Today marks an important milestone for Australia as the Federal Government announces that the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium is one of two teams selected for Stage 1 of the Australian Space Agency‘s Trailblazer program.
This program will involve the design, build, testing, and operation of an Australian–made lunar rover for NASA‘s return to the surface of the Moon.
NASA has asked Australia to provide the rover due to our expertise in remote operations and automation technology, which is largely attributed to the resources industry.
The rover‘s purpose is to collect lunar soil and deliver it to a NASA–provided processing facility to extract oxygen, a crucial step in sustaining a human presence on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Leading the Trailblazer Stage 1 consortium is Fugro and Nova Systems, two companies dedicated to creating innovative space automation, AI, and robotics control, as well as providing engineering services and technology solutions.
Woodside Energy and Rio Tinto have also contributed to the AROSE Trailblazer Stage 1 effort by sharing their terrestrial robotic and automation capabilities.
The Western Australian Government has also provided additional support. AROSE CEO Leanne Cunnold says, “AROSE was formed to secure Australia‘s role in the international space sector and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from space to ground and ground to space.
Our expertise in managing remote operations and robotics in complex and hazardous environments make us an ideal partner for developing and advancing critical space technologies.”