NASA has selected Colorado School of Mines for a $1.9M project to develop an autonomous robot to prepare the lunar surface for vehicle landings. The project team lead by Dr. Chris Dreyer (Space Resources) includes Dr. Andrew Petruska (Mechanical Engineering), Dr. George Sowers (Space Resources), Dr. Kevin Cannon (Space Resources), Dr. Neil Dantam (Computer Science), Dr Jamal Rostami (Mining Engineering) and collaboration from Golden startup Lunar Outpost, Michigan Tech, and Bechtel Inc.

The project aims to develop an autonomous robot that will provide low-energy and contact-pressure compaction at the landing site, enable autonomy through real-time task-to-motion planning for site preparation, and the ability to move surface materials through handling, grading, and rock removal.

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