NASA Plans High-Tech Railway System on the Moon | Space

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Sounds like utter lunar-cy.

As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) readies to return astronauts to the moon and convert the space rock into an orbital outpost, plans are apparently being mulled to build a train on its surface.

“We want to build the first lunar railway system, which will provide reliable, autonomous, and efficient payload transport on the Moon,” robotics expert Ethan Schaler of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. said.

Both the lunar landings — a series of Artemis missions returning personnel to the moon in 2028 — and the proposed high-tech train are pivotal to NASA’s Gateway project, a lunar orbiting space station that will serve as a hub for vast planetary exploration, especially for Mars.

“A durable, long-life robotic transport system will be critical to the daily operations of a sustainable lunar base in the 2030’s,” Schaler explained.

A NASA robotics expert proposes a railway for the lunar surface. Ethan Schaler

Unfortunately for astronauts eager to hitch a ride on the Lunar Express, this train will be for machines only.

JPL proposes “Flexible Levitation on a Track,” or FLOAT, as the answer to “transport payloads of varying shape” — up to 110 tons in weight‚ primarily from landing zones to more permanent outpost settings.

The…

Source nypost.com

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