An innovative concept for tiny probes attached to gliders could one day allow small robots to explore intricate locales on Mars that probes never could reach before, scientists say.
The project, called MARSDROP, would send two landers to the Red Planet as hitchhikers aboard a larger spacecraft. The landers would then detach and use a steerable parawing to glide the miniature probes (called "microprobes") down to the surface of Mars.
The wild concept is the brainchild of Rebecca Williams, a senior scientist with the Planetary Science Institute, who collaborated with Matthew Eby from the Aerospace Corporation and a team of engineers led by Robert Staehle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. [The Best (and Worst) Mars Landings of All Time]To read more, click here.