A medium-duty truck chassis designed for the military may become the backbone of a vehicle designed to explore the surface of the planet Mars. Stewart & Stevenson, which builds a family of medium tactical vehicles for the U.S. Military, said its chassis is being used as a platform for one of the two rovers to be created for the Michigan Mars Rover Project.
As part of the project, a team of college students from around the world will research, develop and test the technologies, systems and integration for a future manned Mars rover. Thirty students from the University of Michigan, Queens University in Canada and the University of Queensland in Australia are participating.
Based on the current design concept, a successful manned trip to Mars will require a pressurized rover capable of sustaining three travelers for two to three weeks to conduct long distance field research from a Mars base camp.
Simulations using the project’s truck concepts will be conducted around mock-ups of Mars base camps in the Canadian arctic and southwest U.S.