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In the Mars One roadmap, they are scheduled to land rovers on Mars in 2018 to search for possible colonization spots. But once that is done and the first settlers arrive will these rovers be usable as a means of transportation, or are they strictly automated exploratory vehicles?

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  • $\begingroup$ If I had to guess, I doubt they're going to equip probes with the ability to transport personnel, but they may be able to transport light equipment. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Nov 20 '13 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ tangentially related: space.stackexchange.com/questions/2522/… $\endgroup$ – Undo Nov 20 '13 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Undo - Yeah that question prompted me to ask this one. $\endgroup$ – System Down Nov 21 '13 at 0:35
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While the rover is an automated vehicle, it is likely it can be used in a personnel transport role.

Any vehicle that can carry a person's suited mass, and has a platform big enough to sit upon, and doesn't exceed about 3G's of thrust is a suitable personnel transport. It may not be ideal, it may not be comfortable, but it doesn't need to be.

The Mars One Project's page for the Rover notes that it can move the landers and has a trailer. This clearly exceeds the mass of a couple suited people, provides a platform large enough to sit upon, and the acceleration must needs be able to be reduced at need to accomplish other goals on the page.

The Living Unit page notes that the unit is large enough for a shower and kitchen. This means it's big enough to mass at least several tons, probably several dozens, plus the inflatable habitat (also many tons). It also means a large enough size that the trailer to haul it will be large enough to have people sit upon.

If needed, a shirt-sleeve environment trailer could be developed and shipped, as well. Portable computing technology will allow instructing the autonomous rover where to take the crew using it as a vehicle.

Searching for images, in the image at tech.co the rover looks to be about 2m tall overall, so it might be large enough for an astronaut to ride on directly, between the panels. It wouldn't be comfortable, but it may be serviceable.


References

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