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NASA's PILOT project could autonomously extract oxygen from lunar soil

Darren Murph
April 6, 2007
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We've got means to extract oxygen from water, a portable bar, and even ways to deprive entire server farms of the sustenance, but a new project being tackled by Lockheed Martin is hoping to create O2 on the moon. A critical part of NASA's PILOT (Precursor In-situ Lunar Oxygen Testbed) initiative, this digger bot will work hand-in-hand with a "processing plant that will add hydrogen to moon soil, heat it to 1,652-degrees Fahrenheit, condense the steam, and finally extract the oxygen." Additionally, the blue LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) box atop the three-foot-long machine can assist it in locating "oxygen-rich lunar soil and autonomously carry it to a processing plant." The overriding goal is to use the newly extracted O2 for air, or moreover, to combine it with hydrogen and produce water for the four astronauts that the lunar base could support. Unfortunately, there's no timetable as to when we'll actually see the PILOT roll into action, but we're most interested in porting this bad boy over to Mars along with half the traffic in LA.

[Via The Raw Feed]



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