Glossary term: Rover

Description: A rover is a human-made machine that is sent to the surface of another planet or moon on a spacecraft to study that planet up close, and send the data it collects back to Earth using a communication method. Most can be operated from Earth and move around the surface of the planet or moon, although the Lunar Roving Vehicles of the Apollo mission were driven by astronauts on the Moon. A rover can carry a lot of scientific instruments such as small drills, a sample collecting tool, cameras, and even a small laboratory to analyze its air and ground samples and send the results back.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".

Related Media

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity stands on a hill on Mars.

Mars rover Curiosity

Caption: This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the site from which it reached down to drill into a rock target called "Buckskin" on lower Mount Sharp. The selfie combines several component images taken by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on 5 August 2015, during the 1,065th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS credit link

License: PD Public Domain icons

Related Activities

Driving on Mars

Driving on Mars

astroEDU educational activity (links to astroEDU website)
Description: An educational interdisciplinary game to drive a rover on Mars

License: CC-BY-4.0 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) icons

Tags: Game , robot , robotics , simulation , telecommunications
Age Ranges: 14-16 , 16-19
Education Level: Middle School , Secondary
Areas of Learning: Guided-discovery learning
Costs: Low Cost
Duration: 2 hours
Group Size: Group
Skills: Communicating information , Developing and using models , Using mathematics and computational thinking