back to article The 'roid in Spain drills mainly on the plain: Plucky Brit Mars robot laps up sun, sand and, er, simulated science

A prototype Mars rover, named Charlie, has gone for a trundle around Spain’s Tabernas Desert this week, as scientists gear up for the real thing in 2021. The UK-built trundlebot was controlled by the ExoFiT team at the UK’s Harwell Space Cluster in Oxfordshire, 1,000 miles away from the sun and sangria of Spain where the …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    One thing Brexit won't hurt

    I'm not sure, will you be able to rock up with a Mars rover to do some testing in the desert just like that after no deal, FTA Brexit, or EEA without Customs Union Brexit?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

      Of course, it's all about money. Ours, which they want.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

        If you don't understand by now that the EU is a rules-based union, you're never going to understand it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

          If you don't understand by now that the EU is a rules-based union,

          Yeah, we can all see that. Just look at how Italy obeys the rules on budgets, and Hungary on immigration, Ireland on taxes, or France on customs. The EU has rules, of course. Whether its members obey them is entirely dependent on how much money they will make/lose. If you don't understand that, you're never going to understand the EU.

          1. JoshOvki

            Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

            ahhh, so it is more about Westminster not bending the rules

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

              It's long been the case that the U.K. and Denmark, two of the most eurosceptic nations in the EU, are also the two which have fully implemented the most EU directives.

            2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

              ahhh, so it is more about Westminster not bending the rules

              Yes, that is what is most perplexing - if only our Honourable Members of Parliament treated the EU rules the way they treated the rules regarding parliamentary expenses, we'd not be in this mess right now

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

            "The EU has rules, of course."

            The dilemma I see is that the UK was often the leader in drafting new EU rules. Said new rules were then submitted to each national government to implement as they saw fit, within the bounds of credibility. The UK always seemed to be the one that implemented them in the most draconian way possibly, to the letter and beyond. Then UK.gov blamed the EU for the new draconian rules. It's almost as if there has been a decades long plan to discredit the EU on behalf of the UK ot the UK has been using the EU while it could to get more power and now the EU or it's newer members, having lived under oppressive regimes, are no longer playing ball, hence Brexit.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

              British civil servants are still gold-plating EU directives even just before Brexit. Here's a quote from a story I read a few months back:

              The Package Travel Regulations – designed to protect travellers who book flights and hotels online – will mean that B&Bs and hotels need extra insurance if they want to reserve guests a table at the hotel’s own restaurant or book them a taxi to a local pub. [...] The regulations, based on an EU directive, were intended to offer travellers the protection they would have if they booked through a travel agency. But the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy extended the rules to cover any service not part of the room rate – something no other EU country has done

              And while searching for this one, another one came up although this one was from 2004:

              Alone among EU countries, according to mountain sports companies, Britain is extending a Brussels directive on safety-at-height to leisure climbing, as well as the originally intended target of builders, steeplejacks and window cleaners.

              Perhaps people's ire should be directed at Whitehall instead of the EU?

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

          > rules-based union

          What does this even mean?

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

            What does this even mean?

            It means the EU are willing to offer a solution so that international treaties like the Good Friday Agreement can be upheld (e.g. put NI and the single market and customs union), but they won't allow say, a giant hole in the customs union border because the UK buys lots of prosecco and Mercedes and Audis and "they need us more than we need them" as that is in breach of other international treaties like the EU's own trade agreements with other countries and WTO rules.

            So if the UK wants a FTA with the EU or WTO or no deal, that means huge border problems, if the UK wants EEA then that will also mean huge border problems as the EEA is another free trade area, and if the UK wants SM + CU then that means no border problems. Those are the only options available for the UK as those are the rules.

      2. Glen 1

        Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

        >money

        Which they could have had a lot more if if the EU had kept us as part of galileo.

        Yes I know ESA and EU are separate organisations.

        It's not *just* about the money.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

      Well, I suppose that all depends upon whether you land upon the EU-controlled areas of Mars or the WTO-controlled areas.

    3. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

      I'm not sure, will you be able to rock up with a Mars rover to do some testing in the desert just like that after no deal, FTA Brexit, or EEA without Customs Union Brexit?

      ExoMars is an ESA mission. Any participating ESA members will happily support the testing and development of mission elements, regardless of whether other partners (like Russia/Roscosmos) are EU members.

  2. Duffy Moon

    'roid?

    I thought this was a story about steroids for a minute.

    1. onefang

      Re: 'roid?

      Not asteroids?

    2. David Roberts
      Trollface

      Re: 'roid?

      I've a tube of cream for that.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'roid?

      I thought this was a story about steroids for a minute.

      And I thought it was about testing of a probe to Mars but, based on the first comments, it appears to be about Brexit. Why don't we mention Trump while we are about it?

      Oops ...

    4. Pseudonymous Howard

      Re: 'roid?

      If they build a robot that uses an accelerated mass to break up rocks, is it then called the "Hammer 'Roid"?

  3. onefang
    Alien

    Opportunity has taken the opportunity presented by the big dust storm to sneak off and snuggle up with that Martian ice warrior it pretended to not see earlier.

  4. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Hmmmm

    I would think the dry valleys in Antarctica are a better fit for Mars given they are freakin cold as well as some of the driest places on earth. They are dry because snow sublimates away.

    However I suspect Atacama is logistically more tractable. The US has used the lava fields on Hawai'i in the past for such things as well. But the dry valleys, while not as cold as Mars are pretty damn cold.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm

      The problem in Antarctica is the wind, which is unlike Mars since the atmosphere is so thin there. The rover would probably blow over in Antarctica.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Hmmmm

      You're both bastards!

      All this poor rover wants, is a nice holiday Where it can catch a few rays and get some trundling around done, to practise for the mission. And here's both of you trying to make it as cold and miserable as possible.

      No wonder Opportunity has taken to hiding. Given what humans subject the poor thing to...

  5. AlgernonFlowers4
    Alien

    Make Mars Great Again!

    This is the voice of the Mysterons. We know that you can hear us Earthmen. It will be useless for you to resist for we have discovered the secret of reversing matter and we are going to build a wall to stop your robotic rovers from crossing our borders and attacking our shrubberies. Make Mars Great Again!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alien

      Re: Make Mars Great Again!

      So that's why the Mysterons were asking for my credit card data? They said they wanted to get humans to pay for something-or-other.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Make Mars Great Again!

      I thought the Mysterons were more worried about making Venus great again?

      In which case I suspect they don't need to bother with a wall. The massive storms, wind, lighting, sulphuric acid clouds, 90 bar pressure and lead-melting temperature should put paid to any rover we're foolish enough to lob in their general direction.

  6. werdsmith Silver badge

    I had a go at driving the prototype of ExoMars rover that was built by Airbus in Stevenage a few years ago it was driven around using an adapted Playstation controller. Kind of disappointing but sensible at the same time.

  7. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Terminator

    You get the impression

    The controllers would have preferred to be in Spain, controlling the droid in Oxfordshire

  8. JCitizen
    Trollface

    Maybe..

    Hey - maybe we could hook it up with the 'roids on Mars and have a robot war! The ratings would be HUGE!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022