Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Tumblin’ Tumbleweed Rovers

Thanks to the Spirit and Opportunity missions, the public has a pretty good idea of what a rover is: essentially an electrically-powered cart that uses a set of wheels to move across the terrain. However, some JPL scientists have a…
March 7, 2004

Thanks to the Spirit and Opportunity missions, the public has a pretty good idea of what a rover is: essentially an electrically-powered cart that uses a set of wheels to move across the terrain. However, some JPL scientists have a very different vision of what a rover could be: essentially a beach ball blown across the surface by the wind. In late January those scientists tested out the aptly-named Tumbleweed rover: a ball about 1.8 meters in diameter that spent eight days rolling across the polar terrain of Antarctica, propelled by the wind. The device, which resembles less a rover like Spirit and Opportunity than part of the air bags that cushioned their landing, collected data on atmospheric conditions and transmitted them (via an Iridium satellite telephone) back to JPL. Scientists would one day like to deploy a similar rover on the polar ice caps of Mars and perhaps on other worlds, including Venus and Saturn’s moon Titan.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.