from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Astronauts aren’t expected to walk on the surface of the moon or Mars or a large asteroid.. or any other space object for quite some time. But in the meantime, space robots are picking up the slack and doing our dirty work. So far, only 3 countries have landed a probe on the moon, but as robot technology advances, it seems likely that we’ll have a lot more rovers crawling around on the surfaces of extraterrestrial objects. Here are just a few robots to keep an eye on as they poke around our solar system for us.
- Exploring caves on the moon would be a pretty dangerous mission for a human astronaut, but a robot designed to crawl down deep holes and tunnels might be able to explore some really fascinating places beyond our world. Some caverns on the moon appear too big to be craters, and these possible lava tubes could be nice spots (protected from radiation) for a moon base station. [url]
- NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars has discovered at least a couple significant findings over the last 10 years its been there. The Mars rover found evidence of gypsum and pH-neutral water existing on the red planet, and it just encountered a mysterious rock named “Pinnacle Island” that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. [url]
- The Chinese space agency recently landed a roving robot on the moon, the first robot rover to visit our nearest natural satellite since 1976 (Russia’s Luna 24). The Chinese lunar rover (Yutu or “Jade Rabbit”) is sending back some nice panoramic photography, and the 300-pound robot is designed to remain operational for at least a year. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.