Australian rover will explore the lunar surface in 2026

CAMBERRA, ($1=1.36 Australian Dollars) – The Australian Space Agency has signed an agreement with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] to create a rover for exploration of the lunar surface, which is scheduled to ship in 2026, learned citing a NASA statement on Tuesday.

“The agency [NASA – ed.] has signed a new agreement with the Australian Space Agency that will assist both countries in astronaut and robotics missions on the moon,” the report said.

“In particular, a consortium of Australian enterprises and research organizations will develop a small rover capable of operating on the lunar surface. The rover will be able to extract and transfer lunar regolith [crumbled rocks and dust] to the NASA ISRU resource extraction system on a commercial lunar module. Such a rover can be sent to the Moon. not earlier than 2026,” the release notes.

As part of the agreement, the Australian government will provide $ 150 million. Technologies will be developed to help human research on the moon and the scientific missions of both agencies. Australian experts say their main task is the development of robotic systems for work on the ground, as well as sensor and resource extraction technologies.

With the help of ISRU, specialists will try to extract oxygen from the lunar regolith. According to NASA, the lunar soil contains oxygen in the form of chemical compounds with elements like iron and silicon. Testing this technology on a rover will help develop larger and more powerful technology in the future so that astronauts can use the resources mined on the Moon to create rocket fuel and other materials and substances necessary for the mission.

It is also reported that in addition to collecting and storing soil for the ISRU system, the rover will be equipped with an adjacent soil extraction system to increase the chances of test success.

NASA froze Space X contract for the moon

As we reported in August, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] has suspended the contract for the development of a human landing system on the lunar surface until November 2021, the main contractor of which is the American private aerospace company SpaceX.

It is reported that NASA has decided to “freeze” the contract to speed up the trial, which began after Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin filed a federal petition with the US court on August 13 to verify the legality of NASA’s decision to select Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop the landing system. man to the moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis program.

“NASA has voluntarily suspended work with SpaceX on the Human Landing Lunar Landing System (HLS) from August 19 to November 1. In exchange for a temporary shutdown, the parties have agreed to expedite court proceedings, which will end November 1,” a NASA spokesman told SpaceNews.

In April of this year, Blue Origin filed a protest with the US Audit Office in connection with NASA’s choice of SpaceX to send a man to the moon as part of the Artemis program.


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