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Extraterrestrial Transportation: NASA on Mission to Create Universe's First Autonomous Railway System on Moon

NASA Unveils Plans for FLOAT: The First Moon Railway Network
Source: NASA

Artist concept of novel approach proposed by a 2024 NIAC Phase II awardee for possible future missions depicting lunar surface with planet Earth on the horizon.

Jul. 10 2024, Published 3:03 p.m. ET

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NASA has announced plans to build the first railway system on the Moon.

“We want to build the first lunar railway system, which will provide reliable, autonomous and efficient payload transport on the Moon,” stated Ethan Schaler from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a recent post.

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The proposed transport system will be essential for the daily operations of a sustainable lunar base envisioned for the 2030s.

The team has named this system "Flexible Levitation on a Track" or FLOAT.

FLOAT will utilize unpowered magnetic robots that levitate over a film track to meet transportation needs.

This system will move payloads around the lunar base, facilitating transport to and from landing zones and other outposts.

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Additionally, it will be used to transport lunar soil from mining sites for extraction or construction purposes.

“FLOAT will operate autonomously in the dusty, inhospitable lunar environment with minimal site preparation, and its network of tracks can be rolled up/reconfigured over time to match evolving lunar base mission requirements,” the post elaborated.


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