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Roaming Robot May Explore Mysterious Moon Caverns

samzenpus posted about a year and a half 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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29 comments

And that's why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42031643)

That's why I bought a Saturn.

darn! (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half 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) | about a year and a half ago | (#42031687)

Here's one! [universetoday.com]

Re:darn! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42031763)

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

Re:darn! (2)

clarkn0va (807617) | about a year and a half 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) | about a year and a half ago | (#42031965)

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

Re:darn! (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half 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) | about a year and a half 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 | about a year and a half 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) | about a year and a half ago | (#42031953)

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

Re:darn! (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year and a half 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 | about a year and a half ago | (#42031789)

This
is
not
your
father's
Oldsmobile
because
this
is
made
in
China !!
Man
is
it
crap !!

Uh oh, watch out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half 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) | about a year and a half 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) | about a year and a half ago | (#42032001)

A jack hammer should do the trick nicely.

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

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half 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 | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 | about a year and a half ago | (#42032353)

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

Just remember to pan up and down. (1)

Chas (5144) | about a year and a half 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) | about a year and a half ago | (#42032479)

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

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

ravenscar (1662985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42032515)

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

The Lotus Caves (1)

DarksideCoatiMundi (2777343) | about a year and a half ago | (#42034087)

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

No Point To It (2)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#42043145)

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