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Meet the Rover Guys – November 2nd

November 2, 2016

Today and the few days ahead are semi-sim days. Meaning we are breaking the full sim to get as much as interesting science, technological or interaction return.

This morning the EVA crew (Annalea, Anushree, Jon and Yusuke) investigated a location on time constraints schedule. Anastasiya and Shannon were on site to look over them and document how they performed with the spacesuit. Tomorrow, they will do the same except that the EVA crew will not carry the backpack nor the helmet. The comparison in science return will be probably interesting.

For a few days now, we have neighbors in the vicinity of the Hab. They are crews from Canadian, German and UK space agencies. They brought their fancy rovers to test procedures on the field. Right next to us! We could not let that opportunity go away. So we jump into our Habcar and pay a visit to them.

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The UK team (#murfi) is testing operations with the PanCam that will be mounted on the ExoMars rover. Yes! We met the eyes of ExoMars! Basically, the remote team back in UK is in simulation trying to find out where is currently the rover, based only on the pictures that the stereoscopic cameras are sending, like they would do if the rover was on Mars. This was their Sol #0. While the crew on the field that we met were out of sim, to make sure that the robot is responding properly and eventually to intervene and do maintenance.

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Further out, we met the Canadian rover. Much bigger and operated autonomously (not remotely controlled). It has also PanCam (#CamMars) on top of its mast. On the arm we saw the driller that will be used in the future by Mars rover to take rock sample to be sent back to Earth. But next to the arm is a microscope (Tammi) that blocked the arm during a trial test. So when we were there the rover was being debugged. A good opportunity to talk to the engineers…

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Later this week we are looking forward to meet the German team.