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Saturday, April 21, 2018

The moon will be mine: Russian scientists figured out how to master the Earth satellite

The creation of a lunar robot with the Russian artificial intelligence… More efficient methods of water extraction from regolith… The need for the development of the law, allowing domestic private companies to mine minerals on near Earth satellite. This was said on Tuesday, the members of the Club space mining prospectors in the National research technological University “MISIS”.

So the Americans see the future development of asteroids. Photo: a frame from the video

The club is very passionate about the promotion of domestic technologies, scientists from the Mining Institute, Tomsk state University and Tomsk University of control systems and Radioelectronics, as well as representatives of private interest companies. Their “round table” was devoted to two aspects.

The first was the international space law. Today in the field of space exploration there are two major international documents: the outer space Treaty of 1967 and the agreement governing the activities of States on the moon and other celestial bodies, signed in 1979. They say that every country has the right to conduct space research, but no country can claim any celestial body or his wealth. However, in 2015 the United States signed an act on space competitiveness, governing the extraction of minerals on asteroids. According to this document, private companies can keep the produced in space resources and the state will not remove them. In 2017, a similar rule adopted in Luxembourg…

According to members of the “round table”, the the unauthorized national acts are contrary to the above-mentioned international agreements. In Russia, where there are similar calls for his scientists, and no investors willing to invest in the development of “something distant”, and even prohibited for mining. So “prospectors” who gathered in nust “MISIS”, decided as quickly as possible to create a draft Russian law.

— In the West began to actively invest in space mining, — said the representative of the Club mining prospectors. We also need to create a standard of which, on the one hand, would not violate the existing bans on the export of space resources, on the other — would enable our experts to develop your groundwork.

The second aspect of the discussions were devoted to the actual technologies. If last year’s “prospectors” discussed the topic of creating an artificial lunar soil and its analyzer, this went on — talked about the prototype of lunar robot for the extraction of regolith and extracting water from it.

In reality, the Rover will move on the lunar soil and conduct exploration drilling. His prototype the “Moon” will be the laboratory of the Mining Institute nust “MISIS” in Moscow and the mission control center will be located in Tomsk. The signal from Tomsk to “the moon” (to Moscow) and back will pass through real space, the communications satellite, and the signal is planned to artificially delay to simulate real interplanetary communication. During such pauses, the Rover will not stand for — “free time” necessary for making independent decisions.

— Imagine that, moving around the moon, the robot will face a deep crater or stone, and before the arrival of the next team from the Ground tens of minutes, say the creators of the project. — In this case the robot Rover will be equipped with artificial intelligence to quickly make the most correct decision.

The developers suggest that it is the “brains” of the prototype and make it competitive against its Western counterparts. It is also important and light weight of their products, because delivery of each kg on the moon is worth 30 thousand dollars.

Along with this, the researchers plan to test the technology for plasma “evaporation” of rock. As a result of this “evaporation” water is formed and intermetallide (chemical compounds of two or more metals) that can be used as powders for 3D printers.

According to scientists, this technology can be applied directly to space objects (for example, on asteroids and the moon) and to obtain materials for construction of space infrastructure: warehouses, factories, settlements. By the way, our technology for obtaining water from the regolith on the effectiveness already ahead of us thousands of times.

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