Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Shane McGlaun - Feb 2, 2016, 7:00am CST
Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Scientists and engineers in Hawaii are working hard on a very interesting lander that could be sent to the Moon or Mars to help get the surface of the planet ready for humans. The lander seen here is called Pisces and in the tradition of spacecraft and other hardware, the name stands for Pacific International Space Center for Exploration.

Pisces is a teleoperated robot that has built a landing pad here on Earth to prove that it can perform. The reason the bot is building a landing pad is that the dust on Mars and the Moon is a challenge and will stick to everything potentially causing harm to sensitive components on spacecraft.

To prevent the dust from being kicked up on the moon or Mars, a flat landing pad is needed. The paving stones used in the initial test were made using materials at hand, something that the robot would also have to do on the Moon or elsewhere. The pavers were made from basalt that was turned into concrete.

In a real mission the Pisces robot would go to the moon ahead of humans, harvest basalt, crush it, mix it, and use a solar furnace to make paving stones that it would then build a landing pad out of. The video is apparently of poor quality, but you can get the gist of what the robot is doing.

SOURCE: Spectrum


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