While we wait for a manned mission to Mars, we may as well figure out how astronauts will get around on the barren red planet. Maybe it’ll be jetpacks. Or scooters. Or buggies. Or… we could skip all that and just go with a big, honking interplanetary rover that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci-fi video game or the Bat cave.
It’s not the sort of rover we’re used to seeing from NASA. For one, they’re usually smaller and not designed for crews.
The concept rover here, which calls the Kennedy Space Center home, is 8.53m long, 4.27m wide and 3.35m tall… just a tad larger than Curiosity 3m x 2.8m x 2.2m. You can also put people inside of it for Martian
According to NASA’s Bob Granath, the vehicle comes with an electric motor, served by a 700V battery and solar panels.
It’s also a two-in-one machine, with the ability to separate, allowing the front section to scout around, while the rear is essentially a mobile laboratory.
Being a concept, it is unlikely the vehicle (or one like it) will ever race around Mars, however, Granath says that “one or more of its elements could make its way into a rover astronauts will drive on the Red Planet”.