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Исследовательские космические аппараты следующего поколения будут похожи на средневековое оружиеMartian research apparatus NASA, such as the Rovers previous generation Spirit and Opportunity, and the latest Curiosity Rover, which recently landed on Mars, had pronounced anthropomorphic qualities, mast-head-cameras, arms, which make them very recognizable and kind even "cute". The next generation of devices intended for studies of other planets and celestial bodies, will be significantly less "attractive", because these devices in appearance will be very remind one of the medieval weapons - Mace.

Such device will be Phobos Surveyor, a new project developed by researchers from Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of technology and Laboratory NASA to study the jet propulsion. The spacecraft approaching the surface of Phobos, a satellite of Mars, or asteroid, would release several such balls-clubs on the surface, remaining in orbit and coordinating the work of robotic explorers. Marco Pavone (Marco Pavone), researcher in the field of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, who is the author of the idea, called these balls "hedgehogs", which is a little more friendly name than Mace.

It should be noted that the use of many small-sized Autonomous robots is more perspective direction of planetary research than the use of the Rovers. Jumping robots will easily be able to overcome the difficult landscape, jump through the ditches and other obstacles. These jumpers will not face problems with wheels, so that destroyed the Rover Spirit. In addition, resetting to different places many robots-jumpers, you can cover studies of large surface area of the cosmic body.

For research on Phobos and small asteroids robots-jumpers don't need a powerful source of energy. The force of gravity on the Phobos 1000 times lower gravity on Mars, so to move the robot would be enough simple inertia of the motor inside the robot.

According to the available information, the robot Phobos Surveyor has the sizes comparable to the size of a small coffee table. Thanks to solar panels located on the surface, the robot will be able to move on the surface of the planetoid, making detailed map its surface. For detailed studies of Phobos will be enough team of five or six "hedgehogs", managed by one spacecraft. This ship determines the position of each of the "hedgehog" and sets the direction and distance of the next hops.

Within each hedgehog has three massive disk, rotating on their own axes, standing at right angles to each other. The rotation of these discs at various speeds allows you to get the inertial force with a certain vector, which will force to move the robot in the selected direction. Too fast rotation of the robot might call it "high" relative to the point of destination, even more rapid rotation can cause the "hedgehog" in General to break away from the surface. And the presence of studs ensures that the robot will not slip on any surface, solid and rocky, soft and sandy.

Within its spherical body robots-Jerzy can carry a wide range of various scientific and research tools. Among these tools can be analysers for determination of chemical composition of rocks and gases, microscopes and other instruments to study the structure of the surface. Collected robots data can help scientists to learn about the past of Phobos and its geological structure. Of course, some readers may wonder why people still interested in Phobos? The answer to this question is "near-surface". Phobos is quite large cosmic body with a low gravity. These characteristics allow to consider Phobos as the first target for a manned flight to Mars, and as an option the device transit point through which will pass all shipments to Mars and back during future research and possible colonization of the red Planet.

The team of Stanford University already has several prototypes space "hedgehogs". In the near future will be tested these robots, which will involve a special lift, which will serve to simulate weak gravity.
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