Try your hand at driving rovers the way NASA does. You can only send one command sequence a day, so you’ll have to plan carefully.

And yes, it is possible get to every target with one day to spare.

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Launch Interactive

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How real is this?

One command sequence per day: The Deep Space Network that is used to communicate with all spacecraft is very busy. NASA scientists only had one window per day to talk to Sojourner.

Command sequences, not steering: Because radio signals take at least 20 minutes to reach Mars, you could never steer the rover in real time. Rover scientists and engineers spend each day studying photos from the previous days to plan the days operations, then upload a sequence of commands.

Only a week to drive: the Sojourner rover’s nominal planned mission lifetime was about a week. It actually continued to operate for 12 weeks. Newer rovers are planned to operate for longer times.

Want more?

You can learn more about rovers in our Rovers Tour. Or you can go to the Mars Tour Home and explore even more... Volcanoes, Canyons, Floodplains. Finally, if you want to do something a little deeper, try our Mars Investigations.

Explore More

The MER Rover site at JPL

The Athena site at Cornell

The Mars Pathfinder site at JPL

To Mars With MER (Passport to Knowledge)

Red Rover Goes to Mars (Planetary Society)


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