Scientist recreates gravity of Mars in sky over Ottawa
Mars is seen in this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:33PM EDT
MONTREAL - A Montreal university scientist took to the skies over Ottawa last month to recreate the gravity of Mars for a future unmanned mission.
Any visit to Mars involves trying to master its gravity, which is only one-third that of Earth and something that is difficult to replicate accurately.
But Concordia researcher Krzysztof (Chris) Skonieczny was able to do so -- albeit very briefly -- in early March.
His science mission was carried out with the help of a modified Falcon 20 jet, a small sandbox filled with simulated Martian soil and a prototype rover wheel.
Skonieczny and his National Resarch Council team wanted to see how the ExoMars rover mission in 2020 would be affected by the low gravity.
The Canadian-funded experiment took place during three days of what were described as roller-coaster rides.