Skip to comments.Google Lunar X Prize Robot Built to Find Lunar Water
Posted on 10/16/2012 8:38:44 AM PDT by Celestron14
[Lots of us have Robert Heinleins vision from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress of the Moon becoming a libertarian bastion of freedom that separates from the repressive Earth. This article shows Astrobotics Technology, trying to win the Google Lunar X Prize, developing a drill to survey for water on the Moon. Conservatives and libertarians should be glad that these are both private companies and that we get closer to private colonies! Celestron 14]
October 11, 2012 -- The search for water ice on the moon could be led someday by a robot armed with a 4-foot drill. With the first prototype of the lunar rover, called Polaris, comes the prospect of eventually extracting resources from the moon, asteroids or other planets through space mining.
Polaris is the robot of choice for Astrobotic Technology , one of many private teams competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize for landing robotic explorers on the moon. But Astrobotic also wants to build a lasting business out of its lunar exploration efforts by testing the technologies needed for space mining.
"This rover is a first step toward using off-Earth resources to further human exploration of our solar system," said John Thornton, president of the Pittsburgh-based robotics company, which unveiled the prototype Oct. 8.
Polaris is the size of a golf cart and tall enough to wield a 4-foot drill. It can move a foot per second on its 2-foot-wide wheels and carry 150 pounds (70 kilograms) of drilling equipment and science instruments. Between its heavy drill and batteries and its lightweight wheels and chassis, the robot weighs about 330 pounds (150 kilograms).
Polaris will need to withstand frigid temperatures as low as minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 173 Celsius).
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
Given that, the presence of water on the moon would be evident ... visible in said "atmosphere" ... and no such presence is indicated.
I thought that the article made it clear that this robot is equipped with a drill, implying that it will seek to drill for subsurface water (which previous lunar probes have indicated might exist in the Moon's polar regions), rather than extracting water from the atmosphere, which - as you correctly pointed out - is absent on the Moon.
Andy Williams said that the Moon River was wider than a mile.
Yes, the idea is to drill to find water, mainly at the South Pole inside of deep craters that never are exposed to sunlight. It would be ice. But this could be the source of water for colonies.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.