The Mars Rover

The rover consisted of a flattened cylinder, two meters high on the inside, three meters wide with a bunk on either side, a storage area toward the rear with a rounded Plexiglas window ahead of the controls which were located in front of two bucket style seats. Above and below the bunks were mounted the oven, refrigerator, and storage bins. An airlock was positioned at the rear, with more outside storage on either side of the external door as well as along the sides of the vehicle. Eight meters long from bumper to bumper, the rover was supported by six tired wheels, each with its own suspension and steering system driven by an electric motor. Power came from a combination of 60 square meters of solar panels arrayed above the roof like giant wings, lithium ion storage batteries and a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell. The fuel for the cell was regenerated using electricity from the solar panels when the cell was not in use. The hull and many of the parts were reused items taken from the robot transports that carried goods from Earth to Mars on a regular basis. The rover was the principal means of transportation for distances up to 250 kilometers on Mars and the main settlements of the Colony were all located within these driving distances of each other. Rovers were all of the same basic design, but could be fitted out for cargo or passenger service, as well as for exploration, as was this one.

 

Excerpt from Chapter II: The Rover
Illustrations by Joe Hardwick

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