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The Sciences

How to Build a Mars Rover

Armed with only a few pages of Discover's Space Travel special issue, you can construct your own li'l planetary explorer.

rover_instruction_small.jpg

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What you’ll need• Scissors, glue, and a ruler

• A pointed knife with a dull blade

• One sheet each of card stock and printer paper

What to do• Use the ruler and dull knife to score pieces with score lines on page 85. Make a groove in the paper without cutting all the way through.

• Carefully cut out all the numbered parts.

• Glue parts 2, 6, 16, and 17 to card stock, then cut them out again. Glue parts 12 and 15 to printer paper and cut them out again. Glue the identical segments of part 9 back to back. Score center line in part 8, fold in half, glue back to back, and cut out high-gain antenna (black, red, and white).

• Glue part 2 to the underside of part 1, then cut out the hole toward the front edge.

• Attach part 3, the base of the rover, to the top by gluing tabs to their corresponding markings. Attach parts 4, 5, 16, and 17 to the base in the same manner.

• Place the rover upside down on a flat surface. Assemble wheels (parts 15, 18, and 19): Roll each tire (part 18) into a circle and secure by gluing the tab. Fold teeth in toward wheel center. Glue wheel face (part 19) to teeth. Bend axle (part 15) so that it fits inside the wheel, and glue in place. Glue wheels to parts 16 and 17. Let glue dry before continuing.

• Flip the rover right side up and rest it on its wheels. Assemble the high-gain antenna (parts 7 and 8), cameras (parts 10, 11, 12, and 14), and drill (parts 6 and 13). Glue these and the low-gain antenna (part 9) in place as shown in the picture.

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