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Robotics Moon NASA Science

Moon-Excavation Robots Face Off 61

avishere writes "Student teams designed and built robotic power-lifters to excavate simulated lunar soil (a.k.a. 'regolith') earlier this month, with $750,000 in prizes up for grabs. Excavating regolith, according to NASA, will be an important part of any construction projects or processing of natural resources on the Moon. Interestingly, regolith is especially difficult to dig because its dust particles want to stick together. The whole robotic system has to be sturdy enough to scoop moon dirt and powerful enough to move through the dust while still meeting the weight requirements. The winning excavator, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, lifted 1,103 pounds within the allotted time, and got its creators a sweet $500,000 for their troubles."
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Moon-Excavation Robots Face Off

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  • by cosm ( 1072588 ) <> on Saturday October 31, 2009 @12:04PM (#29935049)
    But what about moon-riot control? Hopefully those lifter-bots are programmed with empathy towards the moon-hippies that chain themselves to their moon rocks. I wonder if there will be an Earth movement along the lines of, well, I guess, 'Grey-Peace' moon hippies against what ever strip-mine ore acquiring process that is eventually developed.

    If a Molotov cocktail is thrown in space, does it make a noise?

    Only Al Gore will know.
  • by arielCo ( 995647 ) on Saturday October 31, 2009 @12:19PM (#29935127)
    Dear Mr./Mrs. cosm,

    On behalf of the Society for the Advancement of Humour through Awkward Reframing, I'd like to convey our admiration for your tenacious and comprehensive example of this not so fine art. We'd be pleased to have you as an Honorary Member.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?