Canada to contribute to NASA mission to put Gateway orbiter around moon

The Japan Times

OTTAWA - Canada will join NASA's space mission to put an orbiter around the moon in a few years, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday. "Canada is going to the moon," Trudeau told a press conference that included a live video link from the International Space Station with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. NASA plans to build a small space station, dubbed Gateway, in the moon's orbit by 2026. It will serve as a way-station for trips to and from the lunar surface, but will not be permanently crewed like the International Space Station (ISS), currently in Earth's orbit. According to the Canadian Space Agency, Gateway will provide living space for astronauts, a docking station for visiting spacecraft and research laboratories.


Off-world Robotic Excavation for Large-scale Habitat Construction and Resource Extraction

AAAI Conferences

This paper describes technologies we have developed to perform autonomous large-scale off-world excavation. A scale dragline excavator of size similar to that required for lunar excavation was made capable of autonomous control. Systems have been put in place to allow remote operation of the machine from anywhere in the world. Algorithms have been developed for complete autonomous digging and dumping of material taking into account machine and terrain constraints and regolith variability. Experimental results are presented showing the ability to autonomously excavate and move large amounts of regolith and accurately place it at a specified location.


Lockheed Martin unveils designs for lunar lander double the size of the Apollo capsule

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Lockheed Martin has revealed an ambitious plan for a giant lunar lander that could let astronauts roam the lunar surface for two weeks at a time. The 46 foot (14m), single-stage spacecraft can carry up to four astronauts to the lunar surface, where they can stay for up to 14 days before the vehicle's engines blast it back into lunar orbit. This vehicle would be twice as tall as the Lunar Module used during the Apollo missions to the Moon nearly half a century ago, which carried two astronauts for short stays of no more than a few days. The 14-meter high, single-stage spacecraft can carry up to four astronauts to the lunar surface, where they can stay for up to 14 days before the vehicle's engines blast it back into lunar orbit. Lockheed Martin's concept would use NASA's planned Deep Space Gateway space station as a'mothership', ferrying astronauts to and from the surface.


A Perspective on Human-Robot Interaction for NASA’s Human Exploration Missions

AAAI Conferences

As astronauts move deeper into space they must also become more autonomous from mission control on Earth. As a result, astronauts must take on additional responsibilities for jobs typically performed by flight controllers today, and crew workload and training requirements are expected to increase. Robotic automation has potential to reduce crew workload and training needs. Additionally robots with some level of autonomy can reduce human risk by per-forming hazardous tasks that crew would otherwise have to perform. We are working with NASA to investigate new concepts of operation for astronauts interacting with autonomous robots in space, including remote supervision of a planetary robot by an astronaut orbiting the planet and remote understanding of robotic activities without eyes-on monitoring. We also are developing techniques for computing and analyzing agent performance for the roles and responsibilities needed for these ConOps, and have developed software to compute these performance measures for humans and robots in-line during mission operations. We describe results of using this software to monitor rover performance during multiple NASA robotic field tests and analog mission simulations.


Lockheed Martin unveils designs for lunar lander double the size of the Apollo capsule

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Lockheed Martin has revealed an ambitious plan for a giant lunar lander that could let astronauts roam the lunar surface for two weeks at a time. The 46 foot (14m), single-stage spacecraft can carry up to four astronauts to the lunar surface, where they can stay for up to 14 days before the vehicle's engines blast it back into lunar orbit. This vehicle would be twice as tall as the Lunar Module used during the Apollo missions to the Moon nearly half a century ago, which carried two astronauts for short stays of no more than a few days. The 14-meter high, single-stage spacecraft can carry up to four astronauts to the lunar surface, where they can stay for up to 14 days before the vehicle's engines blast it back into lunar orbit. Lockheed Martin's concept would use NASA's planned Deep Space Gateway space station as a'mothership', ferrying astronauts to and from the surface.