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NASA Moon Robotics Software Space Science Hardware

NASA Tests Hardware, Software On Armadillo Rocket 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the shape-of-things-to-come dept.
porcinist writes "On June 23 NASA successfully tested hardware and software on an Armadillo Rocket. With the end of NASA's Constellation program in sight, NASA is starting to focus on new, innovative exploration programs like Project-M. This project is meant to land a robotic humanoid on the moon in a thousand days. To meet this goal NASA teamed with Armadillo Aerospace and Draper Labs (the lab responsible for creating the original Apollo Guidance Computer) to integrate and flight test a real-time navigation system in only seven weeks. This might be the fastest thing NASA has done in 30 years. Maybe NASA is taking Obama's new vision to heart."
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NASA Tests Hardware, Software On Armadillo Rocket

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  • Re:Why humanoid? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by khallow (566160) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @09:27AM (#32785268)
    Two things. First, the humanoid is the result of millions of years of recent evolution. It's a solid design. Sure, you probably can come up with a better design, but why throw away what already works? That's wasteful. Second, we have millennia of human technology designed for the humanoid form. Why throw that away either? Same argument about waste applies.
  • Seven weeks! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rgravina (520410) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @09:42AM (#32785368)

    NASA teamed with Armadillo Aerospace and Draper Labs ... to integrate and flight test a real-time navigation system in only seven weeks.

    They probably just replaced their Waterfall software development process with something agile, like Scrum. :)

    What's that, three two-week iterations with one one-week pre-launch crunch?

  • Re:Why humanoid? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by openfrog (897716) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @11:04AM (#32785838)

    The idea is telepresence. (...) Of course, the problem is lag, which will utterly prevent any immersion anyway. I think it's dumb, too. (...)

    You make it sound such an evidence that I almost did not take notice; a bit over a 2 seconds time lag (back and forth) "utterly" prevents any immersion?

    Not so sure... Telepresence was also my first thought, and I think this is not dumb at all. Thinking about it, I think this is genius: you get all the advantages of man space exploration without the cost. You get the vital (in terms of funding) wow factor. Furthermore the technology you develop for that might have very useful applications on earth.

    Not dumb, not dumb at all.

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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