Shanghai scientists developing atomic moon rover

 

Scientists in Shanghai are developing an atomic- powered lunar rover for China’s first unmanned mission to the moon in newspapers reported Monday.

The as-yet unnamed six-wheeled lunar vehicle has been under development for four years at the Shanghai Aerospace System Engineering Institute, where a specialized testing laboratory has been outfitted to replicate the lunar surface, the Shanghai Daily reported.

The 1.5-metre high, 200-kilogram rover is designed to transmit video in real time, dig for and analyze soil samples, and produce three dimensional images of the lunar surface, the paper said.

In photographs, the rover appeared similar to NASA’s unmanned Spirit and Opportunity Mars explorers that were launched in 2003 and are still operating.

However, unlike the rechargeable lithium ion batteries used by those rovers, the Chinese model will eventually run on a nuclear power source to ensure a constant energy supply, the report said.

More info:  Canadian Press article

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