Lunar Mobility

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Destination: Moon

ESA has released this beautiful and informative video called Destination: Moon about lunar exploration, enjoy!

Registration Opens for NASA Night Rover Energy Challenge

Night Rover Challenge Logo. Credits: Cleantech Open

Registration is open for teams seeking to compete in the
$1.5 million energy storage competition known as the Night Rover Challenge, sponsored by NASA and the Cleantech Open of Palo Alto, Calif.

Study Aims to Maximize Scientific Return from Moon Rovers

South Pole-Aitken Basin. Credits: LPI

[PSI Press Release - 24.07.2009]
NASA and other national space agencies are again focused on lunar exploration, which raises the question of how to best use semi-autonomous rovers to explore the Moon’s surface.

R. Aileen Yingst, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, is leading a group of Mars-rover veterans who are conducting field studies to answer that question.

Beyond Apollo: Moon Tech Takes a Giant Leap

The ATHLETE rover climbing a hill. Credits: NASA

[Science@NASA Release - 04.04.2009]
The flight computer onboard the Lunar Excursion Module, which landed on the Moon during the Apollo program, had a whopping 4 kilobytes of RAM and a 74 KB "hard drive." In places, the craft's outer skin was as thin as two sheets of aluminum foil.

It worked well enough for Apollo. Back then, astronauts stayed on the lunar surface for only a few days at a time. But when NASA sends people back to the Moon starting around 2020, the plan will be much more ambitious — and the hardware is going to need a major upgrade.

NASA Invites Media to View Lunar Rover Driven at Inaugural Parade

NASA's Lunar Electric Rover. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 15.01.2009]
Reporters are invited to attend a briefing about the NASA Lunar Electric Rover concept vehicle that will be driven down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington as part of the presidential inaugural parade on Jan. 20. The rover is part of a new generation of prototype vehicles that NASA is evaluating for use when astronauts return to the moon in 2020.

The briefing will be held in the NASA Headquarters auditorium at 300 E Street, SW, on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 1:30 p.m. EST. After the briefing, NASA officials will escort participants to the vehicle and demonstrate some of the rover's capabilities for reporters.

Racers Get Ready! NASA's Great Moonbuggy Registration Begins

NASA Great Moonbuggy Race logo. Credits: NASA

Registration is open for NASA's 16th annual Great Moonbuggy Race, taking place April 3-4, 2009, in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA Tests Lunar Rovers and Oxygen Production Technology

NASA's new lunar truck prototype. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 13.11.2008]
NASA has concluded nearly two weeks of testing equipment and lunar rover concepts on Hawaii's volcanic soil. The agency's In Situ Resource Utilization Project, which studies ways astronauts can use resources found at landing sites, demonstrated how people might prospect for resources on the moon and make their own oxygen from lunar rocks and soil.

The tests helped NASA gain valuable information about systems that could enable a sustainable and affordable lunar outpost by minimizing the amount of water and oxygen that must be transported from Earth.

ESA's Lunar Robotics Challenge: A tough task for the student teams

Surrey University SELENE rover. Credits: The University of Surrey Lunar Rover Team

[ESA Press Release - 27.10.2008]
The Teide volcanic peak on the island of Tenerife acted as a mock-up of the Moon landscape last week, with eight European student teams tuning, testing and driving their lunar rovers in preparation for a robotics competition that took place during the dark nights of last weekend.

Roving on the Moon is not easy. Lunar robotic explorers have to travel in a vacuum, over rough and steep terrain covered by crust and dust. The Sun heats the rovers up to 110°C and, when driving into a shadow, the temperature can drop to -100°C, or almost -200°C in the polar regions. The rovers have to be remote-controlled or able to steer themselves autonomously, making manoeuvres and scientific research very difficult.

NASA Invites Reporters to Observe Lunar Rover Tests in Arizona

NASA's new lunar truck prototype. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 15.08.2008]
NASA is practicing for future lunar road trips, and reporters are invited to observe the activities. The annual Desert RATS, or Research and Technology Studies, field test will be held in Arizona during October, and NASA will host a media day on Oct. 24. The tests help NASA engineers identify transportation and spacewalking needs for NASA's return to the moon by 2020 and preparation for human journeys to Mars.

Eight teams taking up ESA’s Lunar Robotics Challenge

Artist impression of Moonbase. Credits: ESA

[ESA Press Release - 02.07.2008]
As interest in exploration of the Moon soars among the world’s space agencies, ESA, through it's General Studies Programme, has challenged university students to develop a robotic vehicle that is capable of working in difficult terrain, comparable to that found at the lunar poles. Eight university teams have been selected to proceed to the design stage of ESA’s Lunar Robotics Challenge.

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