Monday, March 5, 2012

Project at Carnegie Mellon is to put a robot on moon

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William "Red" Whittaker
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
About the writer
Deb Erdley is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer and can be reached at 412-320-7996 or via e-mail.

William "Red" Whittaker is still shooting for the moon.
But Whittaker, a Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor and CEO of Astrobotic Technology Inc., says his team has pushed back its plans to land a robot on the moon by a year — to May 2015 — to tailor a robot suited to the expedition's new destination: the lunar south pole.
The CMU/Astrobotic team is competing to claim a portion of a multimillion-dollar prize for landing a robot on the moon. The team's new plan calls for a robot prospector to drill for ice samples at the moon's south pole to try to confirm the existence of water there, a possibility lunar orbiters and a lunar penetrator have strongly suggested in recent years.
"It is high-risk and high-return," Whittaker said.



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