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Golden, Colorado – NASA sand others are on the move, and their moving fast. Founded just a few years ago Lunar Outpost is on its way to excavate the moon. Bechtel and NASA are pushing the advancement and it is a go with awards in the millions.
Who & What
Colorado School of Mines’ Lunar Outpost is creating technologies for autonomous lunar excavation and building. As part of NASA’s Lunar Surface Technology Research (LuSTR) program, Lunar Outpost and the Center for Space Resources at Colorado School of Mines are working towards autonomous site extraction of minerals and processing including excavation, compaction and building processes for support thereof.
The conglomerates state the ultimate objective of the ASPECT project, one of only three university-led initiatives selected by NASA to research technology for living and working on the Moon, is the autonomous establishment of a safe and efficient lunar landing site.
This will be accomplished by relocating boulders, shifting regolith, and leveling, grading, and compacting the lunar surface in preparation for the building of a landing pad for a big lunar lander.
The ASPECT project is being administrated by Colorado School of Mines in conjunction with Lunar Outpost, Michigan Technological University, and Bechtel.
The Rover Mobility Element of the project is provided by Lunar Outpost using their space-ready MAPP lunar rovers and HOUND terrestrial autonomous robots based on current gold and mineral mining equipment knowledge, search and analysis.
HOUND, the Earth-based counterpart to the ASPECT rover, is deployed in a range of sectors, including oil and gas, construction, and defense.
The HOUND rover from Lunar Outpost provides autonomous site assessment and preparation, delivering value to a wide range of conglomerates on Earth while aiding the development of essential future spaceflight technology.
For this project, Lunar Outpost is utilizing its knowledge in dust reduction and heat technology from the creation of its MAPP rover line to create a strong, cutting-edge Rover Mobility Element to assist the ASPECT lunar excavation and building equipment.
The companies state this equipment and build out of these processing facilities will assist in autonomous building tasks, lunar geology and terrain.
The institution is home to the Space Resources Graduate School, which is the first program in the world to focus on how to identify, access, utilize, and develop extraterrestrial resources.
Michigan Tech will complete the project team by providing the compaction mechanism and crucial modeling skills to assess and confirm the landing pad’s features and demonstration. Betchel will conduct a subscale vacuum test that will simulate the eventual lunar operation of ASPECT.
On the Mines campus in Golden, Colorado, the ASPECT project will culminate with a terrestrial demonstration of the autonomous building of a future lunar landing pad.