A Cornish Rover has landed on Mars today, April 1st, as part of an ongoing mission to send humans to the Red Planet by 2020. For decades, Bluefruit Software and Software Cornwall have worked in a secret alliance on a covert “Mission to Mars” project. Disguised as coding courses for young adults and professionals, the Cornish collaboration developed software that allows a local ground team based in Redruth to control Mars rovers in order to explore unknown Martian territory. After years of dedicated software development work on prototype rovers “Bert and Ernie”, the Mission to Mars program can now publicly announce that a rover called “Ada” has already touched down and is currently exploring Mars.
Ada’s first excursion has provided unique footage of the Cornish-like landscape, while also testing the viability of life on Mars. As exploration beyond the Tamar continues, the Mission to Mars program aims to explore the Mount Emmet area of Mars, where scientists believe there might be evidence of life. What can the Red Planet teach us? Can it be a safe home for the Cornish and will a pasty on Mars taste the same as one at the beach?
Ada’s second excursion will be starting dreckly and will focus on following up on observations made from previous Mars orbits. In addition to staking a claim to the best spots on the Martian beaches, the Mission to Mars team hopes to continue to map the area’s surface. Ada will be bringing back samples and will search for traces of tin, Kernow-idium, other bleedy ansum phyllosilicates, sulfates, and proper cyder.
OVERVIEW ON MISSION:
Rover name: Ada
Rover dimensions: Length: 9 feet,10 inches (3.0 meters) (not counting arm); Width: 9 feet, 1 inch (2.8 meters)
Power for rover: Multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator and lithium-ion batteries
Mass: 8,463 pounds (3,893 kilograms) total at launch, consisting of 1,982-pound space to carry Cream Teas, Pasties, and Pies.
Earth–Mars distance at launch: 127 million miles (204 million kilometres), which is almost as long as the queue on the A30 during the summer holidays.
Launch Time and Place: March 27th, 2018, 10:02 a.m (Cornish time), Carn Brea Space Station, Cornwall. Two-stage Poldark V 541 launch vehicle lofts the Mission to Mars rover from Launch Site underneath Carn Brea castle.
Time of Mars landing: 10:31 a.m., April 1st, plus or minus a minute…or hour. Landing Site is near base of Mount Emmet. Expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at landing site during primary mission: bleddy cold
● Alpha Particle X-ray Pasty-Ometer:
Alpha Particle X-ray Pasty-Ometer will be used to measure any activities during the Mission.
● Tamar Detector
Tamar Detector analyses and categorises any findings. This tool is similar to the Cream Tea Assessment Detector that every field geologist carries for exploring significant details in Cream Teas: Colour, shape, and taste. A camera is used for close-up observation to study Cornish or non-Cornish behaviour (Jam not Clotted cream first)
● “Do it dreckly” Towing Unit
This mission used the “Do it dreckly” Towing Unit for the first time. The tow line is made out of extra strong fishing line from Falmouth.
● Cornish Flag
Consistent with the United States obligations under the 1976 Outer Space Treaty to conduct Planetary protection and to avoid contamination of non-Cornish materials.
On the back of the success of the Mission to Mars excursion, Software Cornwall and Bluefruit Software are excited for the next Mission to Mars mission starting on the 3rd of April. Young adults from across Cornwall make up the ground crew, continuously testing and innovating to ensure Cornwall continues to lead the way in the next big space race.