Whenever NASA's in the news, it's usually because of a mission or discovery somewhere beyond the stars. After all, it is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. However, its latest project is happening right here on earth. In an effort to study the effects of global warming, NASA is sending a rover to Greenland's massive ice sheetsâ€”97% of which has melted away.
Nicknamed GROVER (Greenland Rover or Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, take your pick), the rover was designed by a group of students studying at an engineering summer camp held at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 2010 and 2011.
At 800 pounds and six feet tall, the rover was built to be green and vicious with tank-like treads and vertical solar panels to survey the direct heat from the sun along with the rays reflecting off of the snow. What sets GROVER apart from any previously launched rover is its ability to collect data of a 24/7 basis.
Will it survive the harsh conditions of Greenland's ice sheets for an entire month? NASA says, yes.
"GROVER is just like a spacecraft but it has to operate on the ground," said Michael Comberiate, manager of the Goddard Engineering Boot Camp. "It has to survive unattended for months in a hostile environment, with just a few commands to interrogate it and find out its status and give it some directions for how to accommodate situations it finds itself in."
Peep a video below explaing GROVER's creation and its mission.