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Grey Hautaluoma/Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington

H. Keith Henry
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

July 28, 2008
Media Invited for Demo of Lunar Surface Manipulator Concept
HAMPTON, Va. -- A NASA concept for lifting and manipulating materials on the lunar surface will be demonstrated for reporters at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., on Friday, Aug. 1.

NASA's Lunar Surface Manipulation System recently completed a successful June field test on the lunar-like landscape of Moses Lake, Wash. The system is a lifting and precision positioning device that will be used on items ranging from large airlocks and habitats to delicate scientific payloads. The robotic manipulator incorporates features that could help astronauts during early lunar outpost construction and follow-on operations. The principles behind the device also are directly applicable to future operations on the Martian surface.

The system reporters will be able to view is full-scale and sized for unloading a lunar lander. Designed by NASA engineers and controlled by a remote computer, the manipulator resembles a lightweight crane, but has more capabilities. It can be operated autonomously, remotely or manually in a backup mode, and can be configured to perform a multitude of tasks.

Media interested in attending the presentation and briefing should phone Keith Henry by noon EDT, July 31, at 757-864-6120 or 757-344-7211. Reporters should arrive at the Langley front gate parking lot by 9:30 a.m. for escort to the briefing and lab demonstrations.

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