By By By Tim AhernPublished Mar 03, 2018 03:00:13NASA has announced plans to launch its own robot to study the chemistry and physics of rocks and other materials, with the goal of someday working with humans.
The agency plans to test the RMI-1 robot at a launch site in California and later in Japan.
It will conduct a variety of experiments to better understand how different materials react to different chemicals.NASA hopes the robot, which is called the RMAO, will help better understand the physics of rock formation and how rocks can form and decompose.NASA has previously used robots to test and test materials on the Moon, Mars and the moon.
Its mission to the moon is now scheduled to end in 2021.
“We’re looking at the next few years as a time when we’re going to have a more human-scale mission, where we can explore the chemistry of rocks, and then go and do the same for the moon,” NASA Administrator Sean Solomon told reporters at a press briefing Monday.
“The next step for us is to get a robot up there on the surface of the moon and study the rocks and get a sense of what they’re made of,” he said.
“That’s going to give us a better understanding of what it is about rocks that makes them so special.”NASA hopes to send a robotic rover to the surface on the moon in 2021, but its mission is still subject to major constraints and is expected to be postponed until 2023.
The robotic rover, called RMA, will explore the geology of the Moon’s lunar crust, the structure of the rock that makes up the Moon and other areas of the lunar surface.NASA says it plans to use the robot to explore a variety in the chemistry, physical properties and behavior of rocks.
The robot will work at the same site as the NASA Curiosity rover that will study the Martian surface in 2020, and also the Mars 2020 rover that landed on the Red Planet in 2018.NASA is also exploring a project called the Lunar Microscopic Imaging Camera to study rocks on the lunar poles and the Moon.NASA’s rover is also expected to explore some of the most promising areas of lunar rock formation, including geology, mineralogy and hydrothermal environments.
The rover will also help scientists understand how rocks formed and eventually decayed on the planets.NASA said the robot will conduct experiments to help better identify and characterize the chemical composition of rocks that are formed in the Martian crust.NASA plans to deploy the robot on the launch site sometime next year.