Scientists recreate gravity of Mars in Earth's sky

Canadian scientists recreated the gravity of Mars in the sky in preparation for the ExoMars rover mission in 2020.
By Tyler MacDonald | Apr 17, 2018
A Canadian scientist and his team used the skies of Ottawa to recreate the gravity of Mars, according to CTV News. The team is collaborating with the Canadian Space Agency and testing the ExoMars2020 roverwheelin preparation for the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2020 mission.

In early March, Concordia University research Krysztof Sjokieczny replicated the gravity of Mars very briefly, as you can see in this video. Using a modified Falcon 20 jet, a prototype rover wheel, and a small sandbox filled with simulated Martian soil, the team was able to accomplish their goal.

Sjokieczny and his National Research Council team conducted the mission in order to determine the effects of Mars' low gravity on the ExoMars rover mission in 2020.

Back in 2009, NASA's Spirit rover mission came to an end when the rover got stuck in Martian sand. Understanding the planet's gravity will help teams improve traction and avoid situations like this.

"In addition to the great exploration and the accomplished scientific discovery over its six active years, there's also a 'great intangible' that goes with it: Spirit has made Mars a familiar place," said John Callas, project manager of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, of the end of the Sprit mission. "Mars is no longer this distant, mysterious location. Human beings now, every day, go to work on Mars ... Mars is now our neighborhood."


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