Exploration Of Mars

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Exploration of Mars


The exploration of mars has been the topic of interest in space exploration. The prominent part of this space exploration program is Europe, Soviet Union, Japan and United States. Many robotic aircrafts which include Landers, Rovers and Orbiters have been launched since 1960s. These aircrafts have been launched to gather information about the current conditions and questions related to history of mars.

Over the next three decades, a variety of interesting spacecraft, representing several new generations of space robots, will explore the outermost reaches of the solar system, travel into the inner realm of the solar system, and make contact with several of the potential life-bearing alien worlds that lie between these extreme locations. One common technical characteristic that each new generation of space robot will have is an improved level of machine intelligence. The robot spacecraft mentioned in this entry will enjoy higher levels of autonomy, fault management, self-assessment and repair, and possibly even exhibit a primitive form of learning (Billings, pp. 483).

Future of mars exploration

Other future automated missions will require a level of machine intelligence capable of prompt decision-making to ensure the robot's survival. One example is that of a robot airplane flying low in the Martian atmosphere as it skims across the surface of Red Planet in search of interesting water-related sites. Future robots with suitable design and instrumentation will also allow a human controller to perform hazardous planetary exploration from the comfort of a permanent lunar base or Mars surface base. Virtual reality might turn out to be a better experience for a human explorer than physical presence in a cumbersome space suit. When supported by a technically rich, virtual-reality environment (that is, a computer-simulated environment based on real, at-the-scene data) and a properly "wired" robot, teleoperation and telepresence should work very well.

The major limitation of using this technique in space exploration will be the speed-of-light distance between the human participant and the collaborative robot that mimics human behaviors (Spitzmiller, pp.78). This distance should not exceed a few light-seconds, or else the human being will not be able to respond properly. In situations with more than five-second time delays in the communications loop, the brain of the human controller might not have time to recognize a serious problem and respond before the at-risk collaborative robot would have become toast—that is, have injured itself or destroyed itself.

Role of space Robots

Today, when human controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory interact with either the Spirit or Opportunity robot rovers on Mars, the resultant travel by either rover across the surface takes place at an extremely slow, but prudently cautious, pace. Progress is typically measured in feet (meters) traveled per day, not in miles (kilometers) per day.

Collaborative control and advance levels of human/robot interaction will form the operational basis for many important activities on the Moon or Mars performed by future generations of robots. While some of tomorrow's lunar robots may be controlled from Earth (it takes about 2.6 seconds for a radio wave to travel to the ...
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