Selfie With Aliens? European Space Agency To Fit New Selfie Mirror Into Its Mars Rover
After the success of the NASA Curiosity rover launch and its valuable contribution in studying Mars over the years, the European Space Agency (ESA) is now set to launch its own ExoMars rover in 2020. ESA has added some extra features, after considering the advantages and pitfalls in the design of the NASA Curiosity rover.
For the first time in history, ExoMars rover will be equipped with a selfie mirror along with the camera, which will be fitted onto the head of the rover. The camera will capture the panoramic views of the surface of Mars while the selfie mirror will help in taking pictures of the rover itself. The rover will be transmitting back the images to ESA. It is speculated that the ExoMars rover will provide valuable information regarding the unsolved mysteries and myths related to the Red Planet.
The selfie mirror was designed by a team of scientists at Aberystwyth University under the aegis of ESA. Dr. Matthew Gunn led a team of skilled researchers and scientists to develop the selfie mirror for ExoMars rover. According to him, the selfie mirror is a key component of the space mission, which is expected to cost around £1 billion (US$1,225,850,000), according to South Wales Evening Post.
"For the first time the selfie mirror will allow the rover to see itself on the Martian surface" and it is also supposed to "give us another view of the rover under the wheels to see if there are any blockages or anything," Dr. Gunn said. This is considered crucial, especially after the NASA Curiosity rover experienced a technical snag in the drilling operation. The selfie mirror may provide a way to monitor the surface lying beneath the rover and its drilling components.
It is also suggested that the selfie mirror images will also help in finding out the best places on the Martian surface to search for signs of existence of life on Mars.