Jun 5, 2008

Move over Phoenix: Moonstream Mars rover, the best view of the Red Planet

We've sent the Phoenix lander to Mars, now it's time to send the Moonstream bus-sized rover.
Anthony Sims, a student at the Art Center College of Design, conceptualized the Moonstream rover after forms found in nature, such as turtles and whales, and modeled it after working NASA designs. Each wheel, for instance, can walked upon just like NASA's Athlete robot. Inside, astronauts will find a cabin built for comfort and security, with space that allows some privacy as well as ample room to work and sleep. Form isn't fighting function here, either — the driver lies against an independently suspended pod that allows the pilot to spot troublesome terrain as well as remain stable through rough riding.

Sims' design was cool enough to begin with, but he went ahead and did something we love: he made a scale model of the Moonstream for us to drool over.

Check out the gallery below for more views of the Moonstream rover — everything from renders, the conceptualized interior, and the finalized model.

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