The next step on the Moon may well be taken by a robot. In a country that produces robots to do almost anything you can imagine, a robot to walk on the lunar surface is not so far-fetched. The Japanese just may be the next nation to plant a flag on the dusty surface of Earth’s largest satellite. That is the plan of the Osaka-based “Space Oriented Higashiosaka Leading Association” (SOHLA) which announced its goal of putting a robot on the moon by 2015.
SOHLA consists of six private space technology companies with connections to governmental space research institutions. The group estimates it will take about $10.5 million to make the project work. SOHLA is trying to build on the success of the satellite it launched into orbit last year, Maido-1. The bipedal humanoid robot planned for the Moon is tentatively named Maido-kun.
Some think that the mission of this pioneering robot should be more than a simply flag planting ceremony, but even if this machine does not discover any new resources for Japan, it may well show the world that the Japanese have set their sights on laying claim to whatever valuable materials may be located there in the future. Read the story at the links below.
Story by Jeremy Hsu at Popular Science "That's one small step for robots, one giant leap sideways for space exploration. ..."
Bipedal Japanese Robot Will Walk on the Moon by 2015
Thu, 29 Apr 2010 15:27:51 GMT