The RASSOR can climb over a large obstacle, such as a boulder on the moon - engineers on Earth used a stepping stool to challenge the robot (Photo: NASA)
The RASSOR robot climbs a hill during recent testing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Photo: NASA)
With a pair of drums positioned on arms, the RASSOR can take on a number of different shapes to accomplish its work (Photo: NASA)
Recently we've seen preliminary asteroid mining plans from Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, but what about NASA? The government agency would like to do some excavating on the Moon, Mars, and asteroids, too – but it isn't in it for the profit. NASA wants to clear the way for construction projects and mine materials for use by astronauts, and is developing a teleoperated robot called the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR, pronounced "razor") to get the job done.
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