On 15th March, Lauren (UVQ), Rachael (LVP) and Paulina (UVP) attended the UCL lecture: Robotics, the Martian Rover and technologies used to get to Mars. The lecture was given by Ms Eleni Bohacek, a Ph.D student in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Ms Bohacek gave a fascinating account of the history of Man’s observations of Mars and of the engineering achievements that led to the Curiosity Rover.
“It was really interesting to learn how a mistranslation of the Italian word “canali” (channels) made people think that canals - and so intelligent creatures - lived on Mars.” Rachael
“I was very surprised to learn that the sunsets on Mars are blue! There’s something so pleasing about that.” Lauren
“The technology they designed to land robots on the surface of Mars was amazing: to actually do it, multiple times, is incredible!” Paulina
Ms Bohacek went on to discuss Mars missions that are coming up over the next few years.
Mars 2020 is a NASA Mars rover mission due to be launched on 17 July 2020. It will be examining Martian rocks for any signs that life ever existed on Mars. It will leave sample containers along its route for a potential future Mars mission to return. An exciting new feature on this mission will be the Mars Helicopter Scout (MHS)! This is a robotic helicopter that will fly out from the rover to scout interesting targets for study and investigate the best driving routes.
The Europeans (ESA with Roscosmos) are also on their way to Mars in 2020, with the ‘Rosalind Franklin’, a rover that will drill 2m straight down, to look for signs of life that have been shielded from the high levels of radiation at the surface.
By Mr Brittain – Teacher of Physics
- LEH Physics