The Robo-Dog Spot as a cave explorer. Such robots will find us a home on the Moon and Mars – NeeWS

The American Space Agency and DARPA are jointly implementing a very interesting project that is to result in the construction of robots that will replace people or support them in exploration missions of alien worlds. Team CoSTAR some time ago started experiments with the most famous robo-dog in the world, namely the Boston Dynamics Spot.

Engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Instute of Technology are working together to develop advanced software and technologies to build robots capable of autonomous cave exploration on the Moon and Mars. Work is progressing at a very fast pace, as there is little time left before NASA’s planned manned flight to the moon.

It is in the subsurface caves that the first human colonies would arise. In this way, astronauts would be protected against harmful radiation, temperature changes, and would have easy access to water ice, which could be used to obtain water, oxygen and fuel for powering rockets, mining machinery and transport vehicles.

The CoSTAR team showed the results of their Spot robot tests in photos taken in the caves of the Lava Beds National Monument in Northern California. They were formed as a result of the flow of lava from volcanoes. It is these caves that are commonly found on the Moon or Mars. Engineers boasted that the robo-dog had no problem crossing one of the caves in autonomous mode, and even mapped it all using cameras and LiDAR radar.

According to data collected from space probes that have recently studied the Silver Globe, it appears that the caves there can be up to tens of kilometers wide. Researchers at Purdue University announced the sensational ones after making meticulous calculations, from which we learn that a cave over 1 kilometer wide would be very stable. So they must be very common there.

On the other hand, if the lava-carved tunnels have arches similar to those found in terrestrial caves, they can be stable up to 5 kilometers wide. Of course, there may be such ones up to 20 kilometers wide, because there are conditions for this.

Interestingly, this would not be possible on Earth, but on the Moon we have much weaker gravity, and lunar rocks are not subject to as much weather and erosion as Earth’s. Scientists believe that the caves were formed in valleys that were filled with lava when the Silver Globe experienced tremendous volcanic activity. Its scale may be shown by the fact that valleys covered as much as 17 percent of the Moon’s surface.

NASA scientists believe that such huge caves can easily accommodate huge cities that we intend to build on the natural satellite of our planet in the future. This is great news for all people who have been dreaming since the dawn of time about transforming humanity into an interplanetary species and living in foreign objects traversing the solar system.

Source: / Photo. CoSTAR / NASA / CalTech

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