Hopping Across Mars
Planetary rovers might some day trade their wheels for something simpler.
- By Greg Soltis
- AirSpaceMag.com, April 29, 2008
(Page 2 of 2)
What the Canadian design adds is simplicity, robustness, and a battery-free means of locomotion.
The CSA researchers need additional funding to build a working prototype. Last year, they got as far as figuring out how to make more than one hop per day. Excess electricity not used by the hopper’s instruments would be used to heat and expand the shape-memory alloy. This would accelerate the spring-loading rate, prematurely providing the hopper with the boost needed for another launch. Next on the to-do list would be to gain better control over the direction and angle of hopping, and to confirm that the hopper can survive repeated take-offs and landings.