Earth With ASEM-51 to Mars Mars

A few days before Christmas 1996, I got a parcel from von Hoerner & Sulger, a small German space company, which I didn't know before. It contained a bottle of wine, a letter, and an article from a local newspaper.

Nanokhod on a Test Surface (vH&S)   zoom
  In the letter, they told me that they had used my ASEM-51 V1.2 to develop the motor-control software for a little Mars car prototype, and thanked me that I have made it available to the public for free. They had validated several 8051 assemblers, and found ASEM-51 to be the most reliable and best documented one. The article contained further technical information.
The four motors of the Mars car Nanokhod are controlled by an 80C154. It also carries an alpha-proton spectrometer, an X-Ray spectrometer, a Mössbauer spectrometer, a stereo camera, and a magnetometer. With all this sophisticated equipment, the total weight of Nanokhod is about 2.5 kg only! The scientific instruments have been developed by the Max Planck Institute of Mainz (Germany), and the whole project was sponsored by the DARA (Deutsche Agentur für Raumfahrtangelegenheiten).   Nanokhod
Functional Parts of Nanokhod (MPI)   zoom
An Engineering Model of Nanokhod (ESA)
zoom The neat vehicle had been designed for mobile geochemical research in future ESA and NASA space missions.
The European Space Agency (ESA) planned to use Nanokhod for the following space missions:

  • the EuroMoon mission in April 2001
  • the Mars Express mission in June 2003
  • the BepiColombo mission to Mercury (2011)

All this has made me very proud!
Space is a harsh environment for humans, craft and software as well.
Therefore, only the best material and development tools can be used.    (smile)

ASEM-51        Solutions for a red planet.


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Last revised:   W.W. Heinz,   December 20, 2010