NASA’s Engineers Control the Mars Curiosity Rover from Home

By , in News Sci/Tech on . Tagged width: , ,

The NASA team that is running and supervising the Mars Curiosity rover is now operating its mission from home, learning how to cope with the challenges of working from a remote area.

The team is stating that the social distancing measures have made their work more challenging than usual since it is hard to work in a shared space. However, video conferences and emails have helped them make the transition, and they are successfully carrying out the mission on Mars with the help of Curiosity.

On the 20th of March, no employees were present at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Southern California, is the first time in history when rover’s operations were conducted without the human expertise. Only two days later, the team managed to drill samples from the martian ground while working in the same remote conditions.

The Mars Curiosity Rover continues its mission

This successful cooperation resulted after the realization that shortly they may need to self-isolate. Therefore, NASA’s researchers started rethinking a working strategy a couple of weeks before they were forced to work from home. All the employees were granted with proficient monitors and many other types of equipment to be able to work using the same technology.

Unfortunately, several things could not be sent to the home, such as 3D images from Mars. However, all of them are now available only at one click away through particular sites that allow users to see all the contours of the landscape. It is an essential part of the mission since, in this way, they can predict a future path for the Mars Curiosity rover and how far its arm can reach.

The computers used by the employees are gaming computers which were specially designed for this purpose only, having impressive graphics. To make sure that everything is going as planned, the team undergone several tests before completing the Edinburgh drilling mission.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.