Grey Hautaluoma/Stephanie Schierholz
NASA Headquarters, Washington
Kelly Humphries/Rachel Prucey
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
May 29, 2008
NASA’s Ames Invites Media to Observe Lunar Rover Field Tests
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- News media are invited to a trek on the moon -- or at least an earthly approximation of one.
Robots, rovers and lunar planners from NASA’s Ames Research Center and centers across the country will gather at Moses Lake, Wash., this June to perform a series of field tests based on mission-related activities for NASA's planned return to the moon by 2020. Media will be allowed to observe the activities and conduct interviews June 10, 2008.
Media interested in attending should contact Grey Hautaluoma or Stephanie Schierholz at NASA Headquarters no later than June 6, 2008. Access to the test site is restricted and requires a letter of assignment on company letterhead for credentials.
During the media day, reporters will be able to observe and photograph K-10 robots equipped with ground-penetrating radar and 3-D scanning systems as they simulate lunar exploration and site surveys. Astronauts, engineers, and scientists wearing prototype spacesuits will drive prototype rovers as they perform scientific work. NASA engineers involved in the robots' development also will be available for interviews.
The humans and robots will demonstrate their ability to perform some of the work that NASA's Lunar Architecture Team and studies by the Constellation Program have identified as possible in future lunar exploration. These field experiments could inspire new areas of development or help engineers identify complications that might not be obvious in smaller scale laboratories. The advanced exploration capabilities these test will demonstrate are being developed by the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate's Exploration Technology Development Program, based at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
NASA centers involved in these field tests include Ames, Langley, Johnson Space Center, Houston, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, and Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The tests are in preparation for a larger set of experiments scheduled for the fall as part of the Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) project.
For more information about NASA's plans to establish an outpost on the moon, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration
For more information about Ames, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ames
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