The Lambarraun Lava Field at the foot of Iceland's second largest glacier langokul glacier, decorated with black basalt sand formed by wind dunes and rocky peaks, was selected as a displacement to the surface of Mars.
Last month, 15 scientists and engineers from the US Space Agency traveled to a lava field 100 km from Reykjavik, the capital. NASA officials hope to build a prototype for a Martian sailor who will be able to move from an exercise in Iceland to a true Mars.
The new Marsegan is expected to continue the work of Curiosity, which has been researching Mars since 2012, trying to find traces of ancient life forms and prepare humanity for landing on the Red Planet.
According to experts, Iceland, a volcanic island in the North Atlantic, is in many ways reminiscent of the fourth planet from the sun.
"It's a very good analogy for exploring Mars, for learning how to drive Mars," said Adam Deslaueri, Head of Space and Education Management at Mission Control Space Services in Canada. This company conducts Mars prototype tests for NASA.
The Marsaeigi prototype is a small electric vehicle with white solar panels and an orange chassis.
The small vehicle is a twin-engine four-wheel, powered by 12 small car batteries.
"The Martian we have is virtually indestructible. The Martians and moons we have on Mars and the moon would be much more sensitive to the environmental conditions of Iceland. The moon would be completely unprepared, for example, in the rain, "Deslorie said after the rains.
Marsaegy has sensors and a dual lens camera. The remote controlled blossom, weighing approximately 570 kg, moves slowly at a speed of 20 cm / s (0.72 km / h). It is true that such velocity in lava fields is as much as 2-4 times greater than on Mars.
According to Mark Vandermeulen, a robotics engineer at the Mission's Space Services, a sailor cannot travel faster because he has to collect and photograph environmental data.
Signal transmission from Mars to Earth
Using sensors and a camera, the Martian rider collects and classifies environmental lava data and sends it back to the engineering office. The engineers then compile the data received and send it to the scientists tent, simulating a signal from Mars to Earth.
This Martian rider is just the prototype of the flight to Mars next year. The final name of the Martian rock, as yet unnamed, will also be able to collect and store samples from the Mars rock. These samples may later be brought to Earth for further study.
The test site in Iceland was also chosen to study how the chemical structure and physical properties of sand and rocks change as they move from the glacier to the nearest river.
According to scientists, before it became an uninhabited and icy desert with an average temperature of -63 degrees Celsius, Mars was quite similar to Iceland.
"Icelandic mineralogy is very similar to what we find on Mars," says Ryan Ewing, an assistant professor at A&M University of Texas.
Minerals such as olivine and pyroxenes, which are also found on Mars, have particular similarities, he said.
"Besides, we don't have much vegetation, it's cold here. We have sand dunes, rivers and glaciers that have been to Mars in the past," he said.
Previously, NASA was already training in space missions in Iceland. 20th Century 7th Right Astronaut training for a mission astronaut took place in Northern Iceland.
Space Mission Control Services is due to return to Iceland next summer, just before the Martyrs launch, scheduled between July 17 and August 5, 2020.
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