LOOK: New Mars rover concept appears to be inspired by the Batmobile


Image: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

As if being the first people on Mars isn’t cool enough, NASA is also hoping to equip soon-to-be-Mars-bound astronauts with a pimped-out ride to go with their bragging rights. And people are noticing the concept vehicle’s curious resemblance to the Batmobile.

NASA recently unveiled a futuristic concept Mars rover at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This was revealed at the kick off for the “Summer of Mars” promotion on June 5. Astronaut Scott Kelly was also at the event to talk about his experience of living in space for one year.

“It’s (Summer of Mars) an all-encompassing effort to review the history of our efforts to explore Mars and look ahead to what is being planned,” said Rebecca Shireman, assistant manager of public relations for the Kennedy visitor complex. “We hope this will encourage young people to want to learn more about being a part of the effort to go to Mars.”

The concept rover was designed with input from NASA experts. It was privately commissioned by the Kennedy visitor complex and no taxpayer money was spent building it.

The rover runs on an electric motor while being powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. It is designed to be able to split in half, with the front being used to scout Martian terrain while the rear half sits as a laboratory.

NASA does not expect the exact rover to explore Mars but some of its elements may be included in the final model that will be brought to the red planet.

After several weeks of stay at the Kennedy visitor complex, the concept rover will be put on display at several locations. It will end its tour upon returning to the visitor complex as part of the new Astronaut Training Experience attraction for fall. –Alfred BayleJB

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