I figure this might be useful for those interested in robotics for space exploration, although its not directly related to robotics. This is where the money will be in a decade
Most of it explains in high detail how we plan to go to the moon, landers to use, etc.http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/352/
(40 minute lecture + 40 minute question/answer)
"Developing a foothold on the moon will afford humans experience in operating away from earth’s environment, helping to develop the technology needed for opening the space frontier -- practice for Mars and beyond. Griffin provides details on emerging models for a new crew exploration vehicle and booster rockets. NASA is attempting to take advantage of earlier designs for the sake of economy and speed – “architecture with as little fuss and bother as possible, maximizing the use of things we already own.” There will be plenty of commercial opportunities in these public missions, with NASA seeking to purchase launch and communication services as soon as available. And he envisions promoting international cooperation by offering seats in the lunar lander in exchange, in one example, for help in setting up a lunar habitat. “We don’t want to return to the days where NASA does everything,” says Griffin."Key Points
- Why are we going to the moon?
"Implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program" - a 'balance'
"Develop supporting innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures"
- Lunar base will be on the polar regions of the moon - 80% sunlight and less extreme temperaturess.
Hydrogen and oxygen most likely to be 'mined' from moon - for fuel.
(maybe robots should be driven with these fuels?)
- 21 metric tons of cargo allocated for lunar lander.
- Emphasis on purchasing everything from industry - entrepreneurial and larger firms both welcome.
- International potential for 'coordination of lunar robotic pre-cursor missions'
- NASA believes only the US can put people safely on the moon