PITTSBURGH (KDKDA) – Carnegie Mellon University is going to the moon.
The Pittsburgh university is developing a rover that is expected to land on the moon in July 2021.
The robot will be one of the first American rovers to explore the surface of the moon.
The four-wheeled robot, equipped with video cameras, is being developed by a team led by a professor of robotics, William “Red” Whittaker.
There is also an arts package called MoonArk that will join the rover.
MoonArk, which weighs about half a pound, has four chambers that will contain hundreds of images, poems, music and samples of earth that a press release says “blur the boundaries between worlds seen and unseen.”
Both the robot and the MoonArk will be delivered by a Peregrine lander built by Astrobotic Inc., a CMU spinoff company based in Pittsburgh.
Last week, NASA awarded a $79.5 million contract to Astrobotic to deliver 14 payloads to the moon — and CMU’s is one of them.
“CMU robots have been on land, on the sea, in the air, underwater and underground,” said Whittaker in a press release. “The next frontier is the high frontier.”
The robot will land near Lacus Mortis, or the Lake of Death, which is a large pit of huge interest to scientists.
The rover will provide the first ground-level imagery of the site.