NASA aims to build first railway system on moon

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — NASA announced it is aiming 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,” a post by Ethan Schaler, with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated.

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.
(Credit: NASA / Ethan Schaler)

According to the post, the transport system will be critical to the daily operations of a sustainable lunar base in the 2030s.

The team proposed developing a system titled “Flexible Levitation on a Track,” or FLOAT, to meet these transportation needs. The FLOAT system will use unpowered magnetic robots that levitate over a film track.

The system will transport payloads around the base to and from landing zones and other outposts. The aim is to also transport lunar soil from mining locations to be used for extraction or construction.

(Credit: NASA / Ethan Schaler)

“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 stated.

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