The ARCHES Space-Analog Demonstration project is a multi-agency, multi-robot event generated by the German Aerospace Centre DLR and featuring considerable ESA participation. ESA will be uniting the task to run the latest and last part of the Analog-1 campaign, the fulfillment of which will mark the culmination of one of the agency’s long-term research endeavors, dating back to 2008.

For four weeks starting from 12 June to 9 July, the project will analyze the operations and technologies that facilitate a sample return mission on the lunar surface involving an astronaut on the Lunar Gateway with a rover operations control room on Earth with scientific expertise on-hand at different control centers.

As a portion of the simulation, ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter will regulate a rover stationed 2,600 m up on the slopes of Mt. Etna from a room 23 km away in the town of Catania. This distance imitates the sort of remote-control situations astronauts will experience at the lunar Gateway.

ESA’s 300 kg four-wheeled Interact rover, which is supplied with gripper and camera arms, as well as a stereo camera mast, will be one of the show’s major stars. Interact can provide more than just images of the environment, however. Its state-of-the-art controls include force feedback that lets astronauts experience the planet’s surface in the similar way the rover does, all the way down to the feel of the weight and cohesion of the rocks it comes in contact with.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.

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