Tags: lunar | robots | test | sicily | mount etna

Lunar Robots on Mount Etna in Test for Moon Mission

Image: Lunar Robots on Mount Etna in Test for Moon Mission
Scientists from German Aerospace Center are seen working as they test some robots on Mount Etna, Italy July 2, 2017. (Antonio Parrinello/Reuters)

Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017 03:30 PM

A robot wheels across a rocky, windswept landscape that looks like the surface of some distant planet from a science fiction film. But it is not in outer space, it's on the slopes of Europe's most active volcano.

Mount Etna, in Sicily, is a test bed for the approximately three-foot high, four-wheeled machine ahead of a future mission to the moon. It is being conducted by the German Aerospace Centre, the agency which runs Germany's space programme.

The programme has enlisted experts from Germany, Britain, the United States and Italy to research ROBEX (Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments) with the aim of improving robotic equipment that will be used in space.

"This is aimed at simulating a future, hypothetical landing mission on the moon or Mars and they use a lot of robots which are there to transport and install different instruments", said Boris Behncke, a volcanologist from the National Vulcanology Institute in Catania, near Mount Etna.

Scientists also hope to use the robots to explore the depths of Mount Etna and relay back useful technical data on seismic movement. The techniques learnt on Etna would then be deployed in lunar missions or in the exploration of Mars.

An initial robotic testing phase has nearly been completed on the Piano del Lago area of the volcano, a desolate stretch of terrain buffeted by strong winds.

Next, a network of equipment including rover robots and drones will be mounted to monitor seismic activity that closely simulates that which would be used on the moon. (Reporting by Eleanor Biles Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Mount Etna, in Sicily, is a test bed for an approximately three-foot high, four-wheeled lunar robot ahead of a future mission to the moon.
lunar, robots, test, sicily, mount etna
267
2017-30-05
Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017 03:30 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved