PIA26297: NASA's CADRE Rover Takes an Autonomous Drive
 Mission:  Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration (CADRE) 
 Product Size:  3840 x 2160 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26297.tif (18.6 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26297.jpg (620.7 kB)

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One of three small rovers bound for the Moon took an autonomous test drive in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California in December 2023. Along with a base station that will be mounted on a lunar lander, the three rovers make up the agency's CADRE (Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration) technology demonstration.

This video was taken during a test of the rovers' ability to drive together as a team without direct commands from engineers. If the CADRE tech demo succeeds on the lunar surface, future missions could include teams of robots spreading out to take scientific measurements from different locations simultaneously, potentially in support of astronauts.

In this test, the rover's solar panels were closed, and black plastic covers protected the ultralight aluminum wheels to prevent their grousers from catching on the clean-room floor.

A division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, JPL manages the CADRE technology demonstration project for the Game Changing Development program within NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. CADRE will launch as a payload on the third lunar lander mission by Intuitive Machines, called IM-3, under NASA's CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative, which is managed by the agency's Science Mission Directorate, also in Washington. The agency's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and its Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, both supported the project. Motiv Space Systems designed and built key hardware elements at the company's Pasadena, California, facility. Clemson University in South Carolina contributed research in support of the project.

For more about CADRE, go to: https://go.nasa.gov/cadre

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