China Is Planning A Robot-Builder To Construct A Human Base Using Moon Bricks

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) is spearheading ambitious efforts to advance the technological prowess of the upcoming Chang’e 8 mission through extensive collaboration with research institutes and companies.

Scheduled for launch in 2028, the Chang’e 8 mission encompasses a comprehensive suite of scientific objectives, including deploying a lander, rover, and an operational multi-task robot. With a focus on enhancing lunar exploration, the mission is slated to incorporate 14 state-of-the-art scientific instruments to facilitate in-depth observations and the acquisition of vital lunar surface data crucial for future exploration endeavors.

To foster international cooperation, CNSA has invited the global community to participate in mission-level, system-level, and payload-level collaborative projects for the Chang’e 8 mission, as stated in the agency’s official document.

Representational image of an astronaut putting China's flag on the Moon.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), CNSA is currently soliciting proposals for the development of nine instruments essential for the Chang’e 8 mission. Among the notable initiatives is the design and development of a 100 kg robot capable of executing tasks such as capturing, carrying, and placing items and shoveling and transferring lunar soil. Powered by batteries, this versatile robot will play a pivotal role in transporting instruments and components from the spacecraft to the lunar surface, with the added capability of assembling objects meticulously and navigating at a minimum speed of 400 meters per hour.

Furthermore, the robot is tasked with collecting lunar rocks and storing them aboard the rover for subsequent analysis, shedding light on the chemical composition and age of the lunar surface, thereby contributing to our understanding of the Moon’s geological evolution. Moreover, it will evaluate additional technologies crucial for potential long-term human habitation on the Moon, a pivotal step towards establishing the International Lunar Research Station on the Moon’s south pole. China will support the initiative supported by international partners, including Russia.

CNSA has outlined a comprehensive array of instruments to collect data on lunar geology, study Earth’s magnetosphere from the lunar surface, and test technologies for lunar resource exploration and extraction. Notable among these instruments is a payload harnessing solar energy to melt lunar soil and convert it into functional parts, potentially facilitating the construction of structures on the Moon to shield future explorers from radiation or establish base camps. Robots will assemble these lunar bricks into larger structures, with additional instruments monitoring soil temperature and assessing component characteristics throughout the process.

Prospective participants must submit detailed proposals by March 10, encompassing technical feasibility, financial budgeting, and projected timelines for instrument development. Through the Chang’e 8 mission, China aims to bolster its lunar exploration endeavors while fostering international collaboration to propel the progress of lunar science and technology, exemplifying the nation’s commitment to establishing a sustainable lunar research infrastructure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *