About the faster project

Today, planetary exploration rover vehicles are being considered for a number of missions to Mars and the Moon in the near future by all the major space agencies, highlighting how essential these mobile platforms have become.  The NASA Mars Science Laboratory has already deployed its rover (MSL Curiosity rover landed in August 2012). In addition, a sampleā?fetching rover is being considered for the mid 2020'sā? to retrieve a sample cache for return to Earth, for a Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission.


These platforms represent a significant step forward in their respective fields but their traverse speed are likely to be limited. The risk of being stuck in Martian sand is a major concern for all such rovers.

The FASTER project will develop and demonstrate technology for sensing terrain ahead of a rover. It includes the concept for a small robotic scout rover working in cooperatively with a larger exploration rover, as well as new soil sensing systems.

The FASTER team consists of 6 European organisations, from 5 countries, all with experience of planetary exploration and robotics.