Mars is alike to Earth in many ways. The Red Planet has its soil, water, and atmosphere, which makes it potentially habitable. Mars presents a huge interest to researchers, who started the exploration of the planet yet in 1995. At first, spacecrafts and rowers searched for water and explored habitability of the planet. Now that we know Mars can potentially be a home to living beings, NASA researchers look for any signs of this life.
Exploration of Mars is technically demanding because scientists have to deliver rovers safely to the planet and ensure their functioning during the mission. They use propulsion technology to supply the spacecraft with the energy required for long-term studies. The Delta III vehicle had a larger motor than older Delta models, which allowed to propel NASA’s rovers to the Red Planet. The rovers are solar-powered. Solar cells on their “wings” recharge lithium batteries, though this is enough only to run rovers in the equatorial region. Rovers effectively share data with each other and send signals to Earth via UHF antennas. They also use X-band communication systems that transmit data to Earth at a faster rate. Spacecrafts are operated by means of avionic innovations. Warm Electronics Box is the “brain” of the rover; it runs with a microprocessor that is safely protected from low temperatures with a layer of aerogel.
Mars mission rovers all contain software of the last generation that allows them to operate autonomously and avoid hazards. Rovers are capable of maneuvering safely between the rocks and heat themselves when the temperature falls. The image compression technology enables the better return of pictures made by rovers to Earth.