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捷运月球如何用机器人开采月球?

How Moon Express could use robots to mine the Moon

私营航天公司捷运月球已经获得了月球的开采许可
Private spaceflight company Moon Expresshas been promising to mine the Moon.
目前 他们已经宣布了相关计划的启动
And now, they’ve announced their plan to get started.
公司希望在2020年于月球南极
The company wants to set up a robotic lunar outpost
建立一个月球机器人前哨
on the Moon ’ s South Pole by 2020.
这个想法基于公司打算
The concept relies on this new fleet of robotic landers
建造的新型着陆机器人机群
that Moon Express wants to build called
“MX机器探索者”
the MX Robotic Explorers.
这些航天器的尺寸依序从最小的MX-1到最大的MX-9
These spacecraft range in size — from the small MX-1 to the larger MX-9,
都是由公司自产的
all are powered by a new “ eco-friendly engine ”
新型环保引擎PECO提供动力
Moon Express is building, too, called the PECO.
这些载具的用途非常广泛
And the vehicles all are flexible in purpose.
他们既可作为着陆器载物运送至月表
They can be used as landers to put payloads on the lunar surface
也可以作为人造卫星环月运行
or used as orbiters to travel around the Moon.
有些甚至配备了样本返回舱
And some are even equipped for sample return.
比如MX-9可以将较小的MX-1运至月表
The MX-9, for instance, can carry the smaller MX-1 to the Moon ’ s surface.
而MX-1可以在月表上重新发射
And from there, the MX-1 can lift off again,
将资源带回地球
bringing resources back to Earth.
另外别忘了
And just for reference,
上次从月球带回东西还是在1976年呢
the last time anyone brought something back from the Moon was in 1976.
将月岩带回地球意义非凡 这对于
Bringing back Moon rocks would be super cool — both
研究员和希望进一步扩展
for researchers and for those looking
自己石头收藏的人皆是如此
to take their rock collections to a wholenew level.
但捷运月球公司不满足于只挖月岩
But Moon Express wants to do more than just excavate lunar rocks.
公司对于月球上的
The company is also interested
水资源 其实是冰资源 也很感兴趣
in the Moon ’ s water supply — well ice supply.
月球两极储有丰富的冰
There is a whole bunch of ice at the Moon ’ s poles,
捷运月球打算开采这种资源
and Moon Express wants to extract that material
而后可能将其转化为火箭燃料
and potentially turn it into rocket propellant
用于为已在太空中的航天器加油
that could then be used to fuel spacecraft that are already in space.
鲍勃:月球水资源的重要性
Bob Richards: The importance of water on the Moon
在于水及其可作为火箭燃料的成分氢和氧
is water and its constituents — hydrogen and oxygen — are rocket fuel,
这样月球就近似成为了一个空中加油站
so the Moon becomes like a gas station in the sky.
然而公司尚未披露
However, the company has yet to detail
其用于开采月球资源的技术细节
the technology it will use to actually mine the Moon’s resources.
但在开采之前
Before any of mining can happen,
月球捷运必须证明其
Moon Express has to prove it can get
至少可以将一个航天器送上月球表面
even one spacecraft to the lunar surface.
公司决定从最小的MX-1E着陆器着手
The company is starting small with its MX-1E lander.
这是全系列中最小的载具
It ’ s the smallest vehicle of the family,
按照设计它将被装在
designed to fly on top of an experimental
由Rocket Lab生产的电子号实验火箭的顶部
rocket called the Electron, which is madeby Rocket Lab.
鲍勃:这种小型机器人只靠自己就可以
Bob Richards: This little robot [MX-1] isa robot that can fly from low-Earth orbit
从近地轨道飞到月球然后降落在月球上
all the way to the Moon by itself and land itself on the Moon.
到了月球上
Once on the Moon,
MX-1E可以点燃它的引擎在月表上跳跃穿梭
the MX-1E can ignite its engine to “ hop ” across the surface, as
同时向地球回传照片和视频
well as send back photos and videos to Earth.
捷运月球计划于今年晚些时候首次发射
Moon Express plans to fly the lander for the first time
这是谷歌月球X竞赛的一部分
later this year as part of the Google Lunar X Prize,
竞争的焦点是最先将私人支持的载具送上月球
a competition to send the first privately funded vehicle to the Moon.
如果捷运月球在其它竞争者
If Moon Express is the first to land its lander
之前将着陆器送上月球
before the other contestants, it ’ s poised
它将稳赢2千万美元的大奖
to win a $20 million grand prize purse.
只不过 时间不多了
Time is running out, though.
整个任务必须在今年结束前开始
The mission has to launch before the end
这是竞争的截止时间
of the year — the deadline for the competition.
但捷运月球至今仍未展示过
And Moon Express has yet to show any
任何MX-1E着陆器的硬件
of the MX-1E lander ’ s hardware.
理查德表示他们仍在进行零部件测试
Richards says they ’ re still doing tests of different components
并在佛罗里达组装载具
and putting the vehicle together in Florida.
另外 计划搭载着陆器
Also the Electron rocket that ’ s supposed
的电子号火箭也尚未就绪
to carry the lander isn ’ t exactly ready yet.
电子号只在新西兰试飞的时候
The Electron has only flown once, during a test flight,
发射过一次
out of New Zealand.
载具进入了太空
The vehicle made it to space but didn’t
但并未进入轨道
quite make it to orbit.
Rocket Lab表示他们已经找到了原因
Rocket Lab says it has figured out why,
但电子号在真的搭载
but there are still two more test launches of
机器人前仍有两次试发射
the Electron before the rocket can carry customers.
如果MX-1E的任务成功了
If the MX-1E mission is a success,
它就铺平了捷运月球计划好的两个后续任务
it paves the way for the next two missions Moon Express wants to do.
它计划在未来的几年中向南极点
It plans to start the lunar outpost in the next few years,
发射一个着陆机器人建立月球前哨
by launching one of its landers to the South Pole
用于勘探水资源以及建立一个永久驻地
to prospect for water and establish a permanent presence.
公司希望在2020年启动样本返回任务
Then in 2020, the company hopes to launch its sample return mission.
如果这实现了的话
If it can pull that off,
捷运月球将证明它具备将载具送上月球并顺利回收
Moon Express will prove it can both land its vehicles on the
到地球能力
Moon and return them to Earth.
鲍勃:我们在此努力地激励着新一代
Bob Richards: We ’ re here to try to inspire a whole new generation,
将边界拓展到月球
to open up the frontier of the Moon,
并重新定义可能
and redefine the possible.
我认为未来一片光明
And I think we have a great future ahead of us,
从地球轨道到其它位置
collapsing the cost of transportation
的运输成本会越来越低
from Earth orbit to everywhere else.

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视频概述

捷运月球公司与Rocket Lab合作,计划修建月球前哨站,对月球资源进行开采。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Aimik

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuvk0b9F6Ns

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