Australia has agreed to build a 20-kilogram semi-autonomous lunar rover for NASA to travel to the moon in 2026 in search of oxygen.
Australia, we are going to the moon. ??
– Australian Space Agency (@AusSpaceAgency) 12 October 2021
The rover would collect the soil containing oxides and NASA would use separate equipment to extract oxygen from that soil, according to a government statement. The oxygen extracted from the lunar surface would ultimately be used to maintain a human presence on the moon and support future missions to Mars.
Australian Space Agency deputy director Anthony Murfett said NASA was impressed with the technology used to remotely control massive dump trucks from 1,600 kilometers away that haul iron ore from mines from Northwest Australia.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the deal would strengthen a relationship with Australia linked to space exploration that dates back more than 50 years.
I am delighted to announce that NASA has signed an agreement with the @AusSpaceAgency to develop a lunar rover! https://t.co/XRL4QnOYwk
– Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) 12 October 2021
The deal depends on whether the rover meets a series of conditions during its development.
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- NASA’s Mars Rover collects second sample of Mars in a week