NASA deal may see Australian company build Mars rover – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Australian company’s small step may help NASA’s giant leap on Mars

Australian company’s small step may help NASA’s giant leap on Mars

A Gold Coast-based company may help NASA extract water on Mars, after striking an agreement with the space agency that is believed to be an Australian first.

NASA will assist Gilmour Space Technologies to develop and build a Mars rover designed to extract water from the red planet.

As part of the agreement, they will test the rover on a mock Mars environment, built at the NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The Pimpama-based company said it was the first private enterprise in Australia to sign a Space Act Agreement with NASA.

A spokeswoman from NASA said the lessons Gilmour learnt by testing at the Kennedy Space Centre might help them refine their design, but the space agency was not part of the project.

Gilmour Space Technologies has already created a prototype rover in partnership with university students in Singapore, where the company also has a base.

It uses microwave technology to melt ice that is mixed with Martian soil where the rover then collects the steam and condenses it into water.

“Essentially that is a rover with the intentions of extracting the hydrogen from the Regolith, which is a fancy word for Martian soil to extract water,” Mr Gilmour said.

Source: www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-20/australian-company-may-help-nasa-build-mars-rover/9465716?pfmredir=sm

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