NASA is calling for all innovators for help on their next big project, the Venus Rover. The space agency is looking for assistance in creating an obstacle avoidance sensor for the planet’s first possible rover.
Venus has more than 840 degrees Fahrenheit, a surface pressure 90 times that of earth and wind speeds 0.3 – 1.3 meters per second. Things are very different. Exploring the planet will be difficult. A rover needs first to detect obstacles in its path. A special requirement is imposed: the mechanism cannot be electronic since the current electronics can’t work over 250 degrees. NASA needs a solution. They launched a contest. Participants will have an opportunity to win the first-place prize of $15,000; second place wins $10,000 and third place, $5,000. Submissions will be accepted through May 29, 2020.
Possible Venus rover view
The sensor must be able to respond when encountering slopes greater than 30 degrees uphill or downhill and rocks taller than 0.35 meters (1.15 feet), but it must not trigger when encountering rocks less than 0.3 meters (1 foot) in height. More info can be found at www.herox.com/VenusRover/. Exploring and studying the surface of Venus could help us understand the planet's evolution and could contribute to a better understanding of Earth's climate.