NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) prototype recently endured the most realistic tests to date of its ability to drive through the most challenging terrain during its mission to the Moon’s South Pole. The lunar rover prototype faced the quicksand-like soil in the “sink tank,” climbed the “tilt bed,” and conquered boulders and craters.

NASAs VIPER Lunar Rover Prototype Motors Through Moon-Like Obstacle Course

VIPER Lunar Rover , Engineers put the latest VIPER mobility engineering test unit, known as Moon Gravitation Representative Unit 3 (MGRU3), through its paces in the Simulated Lunar Operations (SLOPE) Laboratory at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. MGRU3 features motor controllers specially designed for the Moon rover. It is a critical piece of hardware in the rover’s mobility system that controls the motors that send power to the rover’s four wheels.

“Unlike most car engines, which use a throttle and brake to speed up and slow down all four wheels, VIPER’s motor controllers make the rover wheels turn at the force and rate the drivers want, with extreme precision to allow for better performance,” said Arno Rogg, test director and rover systems engineer at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “VIPER Lunar Rover These tests allowed us to verify the performance of the rover mobility system and know it will work well on the Moon.”

Source: This news is originally published by scitechdaily

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