NSS Phx Monthly Meeting at Humanist Community Center: ASU Lunabotics Team

National Space Society Phoenix Monthly Meeting

hosted by Chuck Lesher

Join us for a Presentation and Demonstration by the ASU Lunabotics Team - They are bringing their robot to show you how they can mine the moon.

This is your tax dollars at work! We are privileged to have a group of Arizona State University students from the School of Earth and Space Exploration, giving us a presentation of the lunar rover they have developed and built under a NASA educational grant. They  gave the same presentation to NASA in May. These young men and woman have worked hard on designing a remote controlled robotic rover to explore the moon's surface.  NASA Fourth Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition will culminate in May at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


The image shows the original mock-up of their rover.  In the background stands the two student leaders of the team, Jim Crowell (left) and Ben Stinnett (right).




What is the Lunabotics Mining Competition?

The Lunabotics Mining Competition is a university-level competition designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities, which may result in clever ideas and solutions that could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The challenge is for students to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous excavator, called a Lunabot, that can collect and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 10 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the lunar simulant, the weight and size limitations of the Lunabot, and the ability to direct the Lunabot from a remote control center. Scoring for the mining category will require teams to consider a number of design operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, and level of autonomy. Click here for the NASA Press Pass:

This is the second year that ASU has competed in the competition. Click here for an article of how they did the first time. Better luck this year!

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  • Richard D.

    Really looking forward to this!

    June 18, 2013

  • Charles Lee L.

    In 1986, when I was in school at the University of Wisconsin studying aerospace engineering, my senior project was sponsored by a NASA educational grant. This grant was to design a Mars habitat capable of sustaining 10-14 people indefinitely. From a class of thirty, I took it upon myself to build a model using a clear plastic dome from a large terrarium, some cardboard and paint. I still have the 300 page engineering writeup we did for it. Then, probably because I wouldn't let anybody else touch my model, I was privileged to be one of 5 classmates to go to Coco Beach at the end of the semester and give NASA a presentation on our work. There were about 20 other universities participating in the program. It is one of the high points of my college days. The only thing to mar the experience was that the Challenger had blown up the January before our little conference. The Cape was almost deserted and the mood lousy. Shit happens.

    June 4, 2013

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