As part of the European Comission support Frame Work Programme 7 project MOONWALK, technologies for human robot collaboration for surface EVA activities are being developed and tested. How will astronauts train on Earth in the most realistic manner for missions to far-distant planets? How can robots assist them in space? As part of this activity Space Applications Services NV/SA participated as an observer in the NEEMO SEATEST-II mission in September.
The objective of this project is the development and validation of future technologies for human missions to the Moon or Mars. MOONWALK will focus on robot-astronaut cooperation tasks as may have to be designed for soil sampling activities. Astronauts are limited in their movements due to the pressurized spacesuit and the reduced gravity on the surface. Mission simulations are therefore planned underwater at the Marseilles Space Analogue site and in the desert of the Spanish Rio Tinto region.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 607346.