Large-Scale Lunar Prospecting Rover
In support of NASA’s Artemis mission which will involve humans returning to the Moon, there are ambitious plans to explore little-known regions of the Moon for unique features and resource prospects. There is an important need to develop a rover platform that is fully instrumented to explore Lunar south pole craters and analyze surface and near-subsurface geological formations to prospect for resources. High-priority resources include oxygen, water, aluminum, iron, titanium, silica, and platinum. The prospecting rover needs to have the capability to operate independently of other planned lunar assets. The rover will need to communicate back with Earth using NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN). The rover must perform as much in-situ geological science to support prospecting. Where possible, the rover may cache obtained samples for pickup by a future sample return mission. The rover needs to operate for at least 90 Earth days and upload a detailed prospecting report that provides estimates of surface resource reserves. The student team will perform this rover design work as part of the NASA RASCAL 2023/2024 Competition. The work will begin with concept design and culminate with prototype development in the second semester.