Caterpillar, a supreme construction vehicle firm, is functioning with NASA to develop devices that could dig out and extract the lunar surface. The aim is to find out whether it seems sensible to drive remote-controlled or autonomous construction tools to the Moon to collect dust, water, and rocks, which can be utilized by NASA as raw materials for its intended lunar station. As per the reports of CNBC, Caterpillar and NASA have long worked as a team on robotics projects. However, it is the autonomous abilities of the firm—atypical for the construction vehicle market—which makes it a prominent candidate to develop lunar infrastructure. Clare Skelly, the NASA spokesperson, said, “There are several collaborations between what NASA requires to meet study objective and Caterpillar technologies utilized on Earth on a daily basis.”
Although Denise Johnson, the Resource Industries Division President of Caterpillar, wouldn’t verify any concrete lunar mission plans, the thought of utilizing at least semi-autonomous machines on the Moon is to decrease how much risky construction work astronauts would need to perform themselves. Particularly relating to utilizing autonomous technology in dangerous regions on Earth, Johnson said, “Consumers are finding it tough to maneuver in those distant places, getting people in and out in a reliable way that impels the value proposition. The appliance of the technology turns out to be a requirement to make it function from a value-add perspective.”
Likewise, we have recognized the probable existence of ice reserves on the lunar surface for decades; however, we have not essentially sent a devoted ground-based probe to inspect our closest neighbor. Rather, the existence of water ice in darkened craters at the South Pole of the Moon has been deduced from several space-based tests and measurements. Thus, NASA will be sending a probe, VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) particularly to examine the possibility of water.