ESA scientists conducted tests with new generations of smart robots that can be part of future space missions. The main purpose of this project is to see how machines are working in real conditions in an environment that resembles the surface of Mars. So far, ESA has selected several areas in Morocco, where more than 40 engineers have tested three rovers designed for trips to Mars.
The experiments last about three weeks and are conducted in five different locations in the Sahara Desert, where conditions are as close as possible to the planet Mars. These are the largest tests with such equipment in the history of ESA so far and include specialists from France, Italy, Great Britain, Germany and Spain, who help with the ambitious project PERASPERA Ad Astra.
During the tests the smart machines are subjected to various tests, which aim at checking how well their equipment works. One of the machines even manages to go independently over 1.3 kilometres at predefined coordinates. In conclusion, this is only the first step of the initiatives that will be funded and implemented by ESA over the next five years.