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Mars 2020 Rover Turns Handyman as Robotic Arm Installed

After it let us know the 2020 rover got its wheels last week, the American space agency revealed on Friday (June 28) that another key component of the vehicle that is to revolutionize the exploration of Mars was fitted in its place: the robotic arm.
Mars 2020 rover gets handy with arm installed 1 photo
This is the biggest part of a pair of two arms, and the one that should allow the rover to work as a human geologist. That means it will be able to hold and use science tools to complete its tasks.

This is possible because of the construction of the arm. Five electric motors are used to drive it, and the five joints allow it to bend to the required angle for the task ahead. A turret is to act as a hand of sorts, but will also be the place where cameras, science instruments, and a percussive drill and coring mechanism are fitted.

"You have to give a hand to our rover arm installation team," said in a statement Ryan van Schilifgaarde, support engineer Mars 2020.

"They made an extremely intricate operation look easy. We're looking forward to more of the same when the arm will receive its turret in the next few weeks."

The new and still unnamed Mars rover measures 10 feet long (3 meters), 9 feet wide (2.7 meters), and 7 feet tall (2.2 meters). It is the size of a small car, and bigger than any of the vehicles deployed so far on the Red Planet.

The 2020 mission will land on the neighboring Mars in February 2021, tasked with a series of assignments never tried before: the generation of oxygen, the search for signs of life and the preparation of samples to be picked up and sent to Earth by another mission.

For the public, there is currently a competition underway meant to find the best name for this groundbreaking rover.

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