• Question: could you send a rover further than this solar system

    Asked by draw130ear to Yuri - ESA Team, Trevor, Stephen - ESA Team, Paul N - Engineering Team, Paul M - Engineering Team, Leila - ESA Team, John - Planetary Team, Joe - ESA Team, Divya M. - PanCam Team, Craig - PanCam Team, Coralie - ESA Team, Andrew - PanCam Team, Andrew - ESA Team, Alex - Engineering Team, Adam - Planetary Team, Abbie - Engineering Team on 28 Jan 2020.
    • Photo: Alex Taylor-Gates

      Alex Taylor-Gates answered on 28 Jan 2020:


      Hi draw130ear,

      There have been multiple scientific missions that have progressed further than mars which pave the way to progressing to the likes of a lander or rover.
      If we can get a spacecraft to orbit an astral body, I think we can certainly attempt to get a Rover there!

      The most recent attempt I am aware of was to try to land a spacecraft onto the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the lander was called Philae, and accompanied the Rosetta spacecraft. It was launched in 2004, and the landing commenced 10 years later in 2014!
      Unfortunately the lander failed to hit it’s target and ended up in a location where almost no Solar energy could be obtained so it’s batteries died, but we did manage to get some information from it.

      This shows us 2 things, we definitely have the ability to send a rover further into the solar system, and we are able to build a spacecraft capable of landing onto another object and still function.
      Don’t forget that this was all launched back in 2004! Our technology and understanding of the universe has progressed astronomically in the last 16 years, I’m sure that we will continue to have better and more elaborate missions into space.
      The likes of Exomars are just the beginning!

    • Photo: Stephen Durrant

      Stephen Durrant answered on 28 Jan 2020:


      Eventually I think, but not right now. We first have to learn how to do this on the Planets closer to Earth, such as the Moon, Mars, Venus maybe and some of the interesting Moons around the Planets in our Solar System. That’s challenging enough.
      Actually, maybe you already know, the Voyager Spacecraft launched in the 1970’s, so more than 40 years ago, have now traveled out of the Solar System and are in or crossing into Interstellar Space

    • Photo: Abbie Hutty

      Abbie Hutty answered on 20 Feb 2020:


      What Alex and Steve said! 😉

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