NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California is holding a public competition as part of a NASA scholarship for innovative advanced concepts to develop an obstacle avoidance sensor for a potential future rover to be developed by the Venus Exploration Agency. The main task of the device will be to examine the terrain of a hellish planet that the Soviet and American forerunners of the ATV have been unable to produce for a long time. Hoping to make the public aware of the problem, NASA researchers hope to develop a powerful and technologically advanced device that can survive from the sun even in the harsh conditions of the second planet.
New expedition to Venus
Venus is unlikely to appear to you as a pleasant place to live: with a surface temperature of over 350 degrees Celsius and 90 times higher air pressure than earth pressure, Venus can turn lead into a puddle and even an atomic submarine crush slightly. Despite the fact that a large number of missions have already visited our space neighbors, only about a dozen of them have come into contact with the surface of Venus before dying under the heaviest pressure on the planet. The last spacecraft to touch the surface of the planet was the Soviet Vega-2, which landed successfully on Venus in 1985. Although the device's mission is considered successful, the device was only able to “live” in the infernal climate of our space neighbor for about an hour, giving scientists the opportunity to think about developing a more technological device.
Jonathan Sauder, senior mechatronic engineer at NASA, claims that Earth and Venus were once truly fraternal planets with similar climatic properties. The creation of a tropical paradise on the second planet from the sun was prevented by a single event, forcing neighboring planets to follow radically different development paths. However, the researcher is confident that the study of various geological units on the surface of Venus could help us understand the evolution of the planet and thus contribute to a better understanding of the Earth's climate.
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NASA's new rover is wind-powered and can spend months, not minutes, exploring the Venusian landscape. If the rover advances its research, it must be able to identify and avoid obstacles on its way. Therefore rocks, crevices and steep slopes can interfere with scientific work. In order to avoid a number of difficulties in the operation of the future device, NASA has decided to use external support to develop a new type of sensor that can work even at extremely high temperatures. The sensor that won the competition is included in the rover concept and could possibly become an active part of the mechanism by which mankind learns the details of the relief of Venus.
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Participants have the opportunity to win a $ 15,000 first place prize. It is also known that second place will bring the creator of a successful project $ 10,000 and third place will bring $ 5,000. To personally enter the contest and get more information about the offer, you can visit the company's official website.