NASA funds development of new planetary rover

By on November 15, 2013

Lab on a Robot prototype (Credit: UTSA)

NASA has awarded $300,000 to two University of Texas at San Antonio scientists and HJ Science & Technology Inc. of California to develop a new planetary rover, according to a release. The prototype will integrate technologies for analyzing planetary composition.

The prototype is the fourth to be developed that goes by LOAR, for “lab on a robot.” The third version uses global positioning technology to navigate to defined locations and take air samples. It also has a chemical sensor that can determine environmental composition in a few minutes.

Scientists at UTSA say that the fourth version will help lay the groundwork for the next generation of robotic missions in space. It could also be used in commercial applications on Earth to monitor environmental pollutants that pose threats to human health.

Image: Lab on a Robot prototype (Credit: UTSA)

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