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LaRa – Made in Italy

Made in Italy technology goes… to Mars!

LaRA, the instrument to accurately measure the position of rovers on Mars, is Made in Italy.

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A 360-degree panoramic image with 2.4 billion pixels and no less than 992 shots documenting the environment of the planet Mars: if you missed this extraordinary achievement of technology and research, you can easily make up for it herebut know that thanks to an innovative Made in Italy technology, we can now stand open-mouthed in front of these images.

LaRa, a super-tech micro-reflector

And if all this is possible, credit is also due to LaRa, a super-technological micro-reflector on the Perseverance rover whose task is to accurately measure the rover’s position, locally and compared to the global Martian cartography. LaRA will also guide the landing of a future laser-equipped mission to retrieve samples stored by Perseverance and study ground movements and, thus, geophysics.

Perseverance Landing
Perseverance Landing

Accurate position measurements

A device made of a few grams of golden aluminium, LaRa, was installed on the vehicle that landed on 18 February 2021 on the ground of the Red Planet as part of the Mars 2020 mission and after a journey lasting 203 days. Designed and built for NASA on the outskirts of Rome by Italian physicists from the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Frascati, LaRa can help scientists accurately measure the position of rovers on Mars and make future landings on the Red Planet more efficient.

A curiosity about the probe’s name: Perseverance was proposed by a 12-year-old boy from Virginia, winner of the national ‘Name the Rover’ competition!

Perseverance Rover
Perseverance Rover

Italian passion and commitment in every sector have no limits!!! Congratulations to those who work to bring Made in Italy to the world and even into space!

Read the stories of other great Made in Italy companies in the science and technology sector.