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Wheels in the Sky

Feature: Wheels in the Sky
Stylish and sturdy, these custom wheels will get the ultimate test drive on the surface of Mars in January 2004. Wheels are designed to give NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers a smooth ride on the rocky surface of Mars.

"A big challenge is to be able to get enough traction to get through soil and over rocks but also to be benign enough to get off of the lander without getting entangled in the deflated airbags," explains one rover engineer. The design is "basically like a paddlewheel that is machined onto the outside of the wheel, providing both safety and capability." Read More...

Science Spotlights Technology Spotlights
Infrared: Catch the Wave
Infrared: Catch the Wave
Scientists and couch potatoes agree: Infrared is hot.Read More...
Lending an Improved Ear
Lending an Improved Ear
Updated antenna will help out NASA during busiest of times.Read More...
New Spin on Asteroids
New Spin on Asteroids
What makes some asteroids spin in sync? Surprisingly, it's sunlight.Read More...
Art Meets Aerogel
Art Meets Aerogel
Science and art become one as one artist's high-tech vision takes shape.Read More...
People Spotlights Science Goals
Ayanna Howard
Ayanna Howard
Dr. Ayanna Howard is part of a NASA team working to give human smarts to robots. In one project, she is developing software that will allow a spacecraft to analyze and then decide - just as a human pilot would - where to land. This will come in handy as robots try to land on the rocky, unpredictable terrain of Mars.Read More...
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