The robot Mars Rover, also called Bridget, should explore the mars planet in 2011. It is 3m x 1,8m large. EADS Astrium is developing the first European Mars rover and it will demonstrate flight and in-situ qualification of key exploration enabling technologies to support the European ambitions for future robotic and human exploration missions. The main technology demonstration objectives are: - Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) of a large payload on the surface of Mars, - Surface mobility using a rover with a mobility range of several kilometres, - Access to sub-surface using a drill to acquire samples at depths of down to two metres, - Autonomous navigation using stereo cameras to map a 3D image of the surrounding terrain, - Automatic sample preparation and distribution for analyses of scientific experiments. In parallel, important scientific objectives will be accomplished through a state-of-the art scientific payload.
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