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Roaming Robot May Explore Mysterious Moon Caverns

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the moon-patrol dept.

Moon 29

ananyo writes "William 'Red' Whittaker often spends his Sundays lowering a robot into a recently blown up coal mine pit near his cattle ranch in Pennsylvania. By 2015, he hopes that his robot, or something like it, will be rappelling down a much deeper hole, on the Moon. The hole was discovered three years ago when Japanese researchers published images from the satellite SELENE1, but spacecraft orbiting the Moon have been unable to see into its shadowy recesses. A robot might be able to 'go where the Sun doesn't shine', and send back the first-ever look beneath the Moon's skin, Whittaker told attendees at a meeting of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program in Hampton, Virginia, last week. And Whittaker is worth taking seriously-his robots have descended into an Alaskan volcano and helped to clean up the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant."

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And that's why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42031643)

That's why I bought a Saturn.

darn! (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031647)

I wanted to see a picture of the moon hole. Here's [nasa.gov] one on Mars, I'd like to see a robot investigate that!

Re:darn! (5, Informative)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031687)

Here's one! [universetoday.com]

Re:darn! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031763)

Thanks! They look like the pictures of Mars holes. This really is an exciting time.

Re:darn! (2)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031809)

I love how the caption says the image is 400m wide while the scale on the image itself makes it easily 500-600m wide.

Re:darn! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031965)

Thank goodness that was real... I'm sure you can guess what I was expecting...

Re:darn! (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#42032053)

No, this is the moon. You'll get the goatse pictures and jokes when we find a hole on Uranus.

Re:darn! (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#42032351)

Thank goodness that was real... I'm sure you can guess what I was expecting...

The Ass of Moon? Yeah, this is it. I believe it's directly opposite to the Face of Moon.

Re:darn! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42034319)

What are the odds that they send a rover down there and it turns out it's just a dead-end, with no tunnels, no nothing? That would be like the world's biggest let-down.

Re:darn! (1)

BaldingByMicrosoft (585534) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031953)

So... You want to see a hole-y rover, then.

Re:darn! (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#42032491)

So you'd like to see a giant space-spider battle a robot on Mars?

That's actually a pretty good idea.

ATTENTION SLASHDOT READERS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42031789)

This
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because
this
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made
in
China !!
Man
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crap !!

Uh oh, watch out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42031813)

With this title, the submission is just begging for the ravings of Slashdot's well-known "bootyass" troll in the comments.

We've already looked into darkness (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031969)

Wait, I saw this already...Apollo 18. Is NASA finally fessing up to the conspiracy or are the moon rocks we brought back just now coming to life and we have to figure a way to kill them. Exciting times indeed,

Re:We've already looked into darkness (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#42032001)

A jack hammer should do the trick nicely.

Red Whittaker won the 2007 DARPA Grand Challange (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#42031989)

Whittaker is worth taking seriously ...

Red Whittaker [wikipedia.org] is worth taking seriously for other reasons as well: He lead the Carnegie Mellon team that won the 2007 DARPA Grand Challange [wikipedia.org] .

When it comes to robots, I don't think there is anyone that should be taken more seriously.

Re:Red Whittaker won the 2007 DARPA Grand Challang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42032469)

When it comes to robots, I don't think there is anyone that should be taken more seriously.

Susan Calvin

Re:Red Whittaker won the 2007 DARPA Grand Challang (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42037137)

Whittaker is worth taking seriously ...

Red Whittaker [wikipedia.org] is worth taking seriously for other reasons as well: He lead the Carnegie Mellon team that won the 2007 DARPA Grand Challange [wikipedia.org] .

When it comes to robots, I don't think there is anyone that should be taken more seriously.

Seriously? The past tense of "to lead" is "led." The wikipedia article you quoted got it right. Sorry, this has become my biggest pet peeve the past couple years. It's a pretty simple conjugation, but it seems more people get it wrong than right anymore. Sigh.....

Clearly the hole is the access route to Dahak. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#42032353)

Or is it Dahok? I can't be arsed to remember.

Just remember to pan up and down. (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#42032471)

Because if you see teeth, you'd better get the fuck outta there!

'go where the Sun doesn't shine' (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#42032479)

Wait, are they planning to explore the Moon or Uranus?

Meandering Moon Mech Must Map Mysterious Moon Maw (3, Interesting)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 2 years ago | (#42032515)

Might as well take the alliteration in the title all the way.

The Lotus Caves (1)

DarksideCoatiMundi (2777343) | more than 2 years ago | (#42034087)

Do you think they will find Thurgood still worshiping the Plant?

No Point To It (2)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 2 years ago | (#42035261)

Since we all already know what's down there [2001aspaceodyssey.org] there's no point in even bothering to send the robot.

Enough with the space rocks (1, Troll)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#42035853)

I mean, what else do you think a rover would find down there? While potentially exciting for planetary geologists, for most of us -- including the vast majority of people who pay for these missions -- studying rocks, aside from the engineering gymnastics of getting into the cave, does not stir the human spirit of exploration. Lets explore the seas of Titan, the volcanoes of Io, or the water geysers of Enceladus, not another rock-hunting trip with taxpayer money. There's a decent chance of finding life in our solar system, and yet NASA keeps turning away from that goal in favor of literally dry material.

Re:Enough with the space rocks (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | about 2 years ago | (#42039205)

If it's large enough, it would make a great location for a moon base.

lucky damn robot! (3, Funny)

MakersDirector (2767101) | about 2 years ago | (#42036911)

He gets sent on an explorative mission, and here I am stuck trying to find a job! What gives? But sending him where the sun don't shine. That's cold, man, that's cold!

Nothing to see but ..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42042069)

1. Ancient metal corridors coming back to life as the detrius covered battle station comes out of hibernation.

2. The remains of an ancient city.

3. An intact, stasis shielded something or other that has a worn but still workable button poking out of the stasis field.

4. A giant swastika on an iron door ala Iron Sky.

5. A large circular thingy with chevrons along the outer edge.

6. The rocky bottom of a hole that happens to be on the moon.

Roaming outside your country (1)

DaiPinchi (894248) | about 2 years ago | (#42043145)

Roaming on the moon - I hope they ensured a cheap data plan with their provider.
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