Drive - Drill - Navigate - Analyze

The Lunar Rover Initiative is developing Scarab to evaluate and demonstrate a combined drilling and science rover platform for lunar exploration. Scarab needs to be able to withstand extreme temperatures, perpetual darkness, and intermittent communications to explore polar regions of the moon in order to survey sites and understand resources for future science and exploratory missions. Working for nearly a decade to develop feasible mission concepts and validate technologies in extreme environments here on Earth, we are experienced, skilled, and dedicated to the vision of lunar exploration.

The polar craters of the moon lie in permanent shadow and may hold water ice frozen in the deep cold. The Scarab rover has been designed to carry a 1-meter coring drill and a payload of science instruments that can analyze the abundance of hydrogen, oxygen and other materials. Scarab has a unique transforming chassis that allows it to lay down on the ground to stablize a drill and also to posture itself for slope ascent and descent. Onboard software controls motions and uses laser scanning technologies to autonomously perceive and navigate terrain in total darkness.

Contact: Dr. David Wettergreen

This work supported by grants from NASA, NASA Johnson Space Center, and NASA Glenn Research Center.