Scientists suspect that signs of life may be found in caves found on the surface of Mars. The Perseverance rover is currently exploring the red planet, but it is rather clumsy, and more dexterous assistants may be needed. Therefore, NASA employees are training the robot dog Spot, which is manufactured by Boston Dynamics, to navigate the surface of Mars, according to the Daily Mail. In the near future, Spot may become a member of the BRAILLE project (Biologic and Resource Analog Investigations in Low Light Environments, "Simulated research of biology and natural resources in low light conditions"), but in the meantime he is exploring deep caves on Earth, reminiscent of Martian ones.
Geological structures resembling caves were discovered on Mars back in 2007. It is assumed that there are seven of them, with an entrance width of 100 to 250 meters and a diameter of 73 to 130 meters. Scientists believe that life may be hiding in the caves: the study of the chemical composition of rocks from Mars, brought to Earth, showed that in the presence of water, microorganisms resembling those on Earth could exist in them. However, the size of the caves makes it impossible to explore them from Earth.
This task is planned to be entrusted to robots, in which NASA is implementing the autonomous artificial intelligence system NeBula. Such a robot must be able to regulate its temperature, protect itself from radiation and save energy. The fact that he is able to walk is an important advantage over wheeled rovers in the absence of roads and flat surfaces.
Probably, in the future, robot dogs like Spot will be able to explore not only Mars, but also other objects of the solar system as pioneers, before humans land on them. In addition, robots can accompany astronauts during missions, helping them with field reconnaissance, logistics and other tasks.