The Chilean Atacama Desert on the west coast of South America is known for being the driest in the world. In some of its regions, life, vegetation and even bacteria are completely absent. In its landscapes, soil color and conditions, it is similar to Mars. It was the similarity with the Red Planet that prompted the researchers of the European Space Agency (ESA) to test the new rover Bridget in the desert.
Testing of a new rover, which was developed by ESA specialists, will begin this month in the Atacama Desert. During the tests, the 6-wheeled vehicle will overcome difficult desert areas, which are similar to those existing on Mars. The experience gained will allow developers to improve the operation of the rover before it is sent into space.
It is noteworthy that the rover is fully automated, and it will be controlled remotely from the headquarters of the European Space Agency in the UK.
The Bridget rover is slated to launch to the Red Planet in 2018.