The NASA rover Mars 2020 is turned to the red planet


The problem is a trade-off. Ideally, a rover's wheels should be large, sturdy and made of a tough material that will withstand the rigors of rugged terrain on Mars. Unfortunately, they also need to be lightweight, compact and not too expensive. Although great advances have been made in wheel design, the Curiosity rover shows that there is still a way to go, as its wheels show increasing signs of wear as the holes develop, the hoops bend and the metal steps they move away.


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