In honor of the “Mars Rovers!” lesson I will be teaching tomorrow at a local elementary school, here is a picture of the 3 generations of Mars Rovers.
It’s a real picture too! “How?” I hear you ask, as you are savvy enough to know the Mars rovers did not all land in the same location on Mars. Well, every rover has a “twin” back here on Earth called the flight spare (for the first) or test rover (for the others).
SO, without further ado, I give you in NASA’s own words:
- Marie Curie (the flight spare for Sojourner)
- Surface System Test Bed (the test rover and working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity)
- Vehicle System Test Bed (the test rover for Curiosity)
Here’s a picture with humans in it, for perspective. I wish I could link the one where the humans are standing, so you can see that Spirit / Oppy are shorter than an average scientist and Curiosity is well taller.
Another Fun Fact:
The 4th generation of Mars rovers is already in production, and will be launched in 2020. This yet to be named contraption is currently being called “Mars 2020 Rover”.