October 19, 2010      

NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University to develop a prototype robot for mining water and methane ices at the Moon's poles. These volatiles can refuel astronauts' spacecraft for their return trip to Earth, halving the cost of human Moon expeditions.

The $599,970 award will fund a two-year effort to build a robot able to dig into frozen lunar dirt despite the Moon's one-sixth gravity, which leaves excavators much less traction, needed to push digging implements int...

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