Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

NASA has nothing on these moon-bound robots

RATE THIS! +37
Posted in Science on 30th Jun, 2014 01:03 AM by AlexMuller
Astrobotic’s autonomous Autolanding System successfully directed a suborbital rocket called the Xombie (pronounced zombie, in case you’re wondering) to perform a simulated moon landing remotely and without astronauts at the controls at a remote landing strip in the desert of Southern California.
 
This is a big deal as the race to privatize space continues unabated, witness the Herculean efforts of Elon Musk and ,to a lesser extent, Richard Branson, and small space companies like Astrobotic, based in Pittsburgh, are leading the charge.
 
While NASA supplied and paid for the rocket, it was Astrobotic chief executive John Thornton and his small team that designed the landing system and installed it on the NASA rocket. Incredibly, the Autolanding System vectored the craft to a soft landing while intuitively avoiding simulated “space” debris on the landing field in the Mojave Desert. All on its own.
 
“We bolted the guidance system to the rocket, it went up to 250 meters, and then simulated a lunar trajectory down to the surface, just as if it were landing on the moon,” Thornton told VentureBeat. Astrobotic’s chief tech guru Kevin Peterson elaborated.
 
“Conceptually, this is like the Apollo missions where the astronauts navigated to a safe landing by looking out the window of the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module),” he said. “In this case, we have an onboard computer instead of an astronaut, and the cameras, IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), and software are so precise that they can track the craft’s location to within a few meters.”

Tags: MoonNASAspacelunar landerXPrizeprivate spaceflight

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-30
+3
Astrobotic could be an important parter for NASA and another good example how private companies can make great contribution to space explorations. Great
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-30
+1
Astrobotic must be more than thrilled at the successful landing. This is a huge step to privatize commercial space landings on the moon. Astrobotic’s Autolanding System took only eight months to design. Amazing!
Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-30
+2
Great boost for space explorations. Moon is our natural target, so close and yet we should know so much more about it
5 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-30
+2
The big idea here is for creating a robotic service to deliver payloads to the moon- if successful, this will be the first international commercial mission bringing unmanned payloads to the moon Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-30
+1
Interest in moon is getting more intense and it is clear that we expect that will help our life on Earth. As technology has advanced, and concerns about the future of humanity on Earth have increased, the argument that space colonization is an achievable and worthwhile goal has gained momentum Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-30
+1
Some believe that there are trillions of dollars of
mineral resources on the moon waiting to be exploited The moon has more exploitable mineral resources than the earth. On earth we can only mine a thin slice of the crust due but on the moon this is much less of a problem. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-30
+0
Everything we fight about on Earth, all the resources are available in infinite quantities in space! But bringing it to Earth is not yet possible Reply
Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2017-08-21 19:26:00
    Darmiyan’s software detects early stages of Alzheimer’s..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-08-21 19:20:53
    Google needs to pay Apple a fortune to remain the default.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-08-21 19:15:22
    Artificial Intelligence beats doctors at diagnosing.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-08-20 16:55:58
    Computer Approaches Human Skill for First Time in Mapping.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-08-20 16:51:23
    Researchers use polystyrene to make next-generation of.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me