NASA to Send ''Robonauts'' to Moon by 2013

Over the past week, NASA announced plans to "land an operational humanoid robot on the moon in 1,000 days". That means we could have robots doing an Armstrong on the home planet's natural satellite come 2013.

"Project M" will have these humanoid robots land on the moon, and carry out experiments designed by students. The objective is to get the American public—particularly curious school kids—excited about space travel again. Given NASA's track record for planning and implementation, the 3-year timetable is quite demanding.

Of particular note—other than these robonauts current lack of a lower body—is that construction of the lander for this future moon mission will be outsourced to Armadillo Aerospace.  Armadillo was founded by John D. Carmack, known for his programming work on popular shooters like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake.

NASA Turns to Caddo Mills-Based Armadillo Aerospace to Put "Robonauts" on Moon by 2013

  • Why robots, is it not safe for humans to travel through the radiation belt yet? Americas already done it once, havn't they?
  • ryanb213
    LiesWhy robots, is it not safe for humans to travel through the radiation belt yet? Americas already done it once, havn't they?They do not have the Apollo rockets anymore. Shuttles are retired, and they cant go their anymore anyways.
  • kckrich
    zomgosh at the people above me.

    Anyways, finally a good use of tax payers money! Before launch maybe they'll have created a robot to help clean up the oil spill! Oh wait-that would be useful-never mind then.
  • let the did-we-land-on-the-moon debate begins
  • baracubra
    ^^ I say we didn't HAHA! :p
  • DjEaZy
    ... newer landed...
  • ksampanna
    Yeah, first do clean the oil spill
  • doorspawn
    While I applaud doing more stuff there and working with students to increase interest, isn't there better things to do up there, and better vehicles to do it with that humanoids (especially with seconds of latency)?

    I mean, landing on the moon is still rocket science and prices are still astronomical. We don't have rovers or satellites there yet and there are many important things to know (especially if we ever want to do anything productive there).
  • shloader
    Exactly, doorspawn. We need to know the viability of future He-3 lunar extraction
  • the recent manned moon missions were canceled because it was going to cost billions to do what we've already done. that money has now been reallocated and increased to r&d for things like life support systems for long term space travel, automated docking, and support robots like the ones mentioned in this article. we can go to the moon, but I agree that its a waste of money if we could use it for more r&d rather than reinventing the wheel. we are soo far from manned mars missions