@Ann, thanks for the links to the robonauts content (the term still sounds pretty dumb to me), they made for some very informative reading. I particularly enjoyed the piece on 3D printing robots. In my opinion, if you can get one of those robots into the Morpheus vehicle NASA is designing and send them both to another planet, the results we get would beat sending any man there anytime.
Good to know that NASA has learnt some very valuable lessons on the importance of getting ready even when there is no pressing mission at hand. Last time they were hard pressed in a race against guys who had done their homework and it was a pretty close cut when it came down to who was going to get to space first. If they keep this up am sure we will be ready for them next time.
It's great to see NASA moving on after the space shuttle. I agree with you, Lou, that it's good for NASA to get out ahead of this so when these future space trips are greenlighted, the technology is there.
That's a really good question, Chuck. The source talked about the landing area as one that has been pre-selected. So perhaps they already know there is some portion of the area that is clear for landing.
Great story, Rob. I'd love the hear the energy discussion surrounding the issue of staying "above the landing area while searching for hazards." If the system determines there is no safe landing area, does it have sufficient energy to go back up and understake a new search?
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