Desert RATS Paving the Way for Future Exploration

What an experience of a lifetime.  The Desert RATS are a first class team.  We had the opportunity to witness NASA technology and field-testing in action.

Two space suit engineers in the SCOUT rover head out to their field site.  Credit: Blair Allen

Two of the primary objectives we witnessed were for engineers to conduct a site survey for a lunar outpost using the SCOUT rover and to deploy some 200 meters of cable to enable a solar power system.  This system could potentially power important surface systems and lunar habitats on the moon.

Space suit engineer deploying simulated surface system hardware. Credit: Franklin Fitzgerald

Of course it wouldn’t be exploration without the goofy co-host conducting his own experiments.

Blair Allen completes his SCOUT drivers license test.  According to Frank Delgado, “The license will be sent by mail.”  Kudos to the goofy co-host.  Credit: Franklin Fitzgerald

From what I saw today, I am confident we have the best engineers and scientists working on the lunar architecture. The Desert RATS are very dedicated and passionate about their jobs.  Engineers who’ve been working for NASA’s space program since the 1960s are training the next generation of engineers who’ll be responsible for future moon missions.

Franklin, Blair, and Chris pose for a quick snapshot.  Credit: Ron Beard

Special thanks to Barbara, Joe, Beth, Brandi, Frank and the Desert RATS team for providing us the opportunity to observe the field test.  You guys rock!


17 thoughts on “Desert RATS Paving the Way for Future Exploration”

  1. Hi,
    Other than towing power cables, what other modifications to the rover have been made based on the information obtained from the Apollo missions?

  2. In response to Guest.

    Thank you for your post. The field site was located at Cinder Lake about 10-15 miles north of Flagstaff, AZ. NASA came to Cinder Lake to test the original rovers for Apollo 15-17, but they tested in a different section of Cinder Lake. NASA simulated the lunar landing at NASA Langley Research Center using the Gantry.


  3. So, NASA took some dirt from Flagstaff AZ. and trucked it all the way to NASA Langley and dumped it under the Gantry to film the 96 moon landing….. I guess that was cheaper than actually going to the moon.

  4. Cool rover dudes. You should give this to that dude in Cali to do some cool mods. He could slam it down and add some spinner caps. Install some killer tunes, a flat TV and evan a grill on the back with a fridge. Cool tailgatin’ on the moon dudes. Wonder what sports they play up there?

  5. In response to guest.

    They didn’t quite truck dirt from Arizona to NASA Langley, but they did transport rocks from the moon to Earth.


  6. Very cool NASA i am in the wrong country, Austria Vienna. If i am able to turn time back i would live in Florida and work for NASA.

  7. When will folk wake up and realise americans have actually stood on the surface of the moon.? It really makes me very sad that some folk don’t believe it. Those men made great things happen and put their very lives on the line doing it .

    And i for one am extremely pleased NASA is going back,it is now time to show the unbelievers just what they can do!.I am watching all the preparations with great interest,and can’t wait to see the original base section of the eagle standing on the luna surface just where neil and buzz left it. I was glued to the TV on that great day in 1969 i was a six year old kid and i was blown away!!.And i will be glued when they show the next landings on TV in high definition.

  8. hi
    it will be nice if save our holies and sciences in matrix of space by translate them to energy form.

  9. It’s so weird that after all this time there are people who still belive the moon landings were hoaxes. Give me a break, it was cheaper to actually go to the moon and do the hard things than it ever would have been to fake it. Especially using the movie tech available back in the 60s. A partially inspired by NASA trickle down tech called computer programming(CGI) made it possible to simulate space travel in the 90s and beyond, this is why the movie Apollo 13 was realistic, more or less.. I could write a book debunking the yahoos that think the moon landings were faked, and I’m just a girl. Don’t need to be a rocket scientist to tell the difference here. Hope those other posts were just jokes, folks.

    Now about saving ‘holies and sciences in a matrix of space…in energy form’..Interesting. Radio/tv waves dissapate, what’s next?

  10. “Hi,

    Looks like a fun toy :). I remember building something similar with lego’s when I was a kid, but this is the real thing. Wow!”

    Note – We can’t use external links due to NASA rules and regulations.


    The Co-Host

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