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NASA Radar-Ready Rover Helps Solve Murder Case

NASA Rover
If the whole space exploration gig doesn't work out, NASA might have a future in solving crimes... on Earth. According to Popular Science, a NASA rover equipped with ground-penetrating radar technology recently helped solve an 18-year-old California murder case.

Back in 1991, Dawn Sanchez vanished after having last been seen in the car of her boyfriend, Bernardo Bass. Bass was a suspect, but police couldn't gather enough hard evidence to charge him with the crime. The case was closed until, years later, an informant told police that the car had been taken apart, and buried in an abandoned lot in Alviso, California. But there was a problem: the lot was littered with tons of trashed metal parts, which would make locating the pieces of Bass's car nearly impossible. That's where NASA stepped in.

The space agency, along with Senseta, Inc., had been working on a rover designed for underground surveying on distant planets. After being contacted by the district attorney, NASA loaned the authorities a Senseta MAX 5.0A rover that mapped the lot and pinpointed the spots where the car parts would most likely be found. After digging, authorities did find pieces of Bass's car. The case was re-opened and Bass plead no contest to manslaughter charges.

Screenwriters are probably already working on a small-screen adaptation of this story -- whether an episode of 'CSI,' or a Lifetime movie. We'll help them out with the title: 'Rovers, Romance and Radar.' [From: Popular Science]

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Tags: ColdCase, crime, murder, NASA, NasaRover, radar, robot, robots, sensetamax, space, top