In the OK Go! YouTube video linked below, there is a generic model of a planetary rover with a NASA logo on it. It has six wheels, (four on one articulated carriage) a vertical mast with a T-shape on top for a pair of cameras, and some kind of manipulator arm.

Is there any way to tell which NASA rover this might be modeled after?

Here is a screen-shot. It is blurry because it is moving in this frame, but when it comes to rest the top part is not visible.

Lower your volume, the video is loud!

enter image description here

Lower your volume, the video is loud!


1 Answer 1


The rover is modelled after the MER rovers, Spirit and Oppy.

As outlined in chat here. There are a few very distinct features that make it clear that this is meant to be one of the MERs. Link to annotated image of the rovers

  1. The MERs were the first and only rovers to feature wing-like solar panels – which can be seen in the Opportunity image below – which you can just about make out in the image above, based on the shadow on the rover.
    (Click to embiggen all images)
    Pancam Mast Assembly image
    Opportunity undergoing testing at KSC PHSF - Wikipedia
  2. A very clear replica of the Pancam Mast Assembly can be found on the rover.
    Pancam Mast Assembly image
    Pancam Mast Assembly - Wikipedia
  3. The rover arm seen above is also a prominent feature of the MER rovers carrying the rest of their science equipment, such as the MB MIMOS II, APXS, MI and RAT.
    Pancam Mast Assembly image
    Artist concept of Mars Rover - Wikipedia
  4. From the above Opportunity and artist concept image, one can see the Rocker-Bogie system implemented on the rovers. That is similar to the ones featured in the video.
  5. The High Gain antenna can also be seen on the rover in the video's "back" similar to the one that featured on the rovers. (silver disk with gold outline on Opportunity's back, brown disk in the artist's concept image.

Rovers it can't be.

  • Sojourner: Sojourner didn't feature a Pancam or Rover arm, had rectangular solar panels and didn't have a High Gain Antenna.
  • Curiosity: Curiosity doesn't use solar panels, it is instead powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.
  • Mars 2020: Powered by a RTG left over from Curiosity.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Very nice, methodical, conclusive! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ poor opportunity 2004-2018. "Little rover, we hope you fund your home" -The stupendium $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 16:54

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