RASSOR Will Get Water, Ice And Fuel From The Soil Of The Moon
NASA envisions that manned space travel will soon become a reality and has lately designed the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot, RASSOR for short. It is a 100-pound, 2.5-foot-tall excavator device, made to get water, ice, and fuel from the soil of the moon and other dusty bodies like Mars. RASSOR will also take the remaining dust and convert the chemicals it contains into two substances important for astronauts: air for breathing, and fuel for moving. The current prototype features multi-purpose design: the drums that the machine will use to gather soil double as legs — which can, in turn, help the robot to navigate dusty terrain. RASSOR currently has a tank-like shape, with tracks to balance the robot as it roves other worlds, though NASA wants to replace that base with wheels — which would make the next generation of the robot look a bit more like a Martian rover than the current one. NASA plans to test RASSOR 2 at the beginning of 2014.