Nasa funds autonomous robot construction on the Moon

The moon (Marbo/Dreamstime)
Three projects helmed by US universities have each been awarded a maximum of $2m over two years by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) to develop lunar infrastructure technology.

The three teams will develop technologies for living and working on the Moon using lunar resources for construction and creating electronics that can work in the Moon’s cold climate.

The three projects are:

  • Autonomous Construction: Led by the Colorado School of Mines, it will explore autonomous robot construction methods on the Moon’s surface
  • Extracting Resources: The Missouri University of Science and Technology will use magnetic and electrostatic technologies to more efficiently separate calcium- and aluminium-containing minerals from the Moon’s soil
  • Extremely Cold Electronics: Auburn University will analyse recent lunar missions to create new electronics that cope with low temperatures.

The projects are part of Nasa’s Artemis programme, which aims to send astronauts to the Moon’s lunar south pole, which would be the first landing there since 1972.

Dr Prasun Desai, Nasa’s Space Technology Mission Directorate deputy associate administrator, said: “Creating the technologies we need to explore the Moon requires leveraging expertise from and partnering with academia and industry alike.

“These projects show the integral role that universities will play in building humanity’s sustainable presence on the Moon.”

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