain unnavigable by wheeled or even legged vehicles. We are developing a mobile science platform (MSP) that is completely symmetric, with neither top nor bottom, so that it cannot fall down and fail to get up. The MSP actively navigates its environment to place its payload or gathers samples in places otherwise unreachable, e.g., the lunar highlands or rugged volcanic terrains on Mars

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Aerospace Conference, 2006 IEEE

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