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Video: NASA Working on Lunar Mining Robot

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Debera Harward
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Re: Cool robot
Debera Harward   5/4/2013 6:05:34 AM
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Ahan Nasa is doing great work , But i have one question this Robot would have been created for a specific surface level and what i think is that over their its not necessary that all the area has the same surface i mean to say the size of the sand granulaes and pebbles may varry as well as this is a nature and nothing cant be constant .So what have they done in order to over come this issue as the robot can stuck as well because of large pebbels .

Elizabeth M
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Re: NASA does it again
Elizabeth M   5/6/2013 9:41:00 AM
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Indeed, Ann, I think this may also have to do with some of the budget concerns NASA has had. Always a bastion of R&D, the agency now has to do more with less. So perhaps it's far better for them to specialize for specific tasks in their robotics research since they don't have the luxury of R&D for R&D's sake anymore. I will check out that slideshow! Partnering up seems to also be a good tactic to keep NASA R&D alive and as innovative as it's always been.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mining Robot
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 1:33:34 PM
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Thanks, Al--I really liked the design concept, not what it is so much as how the engineers worked it out. They described it in more detail in a paper that became inaccessible after I first filed the story; the entire site---NASA's technical reports server--has been down for a month or so.



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mining Robot
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 1:39:30 PM
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Good question, Chuck. The answer is in that technical paper I mentioned in my reply to Al: there, it says "RASSOR shall recharge its battery at the lander using a dust tolerant connector."



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Cool robot
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 1:43:13 PM
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Cabe, thanks for the laugh: the robot is designed to mine materials for use by astronauts while on the Moon, not for shipping back to Earth.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Cool robot
Rob Spiegel   5/6/2013 5:47:32 PM
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Good question Cabe. If this were an issue, it could be solved by taking an equivalent weight of dirt along with the rocket that will bring the payload home.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Cool robot
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2013 4:23:17 PM
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Hmmm, maybe you're right Rob. I hope not, especially if Cabe's points turn out to be accuratre and not so tongue-in-cheek.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Cool robot
Rob Spiegel   5/7/2013 5:20:48 PM
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Yes, that makes sense that the robot would be designed to mine materials for local use. But that could change depending on what they find under all that lunar dust. If the materials they find have great value, they will make it back to Earth.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: NASA does it again
Ann R. Thryft   5/8/2013 12:45:51 PM
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Elizabeth, those are good points about NASA's budget woes and research aims. I think this specialization also means that the basic space rover design platform has been worked out and they can now focus attention on more specialized tasks.

Elizabeth M
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Re: NASA does it again
Elizabeth M   5/9/2013 9:18:13 AM
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Yes, of course, you're right, Ann, but this type of focus likely will have a financial benefit to NASA as well, or at least allow them to disperse funds in the most useful way. Interesting stuff to cover, at any rate! I do enjoy the NASA stories. Will keep an eye out for your updates.

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