London: British astronaut Tim Peake, who is currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS), will test drive a robot on Earth from space.
He will command the robot to roll around a giant sandpit in Stevenage town that simulates the surface of Mars.
According to BBC report on Friday, the programme is part of the European Space Agency project that aims to learn how astronauts can control remote systems on other worlds.
The programme known as Meteron (Multi-Purpose End-To-End Robotic Operation Network) has already seen Danish ISS crewman Andreas Mogensen get a robot on Earth to put pegs in a series of holes.
Tim Peake will drive a prototype Mars rover into a darkened "cave" to find and map a number of targets.
Airbus DS is leading the development of the rover that Esa will send to Mars in 2018 or, more likely, in 2020. As part of this project, it uses a number of "breadboard" robots to test flight hardware and software.
Peake will control the breadboard named Bridget.
He will command the vehicle to drive up to targets inside the cave that have been marked with ultraviolet paint.
Illuminated by a light on Bridget, he will centre these markings in the camera view and then notify ground control.
(With IANS inputs)