Crowdfunding its Way To Mars:
The Northern Light Mission
This mission needs YOUR help! A Canadian group is looking to launch a compact lander and micro rover to Mars in 2018 and is relying heavily on crowdfunding to do so.
Here are some of the details listed on the Northern Light IndieGogo page:
“Led by Dr. Ben Quine, a professor of space engineering at York University, and Canadian space company Thoth Technology, the team has been developing the Northern Light mission to explore Mars.”
“In space, small is beautiful, and Northern Light is small. The complete entry, descent and landing system, lander, micro-rover and science payload have a combined mass of just 75 kg.”
The mission would include a mini rover to explore the surface:
“With a mass of approximately 6 kg, the Beaver rover will be used for geological surface exploration. Beaver will operate under its own power and will have a range of 1 km. The rover will be equipped with a visible camera for maneuvering and surface exploration, as well as an Argus spectrometer for mineral classification. This is the little rover that could.”
The robots would hitch a ride on a spacecraft already heading to Mars – potentially the Russian-European Space Agency ExoMars rover mission or a future Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) mission – and would be small but oh so cool!
The group is looking to raise $1.3 million by January 3, 2015 and has set up an IndieGogo page to do so: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/northern-light-mission-to-mars In addition to receiving swag, those who donate also get the opportunity to vote for the lander’s potential landing site.
Check out the IndieGogo page for more details and help this project out if you can!