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Time is money – especially in space. As a host of new lunar expeditions queue up for an eventful year, once they reach our natural satellite, rovers and other spacecraft will only have a limited amount of time to operate before running out of fuel – a.k.a sunlight. Until we can viably leverage in-situ resources like ice and regolith, solar energy will still be the main power source on the Moon (and by far the easiest to harvest).

Robots without nuclear power will not overcome the night of the Moon, because the temperature gets too low and they simply freeze. This means that missions are expected to have a duration of 14 Earth days, the length of a lunar day, before it gets dark for another 14 Earth days,” said Prof. Miguel Angel Olivares Mendez, head of the Space Robotics (SpaceR) research group at SnT.

Read the full article from our 2021 Annual Report here.