Monday, June 06, 2011

Canadian Team Wins Lunabotics Challenge

The National Aeronautics and Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lunar Science Institute has awarded the 2011 Lunabotics Challenge to a team from Laurentian University according to this May 31st press release on the NASA Lunar Science Institute website.
Lunabotics winners Samuel Carriere, Patrick Chartrand, Stephane Chiasson, Myles Chisholm, Drew Dewit, Greg Lakanen, Jeffrey Pagnutti, and Jean-Sebastien Sonier
According to the press release:
A team of eight mechanical engineering students from Laurentian University won the international NASA Lunabotics competition in Florida on May 28th. The team took home a check for $5000 for finishing in first-place and excavating a world record 237.4kg of synthetic moon material in 15 minutes. They beat 40 other university teams from around the world. 
According to the NASA Lunabotics mining competition website, the event:
... is for students to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous excavator, called a lunabot, that can collect and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 15 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the lunar simulant, the weight and size limitations of the lunabot, and the ability to control the lunabot from a remote control center.
Winners in other competition categories were:
  • On-Site Mining Award Winners: University of North Dakota and West Virginia University
  • Judges Innovation Design Award: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
  • Arizona Communications Efficiency Award: Laurentian University
  • Team Spirit Award: University of Alabama
  • Slide Presentation Award: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Outreach Project Award: Montana Tech, University of Montana
  • Systems Engineering Paper Award: John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.
This was the first year the NASA Lunabotics event was opened to international competitors and while Montreal’s McGill University was the only other Canadian team, teams from Bangladesh, India and Columbia also participated.

Canada has a history in mining and resource gathering in the lunar environment as shown in the video below.

NASA reps visit Sudbury to test Moon mining... by NOBnews

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