NASA teaches Boston Dynamics robot dog spots to explore Martian caves in search of life

NASA’s Perseverance rover is looking for signs of ancient life on the surface of Mars, but US space agencies say cave-observation robots will help US space agencies find life outside of this planet. believe.

That’s why we’re working with a number of contractors, including Boston Dynamics, on a project called BRAILLE (Biological and Resource Analog Survey in Low Illumination Environments) in the hope that one day it will be deployed on Earth. Explore a cave like Mars. For future missions.

Fully autonomous robots like the Boston Dynamics Spot help explore these caves, believed to be several hundred meters long, making communication with Earth difficult, if not impossible. ..

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NASA trains robots like the Boston Dynamics commercial (pictured) to traverse caves on Earth for future missions to Mars.

This is part of NASA’s BRAILLE project (Biological and Resource Analog Survey in Low Illumination Environments).

Fully autonomous robots can help explore Martian caves that are believed to be several hundred meters long. NASA has integrated Nebula, an autonomy and artificial intelligence system, into Spot.

On Earth, NASA has integrated Nebula, an autonomy and artificial intelligence system, into Spot to explore the moon, Mars and other parts of the solar system.

“Potential human scouting missions in the future can benefit from robots in a number of ways,” project research director Ali Aga told CBS News. In particular, robots can be sent on advance missions to provide more information about a target before humans land on the target.

“In addition, robots can accompany astronauts during missions to help with terrain exploration, logistics and many other tasks to make astronaut missions safer and more efficient. . ”

In July, NASA’s InSight lander detailed the internal structure of Mars and used Mars data to present the core, mantle, and crust of Mars.

The cave was discovered on Mars in 2007, and scientists speculate that the cave may be the home of life.

The caves were discovered on Mars in 2007, and scientists speculate that they could be the home of life.

According to the NASA website, NASA researchers can use NeBula to “address the various elements of the mission such as sensors, environment, movement, system state and communication” in the robot’s brain.

The robot’s body must be temperature-controlled, protected from radiation and be able to save electricity and energy.

“SPOT is one of the most powerful robots we have, how well it responds to high-level decisions and commands from the robotic brain and maintains stability even in rough, extreme terrain. It’s amazing to see what we can do, ”said Agha.

“In addition to our competent traditional wheeled rover, the ability to“ walk ”is a huge advantage when it comes to roads and rough terrain with no flat surface. ”

The cave was first discovered on Mars in 2007, and scientists speculated that it could be home to extraterrestrial life.

Since then, researchers have explored underground lava tubes on the Red Planet (and the Moon), including the “lava tubes” on the sides of Mount Pavonis, one of the largest volcanoes on Mars.

The robot must be able to carry enough payload so that the eyes, ears and brain can navigate the terrain of Mars and the Moon. Have the required amount of scientific equipment. And you can cross celestial bodies with “reasonable” levels of stability, speed and durability.

Spot is one of the few robots NASA uses and it can meet all three requirements, Agha explained.

“Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot is one of the few robots that can meet these constraints at the same time,” added Agha. “Therefore, by integrating the robot brain Nebula into Spot, we have pushed the boundaries of what is possible by exploring an unfamiliar environment like Mars.”

NASA JPL emphasizes the “smart” of the spot and indicates on its website that it can be used to find microbial life beneath the surface of Mars or icy objects like Europe, Enceladus and Titan.

Next-generation robots might be able to access areas of Mars that traditional rovers couldn’t, like Perseverance and its predecessor Curisoti, Aga added.

“Next-generation robotic bodies and mechanical mobility will enable new types of missions in terrain that traditional rovers could not access,” said Agha.

“In addition, increased speed and mobility will enable future missions to target targets traditionally considered too far from the landable areas of Mars.”

A study published in April by researchers at Brown University suggested that life could thrive beneath Mars’ dusty landscape.

Researchers have studied the chemical makeup of Martian rocks that have reached Earth and found that contact with water can support Earth-like microbial communities.

NASA MARS 2020: Mission sees life exploration with Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter

NASA’s Mars 2020 mission is looking for signs of ancient life on the Red Planet so that scientists can better understand how life evolved on Earth.

The main car-size rover called the Perseverance is set to explore the ancient delta in Jezero Crater, which was once filled with a 1,600-foot-deep lake.

The area is believed to be home to microbial life about 3.5 to 3.9 billion years ago, and Rover is examining soil samples for traces of life.

NASA's Mars 2020 Rover (artist's impression) searches for signs of ancient life on Mars to help scientists better understand how life evolved on our planet.

NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover (artist’s impression) searches for signs of ancient life on Mars to help scientists better understand how life evolved on our planet.

The $ 2.5 billion Mars 2020 spacecraft was launched on July 30 with a rover and a helicopter inside and landed safely on February 18, 2021.

Patience ends up in the crater and collects samples that are eventually returned to Earth for further analysis.

The second mission is likely to work with the European Space Agency to fly to the planet and return samples by the late 2020s.

This concept drawing shows that the Mars 2020 rover will land on the red planet via NASA

This concept drawing shows that the Mars 2020 rover will land on the red planet via NASA’s “Sky Crane” system.

NASA teaches Boston Dynamics robot dog sites to explore Martian caves in search of life

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