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Lunar Mobility

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NASA Awards Contract for Constellation Spacesuit for the Moon

NASA moon spacesuit concept. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 13.06.2008]
NASA has awarded a contract to Oceaneering International Inc. of Houston, for the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system. The spacesuit will protect astronauts during Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and, by 2020, the surface of the moon.

The subcontractors to Oceaneering are Air-Lock Inc. of Milford, Conn., David Clark Co. of Worcester, Mass., Cimarron Software Services Inc.

NASA Tests Lunar Robots and Spacesuits on Earthly Moonscape

The ATHLETE rover climbing a hill. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 13.06.2008]
Conditions on the moon will be harsher, but prototype NASA robotic vehicles braved sand storms and unprecedented temperature swings this month on sand dunes near Moses Lake, Wash., to prepare for future lunar expeditions. Teams from seven NASA centers and several universities conducted the tests from June 2-13.

"The goal was to gain hands-on experience with specific technical challenges anticipated when humans return to the moon by 2020, begin to explore the lunar surface, and set up outposts," said Test Director Bill Bluethmann of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Human space exploration in the future

Artist impression of Moonbase. Credits: ESA

[ESA Vodcast - 30.05.2008]
To land on the Moon and on Mars, scientists need a mix of human and robotic missions to know in advance what challenges must be met. A video report from the Berlin International Airshow's Space Pavilion on the future of human exploration in space.

In February 2008, the Agency's long-awaited Columbus science lab was successfully delivered to the International Space Station, and on 3 April, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle - the Jules Verne - made a spectacular automated docking to the Russian ISS module, establishing ESA as a full partner in ISS operations.

Shaping the Moonscape: Workers Ready Course for NASA's 15th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

NASA Great Moonbuggy Race logo. Credits: NASA

Each year around this time, John Tripp walks across a lunar surface, pondering the challenges ahead for explorers brave enough to take on its cratered terrain. For now, his "moon" is a winding ribbon of cement footpaths looped around Huntsville's famed U.S. Space and Rocket Center, where Tripp is a construction foreman.

NASA Team Demonstrates Robot Technology For Moon Exploration

NASA's new lunar truck prototype. Credits: NASA

During the 3rd Space Exploration Conference Feb. 26-28 in Denver, NASA will exhibit a robot rover equipped with a drill designed to find water and oxygen-rich soil on the moon.

"Resources are the key to sustainable outposts on the moon and Mars," said Bill Larson, deputy manager of the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project. "It's too expensive to bring everything from Earth. This is the first step toward understanding the potential for lunar resources and developing the knowledge needed to extract them economically."

Students Gear Up For NASA's Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

The Apollo 17 rover on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

NASA is looking for a fast set of wheels. The 15th annual Great Moonbuggy Race is set for April 4-5. During the race, dozens of high school and college teams careen around a track at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. They pilot wheeled rovers of their own design, and perhaps launch their future as the next generation of lunar explorers.

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