Skip to comments.This tiny rover will test how well small mobile robots can survive on the Moon
Posted on 06/06/2019 5:43:35 AM PDT by vannrox
When Pennsylvania-based aerospace company Astrobotic launches its lander to the Moon within the next couple of years, a four-wheeled robot no bigger than a toaster will be along for the ride. The robotic rover, built by Carnegie Mellon University, will help test just how small rovers can get and still survive on the Moons surface.
Last week, NASA awarded Astrobotic a contract of $79.5 million to carry up to 14 NASA-sponsored payloads on its lander, named Peregrine. Along with those, the lander will carry another 14 from other commercial companies, research organizations, and space agencies. Thats a total of 28 payloads meant to fit on a lander thats just a little over 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
Theres not a lot of room on the Peregrine, which is why the rover, first announced today, has to be small. But creating a tiny, robotic rover that can survive the lunar surfaces extreme swings in temperature, low gravity, and a high radiation environment is no easy task. Typically, rovers are built big and hardy to withstand the harsh environments of other worlds, as well as to carry as many scientific instruments as possible; NASAs Curiosity rover on Mars, for instance, is the size of a car.
(Excerpt) Read more at theverge.com ...
To deal with the ubiquitous space junk floating around earth, new sats must have plans for de-orbiting, reserving fuel as needed for the process. Starlink, the communications network of thousands of sats has this capability.
Where there is miniaturization of robotic lunar rovers, there is quantity - lots of them milling around, and dying.
Doesn’t sound like there is much concern for lunar litter. Will there be future lunar garbagemen that clean up, as done today on earth when liberals march and protest?
Maybe they’ll call it the Moonba
I like it!
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