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Microrover Mission

Materials Roamer Martian Surface Map
Metric Ruler
Martian Model
  1. Print out the map of the area around the landing site. Using pencil, draw a possible route on the map for the Microrover to travel from Pathfinder III to each of the five study sites and return. The landing site has three nearby channels, two craters and three boulder fields. For this investigation, these areas be avoided.

  2. Measure the lengths of each trip segment in centimetres. Create a data table to record this information. Because the map scale is 1:10 , each centimetre you measure on the map represents an actual distance of ten centimetres on the model. For example, if a map segment measures as 9.6 centimetres, the distance the Roamer must travel is 96 centimetres. Also record on the table the angles the Roamer must rotate in order to get to each site.

  3. Total all map segments at the bottom of your table to determine how far the Roamer must travel to complete its mission.

  4. Estimate how long it will take for the Roamer to follow the course on the model. Because the microrover on Mars will remain at each of the five study sites for only 30 minutes, the actual travel time from Pathfinder III to the sites and back will only be 2.5 hours. On your model, you will have only 2.5 minutes for the Roamer to complete its task.

  5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 for a different route. When the second route has been completed, select the best one for your test. How did you determine which route is best?

  6. Write a program on the microrover program sheet for the Roamer. The program should direct the Roamer to follow your chosen route on the Martian model. To save simulation time, do not program the Roamer to wait at each sample site for its scientific research to be carried out. These wait times will be added to the program for the microrover on Mars when the program is transmitted.

  7. Test your program by running the Roamer on the model. Place the Roamer directly over the site for Pathfinder III and execute the GO command. Use a stopwatch or a watch with a second hand to time how long the Roamer takes to travel the complete route. It is only necessary for the Roamer to cross over a part of each study site before going on to the next location. If the Roamer misses any study site, stop the simulation and analyse your program for errors. Correct your program and try the simulation again.

  8. When you have successfully completed your mission, submit your simulation report containing the following information to your teacher:
    Final Route Map
    Data Table with distances, angles and estimated times
    Valiant Roamer program
    Simulation Results (including the actual time for completion)

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