Mars Geological Exploration Rig
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This is the Mars Geological and Exploration Rig, a self-contained facility designed to explore and analyse the sub-surface of Mars.
It has a drilling platform, is operated by 6 crew and can move to a new location for each operation. It contains 3 vehicles that are used in sequence, a drone, a survey ship and a Wireline logging truck.
The first operation uses the drone for performing aerial surveys and 3D surface mapping, and can laser etch the ground marking out the locations for the rig's feet.
Next the survey ship flies to the location, sets a conductor tube in the ground and performs a survey from the conductor to get an accurate location. It takes samples and returns to the rig, uploading the data to the computer. The rig is then piloted to the new location from the cockpit of the survey ship, and uses the external display screen on the front of the rig.
The rig then aligns with the markers and drills the hole. Extra drill strings are stored in the circular magazine arrangement around the drill, and are loaded automatically, screwing them onto the previous one, allowing it to drill deeper. The Wireline truck is then lowered to the surface using the crane, and then drops measuring tools down the hole on a wire to detect the rock type that makes up the sub-surface material. It is then loaded back onto the rig, the data is analysed and passed onto the drone.
The drone then maps the next location using the previous results to guide it, and the whole process starts again.
The survey ship's port and starboard engines can swivel to allow it to take off and steer, and lands using the auto-guidance system housed inside the six guide posts. The crew can access the drone using the lift, which also provides access to the top of the drill for maintenance. The truck is unloaded using the lifting arm which is hinged in two places, and can drive away, re-attaching itself by reversing onto the location peg.
The power plant is under the rig, and is plugged into the fuel conversion bars around the base.
This model was inspired by similar operations here on Earth, but has been made into a self-contained system due to the limited support available on Mars.
This model has 1200 bricks. The model consists of threes and sixes; three vehicles, three legs on the ship, three on the rig and three on the drone. Six crew members, six wheels on the truck and six guide posts around the survey ship, and 1200 bricks is divisible by both 3 and 6!
You'll also find these images here on Flickr