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We want to give the astronauts more mobility on the Martian landscape. We have designed boots that have treads, (one set on each side of the boot, for balance), to use on the rocky and sandy soils of Mars, but that also have the ability to hover when the terrain gets too jagged to travel. Moving when hovering would be accomplished using jets at the heel of the boot and by tilting the body in the direction the astronaut wants to go. The boot would also have retractable spikes for climbing. When not climbing the spikes would be inside the boot presenting no danger to the astronaut’s suit.
The boots would be made of a light strong flexible rubber/plastic, with a tin mix alloy for the spikes.
Earth’s volcanic and Arctic land areas are very similar to Mars. These boots could be used in either of these areas on Earth and tested for use on Mars.
NASA Official: Mark León
Last Updated: May 2005
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