NASA Plans New Robot Generation to Explore Moon, Asteroids
By Jeremy Hsu
posted: 07 April 2010
08:53 am ET
American astronauts may not return to the moon anytime soon, but robotic explorers seem poised to go there — and just about everywhere else — in the solar system in short order.
NASA's new space exploration plan includes a heavy emphasis on robotic missions that would land on the moon, Mars and even asteroids to pave the way for human exploration.
The agency's 2011 budget proposed by President Barack Obama calls for funding two such missions starting next year. One of those missions is a lunar expedition that would test the ability to control robots remotely from Earth, or the International Space Station, on the moon.
The next wave of robotic missions could also test technologies for mining or extracting water, rocket propellant and other re
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