In 2020, NASA will launch their next ambitious Mars rover as part of the Mars 2020 mission.
In advance of this, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Texas A&M University on a NASA-funded project to study Mars-like volcanic sand environments in Iceland. This study will help NASA prepare for scientific studies of areas on Mars that are geologically similar to the field sites in Iceland, and determine if new exploration strategies, including increased rover autonomy, would benefit future missions.
An advanced version of our Autonomous Soil Assessment software will be used during the simulated Mars rover missions in Iceland in 2019 and 2020 to determine whether it could increase the scientific return of NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 mission. The analogue missions will include a drone working in collaboration with the rover, to replicate scenarios anticipated for the Mars 2020 rover and helicopter.
We are also excited to lead education and outreach for the project, including providing our Mission Control Academy (MCA) experiential learning program to students in Houston and Ottawa.
View our press release for more details on this announcement.
Pictured here is a view of the complex Mars-like terrain in Iceland that we will conduct our study on.