JPL proposes exploring Venus with a clockwork rover

Source: Spaceflight Insider

“NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) proposes taking a page out of a Swiss watchmaker’s handbook to design a long-lived rover to explore Venus’ surface. Utilizing centuries-old mechanical computing concepts, but with a modern upgrade, engineers at JPL hope to design a rover capable of exploring the unforgiving Venusian terrain and returning data to Earth. … the Soviet Venera and Vega programs of the 1970s and 1980s have provided the only surface-based investigations of Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. While the landers returned valuable data, they operated for no more than a couple hours before succumbing to the intense heat and pressure of Venus’ atmosphere. With an average surface temperature of 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius) — hot enough to melt lead — and an atmospheric pressure more than 90 times that of Earth’s, even modern hardware would have difficulty operating for very long.” (08/29/17)