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NASA is gearing up to establish the first permanent colony on the moon as a transshipment point for even further missions to Mars, and it needs a reliable delivery system to shuttle supplies back and forth.
On Thursday, Mark Wiese, manager of deep space logistics for NASA's Gateway program, solicited logistics and freight technology companies to collaborate in the development of a next-generation supply chain that can overcome the challenges of distance, zero gravity, isolation and extreme conditions.
"We want to partner with you in developing existing capabilities on Earth and translating them to the logistics supply chain beyond our atmosphere," Wiese said in a keynote address to SpaceWaves, a first-of-its-kind conference from FreightWaves that explores opportunities in the space logistics market. "NASA can't do it alone. There are opportunities for investment, innovation and growth far beyond the boundaries of this pale blue dot we call home."
And new advances eventually could be applied to enhance freight transportation on Earth, Wiese said, speculating on the possibility of electric trucks that can recharge on the fly or cargo that can deliver itself.
Automation and new types of packaging are key areas of interest for NASA, but any logistics system will have to be durable and adaptive enough to withstand being bombarded by radiation, which induces rapid changes in temperature that impact vulnerable payloads, and avoid fast-moving debris.
Automation is critical because the distance makes real-time communication and remote control of vehicles unworkable. The lag time for signals to reach the moon is 2.5 seconds, and it's 40 minutes to Mars, Wiese told the virtual audience.
"That means we'll need autonomous systems capable of making decisions for themselves. And batteries that last longer, charge faster and weigh less," he said, "with interactivity between robots that has never before been accomplished in space."
The Final Frontier...
originally posted by: M5xaz
a reply to: lostbook
Logistics....e.g. including delivery, movers, and junk removers....on the Moon and on Mars....
I get it !
Now, just can't wait for it:
Sanford and Son in Spaaaacccceeeee...
...always liked that jingle...