A private group of startup robots is planning to go to the moon and mine it for water and minerals to sell to humans back on Earth, according to a report on TheVerge.com.
The commercial company backing the alien space robots, Moon Express, says it’s long dreamed of seeing robots dig holes in the moon’s surface and bring up priceless treasures they can sell for a lot of money.
Honeybee Robotics has received four Nasa Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards and two Nasa Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I award to develop new spacecraft systems and enabling technologies.
MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, has been recognized by Nasa’s Johnson Space Center for its “outstanding support” of a robotic upgrade to the International Space Station’s power system which took place in January.
The MDA team based in Houston played a critical role in planning and validating the robotic maneuvering both before and during the mission.
Nasa JSC ground controllers used the 15-degrees-of-freedom Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (Dextre) arm to install six new 430-pound lithium-ion batteries in two power channel integrated electronics assembly pallets.
Darpa’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program is expected to be the foundation of a new business for SSL that will serve both commercial and government operators with repair, upgrade, relocation, and refueling of on-orbit assets.
Howard Lance, chief executive officer, SSL MDA Holdings, says: “This will be SSL’s first spacecraft contract with the Department of Defense in recent years and it is the third time that we have been selected by the US government for a major program in just two months, following our recent selections for Nasa’s Restore-L and Psyche missions.
Graham Mackrell, managing director of precision gearing specialist Harmonic Drive UK, explains why its strain wave gears have been the top choice in space for over 40 years
Anything that goes into space is seen as the pinnacle of human creation. Astronauts are highly trained and are at the peak of physical fitness, space shuttles are crafted by large teams of expert engineers and all the technology used is so high-tech it’s as if it belongs to science fiction.
Many decades ago, the first Harmonic Drive gears were sent into space during the Apollo 15 mission. Even from the beginnings of the space race, the expectations for the technology used were high.
The equipment used in space had to be reliable, compact and lightweight and given the increasing demands on equipment in today’s space missions, it must also now be highly accurate with zero backlash and have high torque capacity.
An escaped space robot has been found holed up inside a cave on a comet after going on the run for more than a year.
Philae, a tiny robotic spacecraft, was sent by the European Space Agency as part of the Rosetta mission.
Philae was designed to autonomously explore and send back data to the main Rosetta spacecraft, but it apparently ran off and scientists have not been able to find it until now.
Matt Taylor, ESA’s Rosetta project scientist, is quoted by CNN as saying: “This wonderful news means that we now have the missing ‘ground-truth’ information needed to put Philae’s three days of science into proper context, now that we know where that ground actually is.”
Nasa has selected 21 research and technology proposals from American small businesses and research institutions that will enable Nasa’s future missions into the solar system and alien worlds further out in space.
The agency says its selections also consider America’s technology-driven economy here on Earth.
The Phase II selectees of Nasa’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are permitted to enter negotiations for possible contract awards worth a combined total of approximately $15.8 million.
Nasa is preparing to launch a solar-powered robotic spacecraft on the agency’s first mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth.
The mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth. It will also help establish the possible existence of alien life forms in outer space.
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and bring a sample back to Earth for intensive study.
Space Systems Loral (SSL), a provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, has received $20.7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to design and build robotic arm flight hardware for the first phase of the agency’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program.
SSL is receiving the funds through MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, and is working with the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which is the prime contractor managing the program.