NASA Invites Media to Observe Tests of Lunar Rovers and Spacesuits

NASA's new lunar truck prototype. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 28.05.2008]
News media are invited to a trek on the moon -- or at least an earthly approximation of one.

Robots, rovers and lunar planners from NASA centers across the country will gather at Moses Lake, Wash., in June to perform a series of field tests based on mission-related activities for NASA's planned return to the moon by 2020. A media day will be held June 10 to give reporters a chance to observe the demonstrations.

Media interested in attending should contact Grey Hautaluoma or Stephanie Schierholz at NASA Headquarters no later than June 6.
Access to the test site is restricted and requires a letter of assignment on company letterhead for credentials.

During the media day, robots will simulate lunar exploration, site surveys and outpost construction. Astronauts, engineers, and scientists will wear prototype spacesuits, drive prototype rovers and simulate scientific work. Reporters will be able to observe and photograph these activities and interview engineers involved in the robots' development.

The humans and robots will demonstrate their ability to perform some of the work that NASA's Lunar Architecture Team and studies by the Constellation Program have identified as possible in future lunar exploration. These experiments could inspire new areas of development or help engineers spot complications that might not be obvious in smaller scale laboratories. The advanced capabilities to be demonstrated are being developed by the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate's Exploration Technology Development Program, based at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

The NASA centers involved include Langley, Johnson Space Center, Houston, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, and Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The tests are in preparation for a larger set of experiments scheduled for the fall as part of the Desert Research and Technology Studies project.

For more about NASA's plans to establish an outpost on the moon,