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Moon Space NASA

NASA's New Lunar Rover in Action 96

holy_calamity writes "New Scientist has video of Nasa's new Chariot lunar rover in action on simulated moon surface in Houston. As the associated story explains, the two-ton "truck" has a top speed of 20km/hour and is currently fitted with a plough, with additional back hoe and drill attachments to come. Sure it's not glamorous — more of a lunar tractor — but sure looks handy for establishing that permanent moon base NASA wants."
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NASA's New Lunar Rover in Action

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @09:46AM (#22868648)
    No, they've spent the last 35 years just doing enough to justify their budget each year and making grandiose promises to keep people interested. They know damn well they're not going to the moon or Mars. It's all just PR and budget hearings for them now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @10:15AM (#22868886)
    Why do we not try and 'pave' parts of the moon we want to land on? Ok, granted it'd probably be pretty difficult (rocket science and all that...) to land in the exact same 30m x 30m grid every time, but the point remains. If we have so many concerns about moon dust and what damage it can cause, why don't we solidify a large section of the top layer?

    I refuse to believe I'm the first person to suggest this, but I have yet to see it mentioned anywhere else.

    My suggestion, since that's what your thinking at this point, is some type of ceramic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @10:18AM (#22868918)
    Certainly underground buildings would be the way to go for all the anticipated expansions of lunar and mars colonies. The lighter atmosphere of Mars (and lack of any on the moon) would allow hits by meteors that would never make it through Earth's denser atmosphere.

    Additionally, the moon and Mars lack a strong magnetic shield like that of the Earth, allowing more solar and cosmic radiation to hit surface dwellers.

    But before we start planning on building moon/mars dozers to build any underground bunkers or surface buildings, shouldn't we first learn how to create a working biosphere that doesn't require resupply of air from outside such as the biosphere projects up to date have? Delivering fresh air to the moon and Mars will be much more difficult than sending it to the relatively much closer space station.
  • by Knitebane ( 64590 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @10:32AM (#22869054) Homepage
    It's #88 now you insensitive clod!
  • by TomRC ( 231027 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @11:22AM (#22869612)
    I think it really needs a roll-bar or cage to protect the lunar worker. Our terrestrial intuitions about what looks stable may not be accurate for the mooon.
  • Re:Robotics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TomRC ( 231027 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @11:41AM (#22869852)
    Well DUH!

    We could have been doing THAT for the past 30 years or so using tele-operated robots. By now we'd have a substantial robotic base, likely mining lunar water to make rocket fuel and lunar soil to make fuel tanks. But all that would've done is cut the cost of space missions about in half, while greatly advancing the state of robotics.

    Who'd want any of that?!
  • by pleappleappleap ( 1182301 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:23PM (#22871176) Homepage
    They'd be able to succeed if there weren't luddites like you cutting their budget.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell