NASA’s Floating Railway on the Moon


FLOAT.  NASA / Ethan Schaler

NASA’s Floating Railway on the Moon is a robotic transport system proposed for the long-term human Lunar presence.

NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program has recently selected six projects to advance to the second stage of development. This means they will receive more funding and support from NASA. One of these projects is a robotic transport system called FLOAT, which stands for Flexible Levitation on a Track.

FLOAT uses magnetic robots that levitate over a flexible three-layer film track. One of these layers is made of graphite, enabling the robots to float without moving parts, using diamagnetic levitation.

The next phase involves designing, building, and testing a small-scale prototype. Researchers will also study how factors like temperature, radiation, and lunar dust affect the system’s performance.

source NASA


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