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From 1969 to 1972, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent Apollo missions to the moon to conduct various exploration experiment. A few of the missions were directed to the study and sampling of moon soil, otherwise known as lunar regolith. The extent of the sample acquisition was limited due to the astronauts' limited ability to penetrate the moon's surface to a depth greater than three meters. However. the samples obtained were sufficient enough to provide key information pertaining to lunar regolith material properties that would further assist in future exploration endeavors. Analysis of the collected samples showed that the properties of lunar regolith may lead to knowledge of processed materials that will be beneficial for future human exploration or colonization. However, almost 40 years after the last Apollo mission, limited infonnation is known about regions underneath the moon's surface. Future lunar missions will require hardware that possesses the ability to burrow to greater depths in order to collect samples for subsequent analysis. During the summer of 2010, a team (Dr. Jessica Gaskin, Michael Kuhlman. Blaze Sanders, and Lafe Zabowski) from the NASA Robotics Academy at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) was given the task of designing a robot to function as a soil collection and analysis device. Working with the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), the team was able to propose an initial design, build a prototype, and test the various subsystems of the prototype to be known as the "Lunar Wormbot" (LW). The NASA/NSSTC team then transferred the project to a University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) senior design class for further development.
I bet they could bore into some alien bases as well.