The Mars -1 Humvee Rover
The distinctive orange MARS-1 Humvee rover is a unique experimental field exploration vehicle modified for the HMP by AM General, manufacturer of the famous High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or Humvee. The refurbished four-wheel-drive all-terrain rover rolled out of AM General’s plant in Mishiwaka, Indiana, on May 14, 2002, bearing the one-of-a-kind serial number “MARS-1″.
The vehicle configuration is that of a military ambulance HMMWV. To increase traction and tread lightly, the MARS-1 is equipped with wide tracks manufactured by Mattracks, Inc.
The MARS-1 is equipped with a tall rear cab affording compact work and living space (including two sidewall-mounted sleeping bunks) for crews of up to four researchers engaging in several day-long field traverses across the rugged Mars-like rocky polar desert terrain of Devon Island. The vehicle was specified to allow two parallel goals to be met:
1) support Arctic science research in Astrobiology and Mars analog studies by serving as a safe, reliable, all-terrain-capable, high-tech roving field laboratory vehicle; and
2) serve as an economic test bed for preliminary design and operations studies that will help define some of the key requirements for future pressurized rovers for human Moon and Mars exploration.
This research effort is led by Dr. Pascal Lee, principal investigator of the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP). The HMP is a field research program centered on the scientific study of the Haughton impact crater and its surroundings, Devon Island, Nunavut, Canadian high arctic, viewed as a Mars analog.