NASA Prepares to Bombard Mars Moon

Sean Breslin | TWC
Published: January 22, 2013

NASA/ESA via Getty Images

This handout image from ESA/NASA, obtained August 21, 2008 taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board the ESA's Mars Express shows the highest-resolution full-disc image yet of the surface of the moon Phobos.

The technology might not be ready yet, but NASA has big plans to attack a Mars moon with hedgehogs.

They're actually a half-dozen or so robotic hedgehogs -- tiny, round rovers that would be sent to Mars' largest moon, Phobos. Drawing comparisons a popular smartphone app, The Inquisitr explains how this type of mission could be possible:

The mentioned space hedgehogs are small, spiky, ball-shaped rovers composing a novel mission idea called Phobos Surveyor. The rovers are said to be able to take advantage of the the Mars moon Phobos’ low gravity, as well as that of its sister moon Deimos, and various asteroids. The devices have been designed to work with a nearby mother ship, and their shape just happens to resemble that of the notorious “Angry Birds” characters.

An issue with exploring a low-gravity planet or moon is that a traditional rover has trouble navigating the terrain, according to a Yahoo! article. The wheels would just spin in place and the rovers wouldn't be able to travel across Phobos, so the plan is to use a series of disks inside the hedgehogs to allow them to traverse the moon.

As soon as the scientists can figure out a way to actually institute this technology and the funding for the mission can be finalized, five or six of these little hedgehogs can be launched in the direction of the Mars moon to begin studying its surface.

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Mars Rover Images, Dec. 2012

December Images from Mars

December Images from Mars

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its Mast Camera during the mission's 120th Martian day, or sol (Dec. 7, 2012), to record this view of a rock outcrop informally named Shaler. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • December Images from Mars
  • Curiosity Self-Portrait, Wide View

Featured Blogs

October 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
November 22, 2014

October was globally the warmest such on record according to NOAA (see Jeff Master’s blog for more about this). Extreme heat waves affected southern South America and California with exceptional warmth in Europe and Australia as well. Intense rainfalls plagued southern France and Italy. Deadly flooding and mudslides occurred in Sri Lanka. A blizzard in Nepal killed at least 43 trekkers and their guides. Hurricane Gonzalo was the first CAT 4 tropical storm in three years to form in the Atlantic Basin and struck Bermuda. Typhoon Vongfong was the Earth’s most powerful storm of the year.

October 2014: Earth's Third Consecutive Warmest Month on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters
November 21, 2014

October 2014 was the warmest October on record, and the year-to-date-period January - October was Earth's warmest such period since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA. They also rated the past 12 months--November 2013 through October 2014--as the warmest consecutive 12-month period among all months since records began in 1880; 2014 will be the warmest calendar year on record if global temperatures in November and December merely match their average values recorded since 2000.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.