Tuesday, June 7, 2011

That's a Really Good Question...

Today the Moonstormers achieved "lift off" and some extensive experiments with the Earth's gravity. Collin's the tallest of the group. He dared everyone to try and bounce him. But he didn't count on everyone bouncing together... Guess that's what teamwork does for this group.

We watched videos of other robots navigating a lunar landscape, then explored some really cool suspension ideas of our own on Lego Digital Designer.

We also studied past and present methods of Moon exploration with Google Earth.

The Google Lunar X Prize Moonbots Challenge asks us, "How can robots influence future space missions, including missions to the moon?" First, with today's video and sensing technology, we think robots can be our eyes, ears and hands in an environment that's still hostile to us. This means we can be courageous in exploring space with little loss of human life. Second, we can send robots to the moon and other places to prepare the environment for plant and eventually human life. This process is known as terraforming.

A few ideas of what jobs we might want our robot to do for us on the moon are:
Mining, storing and purifying lunar water sheets and particles recently discovered in the moons coldest areas such as the lunar north pole and Shackleton crater.
Surveying the nutrients of lunar soil with swarms of very small "soil bug" robots.
Cultivating the lunar soil to nourish plant life.
Converting CO2 in the lunar atmosphere into O2.

Tonight the team will be thinking about which area of terraforming they'd like to explore further. They are also going to research what is currently known about lunar water-ice, and lunar soil. From there we can decide what our robot should do.
Today was a lot of fun! Tomorrow we'll experiment with the weight of water...he he he. Be sure to wear clothes you can get wet in. Have lunch at home then meet at 12:30 pm.

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