1 November 2017A mini-rover, tools once used on the Moon and lasers for 3D mapping are in the backpack of the explorers of tomorrow. The terrain will be hazardous and it will be dark in volcanic caves, but this equipment could one day help to scout other planets.
The alien-like landscapes of Lanzarote, Spain, are almost surreal but this volcanic island is helping to bring future space missions to reality.
This month, an expedition with a dozen of experiments mobilised 50 people and four space agencies during five days in five different locations.
This pioneering exercise is Pangaea-X, an extension of ESA’s Pangaea geology training.
“We are supplementing the training with the latest technologies in instrumentation, navigation, remote sensing, 3D imaging and geoscience equipment,” says ESA project leader Loredana Bessone.
“Tests in a real environment with so many geological analogies to the Moon and Mars will allow us to learn much more than in any possible artificial simulation,” notes geologist Francesco Sauro, scientific director.
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