Farnborough, UK (AP) – The UK Space Agency launches an online contest to designate a Mars rover to travel to the Red Planet in 2020.
Scientists used to call their prototypes "Bruno" and "Bridget", but now they are looking for an inspirational name, fitting for a rover looking for traces of life on the Martian surface.
It is officially called ExoMars, but scientists called its prototypes Bruno and Bridget. [1
"You can see this rover behind me, okay," says British astronaut Tim Peake.
"This is called Bruno It's a prototype for a rover that will go to Mars in about two years, Summer 2020.
" That's what ExoMars are called. Now we want to give ExoMars a name, so the purpose of this morning is to start a naming contest for the ExoMars rover.
Once on Mars, the six-wheeled Rover will slowly roam the Martian surface, drilling up to two meters below the surface to seek evidence of life.
"Well, of course, the most amazing discovery is Sign of past or even present life on Mars, "says Peake.
" Now we're talking about organic molecules or compounds or bacteria, for example, evidence of simple-minded ways of life.
"We are not talking about intelligent life forms here, but still it would tell us a lot about how life on our own planet has developed here on Earth by studying Mars.
" So it will drill this rover under the surface of Mars in the permafrost and look at water ice, where these signs of life may be present.
Scientists hope that the Rover outperforms the Schiaparelli of the European Space Agency, which crashed on an attempted landing in October 2016.
In Britain, experts are still perfecting the Rover's design launch in the summer of 2020 and arrive on the Red Planet in 2021.
Unlike previous rover missions, this ExoMars rover will navigate the surface of the red planet autonomously and navigate safely across the rocky Martian surface using 3D cameras
] "Our Rover will be almost completely autonomous and will be driven most of the time," explains Lead Systems Engineer Paul Meacham.
"The reason for this is that the time delay between Earth and Mars can be as long as 20 minutes, so It is either not safe or not very efficient to drive it remotely.
"Instead, the rover should decide where it is safe and where it is not – and that is what the prototype is for." 19659005] "So, it starts with the cameras at the top of the mast, they see in 3D, in the same way we do, that the rover can see where the rocks and slops are in front of them and if any are out of his ability – the rock is too big, the sl The rover will identify and avoid this, on the way to the goal he is trying to achieve. "
Peake announced the competition on Futures Day at the Farnborough International Airshow , a program to promote young people
"I'm looking forward to space science and science because discovering other life forms than ours on Earth would be great," says 14-year-old Airshow visitor Jacob Whiting, who attended the airshow along with his Scout Troop
"I go with Bobby just to keep the trend of using Bs and because Bobby is a cool name, I guess," says Boy Scout colleague, 14-year-old Malachy Knights
"Me go with Bob because of Bob the Builder and the same one, "says Whiting.
Astronaut Peake says he has some ideas of his own, but for the moment he will keep them to himself.
"I keep my ideas quiet now, I have some ideas, yes, but I will not influence anyone," he says.
"The competition is open until October, so people have plenty of time to think about it."
The "Name the ExoMars Rover" contest is open only to people who live in a member of the European Space Agency ( ESA)
A jury selected by the UK Space Agency will elect the eventual winner
The British space agency should be cautious – two years ago the British public voted in favor of the new polar exploration ship Boaty McBoatface
finally named Sir David Attenborough, in honor of the prominent naturalist and broadcaster.
A submarine that will assist the crew and various research programs was named Boaty McBoatface
Farnborough International Airshow opens to the public July 21-22.
The semi-annual Extravaganza hosts more than 1,500 exhibitors and up to 100,000 visitors during the trading days alone.