A good and efficiently developed watch with the right parts can keep on ticking on earth. But with same features and kind-of-similar development, can a Lander or rover perform the same on a mysterious, distant planet like Venus? Well, the answer may be ‘Yes’!
An ultra-modern and advanced concept, inspired by World War I tanks and clockwork computers has been set forth by a Mechatronics engineer that includes the development of a ‘steam-punk’ motivated rover, which possibly will someday pass through the hellish surface of solar system’s second planet – Venus. As recently announced by NASA, the design of the Clockwork Rover is currently being tested at the California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and if everything goes well, soon Venus will have an Earth-like clock, in the form of the rover on its surface.
The project titled as ‘Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments (AREE)’ was first put forward by Jonathan Sauder, a mechatronics engineer at JPL in 2015. His ideas were inspired mechanical computers, which draw on handles and gears to make computations instead of electronics. Currently, the project is being sponsored by NASA under its Innovative Advanced Concepts program. The program provides small endorsements to develop early-stage space technology, enabling the engineers to put their creative ideas on the floor.
The second planet of Solar system – Venus is still poorly understood by scientists globally. Most of the previously held space missions have tracked down the configuration of its surface which is wrapped by mounts, rocks, craters, volcanoes and giant magma plains. Though the planet seems not to be compatible for human settlement, as NASA planned, soon a manned mission will venture on the surface of Venus. The hellish atmosphere of the planet turns out pressures that can crush the submarines, while the average surface temperature of the planet stands at 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius), which is hot enough to thaw out lead.
As said by NASA, rather than sending a standard rover, just like the rovers that are currently exploring planets like Mars, a highly advanced and clockwork rover will be more beneficial for exploring the hidden facts about Venus. As described by NASA in one of its recent article, the Clockwork Rover, by steering clear of electronics, might be capable of exploring Venus in better manners.