Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Construction Company Helps NASA With Lunar Lifting

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(Image Credit: Universe Today)

As we gaze towards the heavens, and wonder about the future, one often overlooked aspect of space colonization is construction.

Whether we like it or not, we may have to actually build houses on the Moon, as not every lunar colony may be able to inflate its way towards habitation.

One company, called Caterpillar, is seeking to create a remote controlled construction machines to help NASA build bases on lunar soil.

(Universe Today) Caterpillar has proposed a multi-terrain loader for lunar surface development. Currently, they are working with NASA to develop the technology to augment existing earth moving equipment with sensors and on-board processors to provide time-delayed tele-operational control.

The loader would be able to undertake regolith moving such as grading, leveling, trenching, strip-mining, excavating and habitat covering. It also could be used for construction of lunar bases, the deployment or relocation of surface assets, as well as for mobility on the moon.

Caterpillar is working on not only remote operated machines, but also machines able to run independently of their human masters, similar to how the Martian rovers function.

While it is always preferable to have humans in the drivers seat, having our robotic friends prepare the way ahead of us may help to drop the cost of inhabiting Earth's nearest neighbor.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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