Mars Society India participates in Mars analogous experiments for their rover

The Indian chapter of the Mars Society was rolled out in January 2012. They are an independent organisation though affiliated to the Mars Society in the United States. For the past few days, they have been posting pictures from Australia where they have been involved at a very nascent analogous experiment with a Mars rover they developed.

The Mars rover prototype developed by the Mars Society India being tested at the Mars analogous terrain in Arrkaroola in Australia. Image Credit: Mars Society, India. Original Image: here
The Mars rover prototype developed by the Mars Society India being tested at the Mars analogous terrain in Arrkaroola in Australia. Image Credit: Mars Society, India. Original Image: here

Analogous experiments are very important in the space development cycle. It is a way of testing hardware here on Earth on a terrain similar to one your hardware may encounter on another planet. Engineers go hunting for such analogous terrains and then bring the hardware in for testing. Once at such a site, they get a chance to test most of the things they want to.

Mars Society, India, as I understand it has been developing this rover since the inception of the Indian chapter and has put the rover through lab tests in IIT-Bombay. This forms the next step in their development cycle. Working with Mars Society Australia, they picked the site at Arkaroola, Australia for their analogous testing.

Srinivas Laxman wrote a piece in the Times of India about their experiments in Arakroola whereas their Facebook page has been updated with pictures almost on a daily basis since they were there. My hope is that once they return, they put together a public talk and exhibition of photos and the rover, giving the public in Mumbai a chance to interact and understand about what goes into and behind an effort to develop and launch rovers to Mars.

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