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NASA robots on Moses Lake dunes

According to the Tri-City Herald, WA, NASA engineers in space suits have tested new robotic vehicles for two weeks on the dunes of Moses Lake, WA. These robots could be used on future NASA missions on the Moon and on Mars. According to the newspaper, five robotic vehicles were tested: 'a six-wheeled lunar truck, a six-legged all-terrain vehicle that can carry payloads or astronaut habitats, an autonomous drilling rover, a mapping robot and a crane that can stand on its head to load itself onto a transport.' But read more...
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Written by Roland Piquepaille, Inactive on

According to the Tri-City Herald, WA, NASA engineers in space suits have tested new robotic vehicles for two weeks on the dunes of Moses Lake, WA. These robots could be used on future NASA missions on the Moon and on Mars. According to the newspaper, five robotic vehicles were tested: 'a six-wheeled lunar truck, a six-legged all-terrain vehicle that can carry payloads or astronaut habitats, an autonomous drilling rover, a mapping robot and a crane that can stand on its head to load itself onto a transport.' But read more...

Below are five pictures taken by Paul T. Erickson, from the Tri-City Herald, WA. They have been picked from a this 70-picture photo gallery. (Credit for all pictures: Paul T. Erickson, Tri-City Herald) I hope they will not sue me to use some of these pictures, given that I hope it will increase their audience.

NASA robots at Moses Lake #1
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NASA robots at Moses Lake #2
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NASA robots at Moses Lake #3
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NASA robots at Moses Lake #4
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NASA robots at Moses Lake #5
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Now, let's go back to the Tri-City Herald article to learn why NASA decided to use the Moses Lake dunes as a field test. "NASA chose the dunes for the demonstrations because the sand, mixed with ash from Mount St. Helens, is a suitable replica of lunar soil, called regolith."

And this is the conclusion of the article. "Fred Horz, a geologist for NASA in Houston, said it has been too long since the United States last was committed to lunar trips. A planetary scientist for NASA since the Apollo missions, Horz has stayed busy over the decades studying samples of materials from comets, meteorites, Mars -- even cosmic dust in the earth's stratosphere. But lunar exploration excites him in a different way, he said. 'You betcha. You're always in love with your first love, you know?' he said with a laugh."

And big thanks to Joe Chapman and Paul T. Erickson of the Tri-City Herald, WA.

Sources: Joe Chapman, Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA, June 11, 2008

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