The Mars Bots: From Pathfinder to Rover


Our world’s fascination with Mars is nothing new.  There’s something about that red planet that has sparked the imaginations of people for a hundred years.  Some of our greatest science fiction literature and films have revolved around the possibility of life on Mars.

Now, we’re closer than ever to discovering whether or not there has ever been life on Mars.  As more research gets conducted regarding this planet, we are discovering that it is not as uninhabitable as we once thought it was.  Additionally, it’s now known that traveling to Mars is much more cost-efficient than traveling to other planets.

With certain progressive members of society supporting the possibility of the future colonization of Mars, NASA is dedicating larger and larger portions of their budget to understanding this planet as thoroughly as possible.  However, they can’t do it by simply sending their astronauts onto the planet in order for them to poke around and take interesting pictures.  That’s why NASA has launched a series of Mars bots commonly known as “rovers.”  These robotic mobile vehicles are capable of gathering extraordinary amounts of information so that researchers can discover new facts about the planet’s atmosphere.

What Are Mars Bots?

A mars bot is a large robotic vehicle that is capable of traveling along the surface of Mars.  As part of a lander, it is capable of landing on the planet’s surface via specific directions given by NASA.  Mars bots can be directed to do a wide variety of functions thanks to the advanced nature of this type of technology.  As of now, Mars bots have been able to give us extensive bits of data in addition to incredible photography that helps us better understand the surface and atmosphere of Mars.

These bots contain roving probes, which is why they’re commonly referred to as “rovers.”  Currently, Mars bots are being used to find signs of ancient life on the planet’s surface.

What Functions do Mars Bots Serve?

Because Mars bots have been used for decades, their specific functions have varied over the ages.  Initially, the first bots were sent out simply to provide insight into the basics of the planet’s atmosphere.  With so many successful missions under their belt, NASA now uses these bots to pick up specific pieces of information.  As additional pieces of evidence show that Mars is the most inhabitable planet outside of Earth, these bots are currently looking to prove this theory once and for all by gathering information about weather patterns, forms of life and planetary resources.

How Mars Bots Have Advanced Over the Years

The first Mars bot was the Prop-M rover, sent to visit the planet with the Mars 2 spacecraft.  The mission was unsuccessful, as was the next one, the Mars 3 launch. 

The first successful mission took place in 1997.  The Pathfinder landed on Mars before releasing the Sojourner rover, a robotic mobile vehicle on wheels that was able to collect many samples of the planet’s atmosphere. 

Over the years, NASA has found ways to make these missions to Mars more cost-efficient.  As a result, they’ve been able to spend more money improving the technology behind these bots.  There are several Mars bots planned to launch over the next few years.

What the Future Holds

It’s safe to say that in the coming years, NASA will be launching more Mars bots in order to make new discoveries regarding Mars.

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