Researchers participate in simulated Mars mission

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 13-11-2019 10:10:00 · 1 Comments

Researchers from Lisbon’s Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) are to help develop robotic devices in the simulation of a human and robotic mission to Mars in Israel’s Negev desert scheduled for 2020, the coordinator of the Portuguese team said

The devices to be developed by Portuguese researchers aim to improve the effectiveness of the exploration of the planet by a robot in the absence of visual contact with the astronaut isolated on a base and prevent accidents that render the equipment unusable, the coordinator of the group of researchers of IST, Rodrigo Ventura explained to Lusa.

A group of people will take on the role of astronauts at a base in the Negev desert, which "simulates the environment on Mars" and from where communications will be made to a "control centre" in Innsbruck, Austria between 15 October and 15 November 2020.

To reduce the risk of astronauts in a "hostile environment" like Mars - where in real life they would be exposed to extremely high temperature ranges, cosmic radiation, meteorites and dust storms - remote-controlled robots are used to "perform small tasks," said Rodrigo Ventura, researcher at the IST's Institute for Systems and Robotics.

The "teleoperation" of robots is, however, "complicated" when astronauts have no visual contact with the machines from the base and the "perception of the situation" on the ground "becomes deficient", compromising the performance of the robot.

"We've been studying technology to improve that perception", the researcher pointed out.

The IST team will work in collaboration with the University of Graz in Austria, which will build the robot.

In all, 16 experiments will be carried out on the simulated mission to Mars AMADEE-20, in charge of nine countries, which include, in addition to technology, areas such as medicine, biology and geology.

AMADEE-20 involves the Austrian Space Forum, an institution that has conducted simulations of expeditions to Mars and selected the experiences, the Israeli space agency and the company D-Mars, also from Israel.


It's time for a Portuguese astronaut to board a NASA fight and do some science!

By Marc J Moniz from USA on 14-11-2019 08:12
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