Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A small rocket powered exploration robot

IEEE Spectrum has an interesting article about JAXA's proposed, rocket-powered planetary exploration robot. The prototype flies on Estes C11's!  The single-use robot features a reaction wheel for stability and two retro motors to improve landing accuracy to about 0.29 meters (standard deviation). It flies about 30 meters here on Earth and could go about 200 on the Moon. Wouldn't work so well on a heavy planet like Jupiter, I reckon.  Here is a video of some test flights.