NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for funding to continue development of technologies to enable groups of rovers to cooperatively explore the surface of other worlds.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a great profile of William “Red” Whittaker, the Carnegie Mellon University professor who is leading one of 10 teams competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize.
Whittaker’s team, Atrobiotic, hopes to land its “Tranquility Trek” rover on the lunar surface in July 2009, the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing by Apollo 11. Whittaker is planning to set the rover down near the original landing site and beam back pictures.
“When I was really little, I thought about adventuring, discovering new worlds, unclimbed mountains,” he told the paper. “A lot of people just get iced over; it’s as if there isn’t anything new under the sun. But the reality is that history is written every day.”