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Canadian Space Agency Shows Off Prototype Rovers 70

Posted by timothy
from the perfect-for-the-northern-territories dept.
An anonymous reader writes "At its headquarters in Longueuil, Que. Friday, the Canadian Space Agency rolled out a fleet of about a half-dozen prototype rovers that are the forerunners of vehicles that may one day explore the moon or Mars. The agency said the terrestrial rovers bring it one step closer to developing the next generation for space exploration."
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Canadian Space Agency Shows Off Prototype Rovers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    But how are they going to get them to Mars Eh?

    Secret LOX and Maple Syrup rockets?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @07:48AM (#41713881)

      But how are they going to get them to Mars Eh?

      Secret LOX and Maple Syrup rockets?

      I had to think on that one. But I did that calculations and found that maple syrup only has about a fifth the enthalpy of combustion of something like RP-1. And Canadian maple syrup is famous for being pretty viscous. It might clog up the rocket engines and I don't think any Canadian could in good conscience adulterate the maple syrup to make it flow more smoothly. I understand that they have a large strategic stockpile, but I think they should just feed it to their astronauts and continue to use normal rocket fuel for their spacecraft.

      • ...or they they could simply attach the astronauts to nozzles and feed them with a lot of fiber and legumes. It would also solve the perennial problem of micro-gravity toilets.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      The same way the USA will have to move the heavy stuff now they've given up - Soyuz.
      • by Macrat (638047)

        The same way the USA will have to move the heavy stuff now they've given up - Soyuz.

        Note that SpaceX is already flying a capsule designed for humans. It just hasn't been man rated yet by NASA.

      • Except Soyuz isn't a heavy lift booster, in fact it's a fairly modest booster as such things go. Meanwhile, the US has the Delta and the Atlas, and the Falcon 9...

    • by Walzmyn (913748)

      Canadian Whiskey

    • Secret LOX and Maple Syrup rockets?

      Well, if you managed to convert maple syrup into sorbitol with any efficiency, and then mixed in some potassium nitrate - or even just extracted sucrose from it to mix it with KNO3 - you'd get some usable amateur rocket fuel.

      • Wait, are you saying that being in possession of Maple Syrup means you the main ingredient for creating a bomb to blow up the White House? You need to phone the FBI!

  • Prototype Canadian rovers have the same problem as (notional) Iranian nukes: no delivery systems.
    • Not really the case. If it was how did Cadadarm [asc-csa.gc.ca] and Dextre [wikipedia.org] get there?

      • Hint: NOT on Canadian boosters - which was the point.
        • Hint: NOT on Canadian boosters - which was the point.

          There you go, it was also *my* point. If the science gets done and the mission is accomplished what does it matter?

          For that matter, if that was your point then your original analogy wouldn't make any sense, after all no-one has put the non-existant Iranian nukes on *any* delivery system, Iranian or otherwise.

    • by rossdee (243626)

      Theres a whole lot less delta V involved in getting a missile warhead a thousand kilometers or so than getting a rover all the way to Mars, plus the rover has to land in one pice when it gets there.

      (Note Iranian missiles will not be aimed at USA, they will be aimed at Haifa and Tel Aviv

      • by Guspaz (556486)

        Because nobody in the world is offering any sort of commercial launch services, and certainly nobody in California is working on superheavy commercial launch vehicles that might have the capacity to take a probe to Mars...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Given that Canada has a smaller population than California, I am very proud of the innovations and contributions that we make in science and engineering. If only we had the ability to market ourselves as an innovative country instead of producers of snow and maple syrup. We need less humility and more pride!

  • ... if they'll use it to track down all that missing maple syrup [slashdot.org]?
  • by trout007 (975317) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @08:04AM (#41713929)

    There are a few projects that NASA, CSA, and other agencies are working on together. The idea is to try to make exploration much cheaper by having modular components. So you can pick a target like the moon. Decide what you want to do like drill some core samples from the polar regions and sample them. You need a chem lab, drill, Rover, lander, and launch vehicle. If you can pick ones that have already been designed and flown you can save lots of money.

    http://www.americaspace.org/?p=21059 [americaspace.org]

    • The idea is to try to make exploration much cheaper by having modular components. So you can pick a target like the moon. Decide what you want to do like drill some core samples from the polar regions and sample them.

      In space, particularly due to the wide range of temperature environments, that's like having a modular system that can go to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the Greenland ice cap, the Sahara desert, or the Amazon jungle. It's been studied again and again, but it never actually works beyond

      • by trout007 (975317)

        I don't think I was clear. I didn't mean to say you would have a Rover that could go anywhere. It means you could have one Rover that is designed for Lunar Polar Regions, One for Lunar Equatorial Regions, One for Mars Polar, Mars Equatorial, etc. The same with the Landers and instruments.

        You are right that in the past it's been difficult due to launch costs. But with commercial space we are seeing launch costs drop. This opens up some interesting opportunities. When your launch vehicle costs $300 million yo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @09:27AM (#41714207)

    If you're interested in actually seeing the rovers, the Canadian Space Agency has a good page describing them:
    http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/media/backgrounders/2012/1019.asp [asc-csa.gc.ca]

  • by Seumas (6865)

    Today, I learned: Canada has as Space Agency.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In fact, next March the ISS will be commanded by a Canadian - Chris Hadfield.

  • These are prototypes. Prototypes don't get sent anywhere. They are only design projects.

  • Bob and Doug McKenzie go searching for beer on mars, eh?

  • does it have square wheels?

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