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Images taken for a portion of a blocky basaltic ridge as part of a geologic field test of rover science operations developed for MER.
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Testing Mars-inspired operational strategies for semi-autonomous rovers on the Moon: The GeoHeuristic Operational Strategies Test in New Mexico

1R. Aileen Yingst, 2B. A. Cohen, 3L. Crumpler, 4M. E. Schmidt and 2C. M. Schrader

1Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ, 85719, USA
2Space Science Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, 35812, USA
3New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, NM, 87104, USA
4Department of Earth Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada

Mars 6, 13-31, 2011 | doi:10.1555/mars.2011.0002
Submitted: February 2, 2011; Reviewed: May 30, 2011; Revised: June 29, 2011; Accepted August 1, 2011; Published: December 29, 2011

We tested the science operations strategy used for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission on Mars to determine whether it is suitable for conducting remote geology on the Moon by conducting a field test at Cerro de Santa Clara, a volcanic construct in New Mexico. Key findings include: (1) MER-inspired methodology will not allow us to use our acquired data fast enough if rover data is acquired near real-time; (2) a methodology similar to that used for MER can be adapted for use on the Moon if mission goals are focused on reconnaissance rather than locating and identifying a specific feature or material.

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