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Oct. 9: Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon To Demonstrate Lunar Prospecting Robot


Byron Spice                            
412-559-8501 (cell)

Anne Watzman
412-780-1118 (cell)

Media Advisory:
Carnegie Mellon To Demonstrate Lunar Prospecting Robot

Rover Will Be Tested on Hawaii's Mauna Kea in November

Event: Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute researchers will demonstrate Scarab, a NASA-funded robot designed to search for water and other useful chemicals on the moon. Unveiled a year ago, the four-wheeled Scarab has now been outfitted with equipment for drilling one-meter geologic cores and with on-board instruments to chemically analyze the cores. At a test site within a working aggregate quarry, researchers will show how Scarab's novel suspension and navigation software enables it to traverse rock-strewn slopes.

Scarab will soon depart for Hawaii, where it will simulate a lunar prospecting mission Nov. 1-13 on the slopes of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano. Project leader David Wettergreen will discuss the challenges of the simulated mission and how the technologies developed for Scarab could help discover the raw materials needed for sustained human exploration of the moon.

When: 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 14.

Where: Lafarge Inc., Noble Drive, West Mifflin, approximately nine miles south of Downtown Pittsburgh. Please note that this is a working quarry. Roads within the site are well maintained, but unpaved and rough. All media must report to the office trailers at the Lafarge entrance and be escorted to the demonstration site.

Directions: From Downtown, take Second Avenue/Route 885 South. After crossing the Glenwood Bridge, continue to follow 885 (Mifflin Road) through Hays. Stay on 885 South by turning right onto Lebanon Road. At the traffic light at the intersection of Lebanon Road and Noble Drive (the Port Authority garage and a Get Go convenience store will be on your left), turn left onto Noble Drive and follow it until it dead ends at the Lafarge site. Proceed to the office trailers and scale house by following the service road to your right and past the scales. DO NOT DRIVE OVER THE SCALES. Once you are past the scales, turn left and loop back to the office trailers. BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS AROUND THE SCALES. Trucks entering and leaving the scales have right of way.