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Autonomous robotic construction project among those funded for NASA moon mission

by Liam Turner
A silhouette of the moon with a construction crane in the way

NASA has selected three US universities that will receive up to $2m (c.£1.5m) in funding each to develop lunar infrastructure technology.

Three university proposals have been selected by NASA to develop technologies for living and working on the moon, from using lunar resources for construction to developing electronics that can work in the moon’s extremely cold temperatures.

The projects are part of NASA’s Artemis programme, which plans to send astronauts to the moon’s lunar south pole – the first landing there since 1972.

The three projects set to receive funding are:

  • Autonomous Construction: Led by the Colorado School of Mines, it will explore autonomous robot construction methods on the Moon’s surface
  • Extracting Resources: The Missouri University of Science and Technology will use magnetic and electrostatic technologies to more efficiently separate calcium- and aluminium-containing minerals from the Moon’s soil
  • Extremely Cold Electronics: Auburn University will analyse recent lunar missions to create new electronics that cope with low temperatures

Dr Prasun Desai, Nasa’s Space Technology Mission Directorate deputy associate administrator, said: “Creating the technologies we need to explore the Moon requires leveraging expertise from and partnering with academia and industry alike.

“These projects show the integral role that universities will play in building humanity’s sustainable presence on the Moon.”

Image: M. Shcherbyna/Shutterstock

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