A prototype rover is commanded to drive in and sample a quarry resembling a lunar site. The image shows a virtual reality impression of the test. The rover is a key element of the ESA-led Heracles mission in cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency CSA and Japan’s JAXA space agency. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)
PARIS (ESA PR) — This Autumn is seeing a number of experiments controlling robots from afar, with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano directing a robot in The Netherlands and engineers in Germany controlling a rover in Canada.
Imagine looking down at the Moon from the Gateway as you prepare to land near a lunar base to run experiments, but you know the base needs maintenance work on the life-support system that will take days. It would be better to maintain the base from orbit so the astronauts can get straight to work once on the Moon.
Human-robotic partnerships are at the heart of ESA’s exploration strategy, which includes preparing for scenarios like this by sending robotic scouts to the Moon and planets, hand-in-hand with astronauts controlling them from orbit.
Mocup is one of the test rovers in ESA’s initiative for future missions to the Moon, Mars and ...