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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

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