Monday, July 29, 2013

NASA Ames K10 Telerobotics Test from the ISS


This has been so exciting! I finally joined Instagram! Just kidding. Well, I did join Instagram, but that was the exciting part. I decided to try it out, and use it to publish all my pictures while visiting NASA Ames Research Center for the Rover tests by the Intelligent Robotics Group.

K10 rover
K10 Rover at NASA Ames Roverscape
Click to see album of pictures!

I also dusted off my YouTube channel and took some videos of the most amazing rover test I've ever seen up close!

With coordinated help and checklists from NASA Ames Multi-Mission Operations Center (MMOC), and NASA Marshall's ISS Payload Operations, ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano remotely tested the K10 Telerobotics Lunar Rover from the International Space Station (ISS)!

Every time you see this little guy move, it was being controlled from an astronaut in orbit around the Earth! So very awesome. Listen for the Mission Control chatter at the end, as well as the amusing Pac-Man sound effects.  It did a funny R2-D2 impression as well, though I didn't happen to catch it on-camera.

Note the giant Wind Tunnel in the background of the NASA Ames Roverscape, the research facility used to design and test new (commercial and military) aircraft, as well as NASA space vehicles, including the Space Shuttle. At 80x120, it's the largest wind tunnel in the world!

After Luca Parmitano completed his remote Telerobotics tests, and a survey of the terrain that will hopefully someday be used on the Moon, we went out into the roverscape to see the K10 up close.  Close enough to touch, even. And, when it started moving again, to hear it hum and beep. Can't wait for one of these to explore the Lunar surface!

After the robot fun in the morning, we also saw the IRIS and LADEE mission control centers, the new exhibits at the Ames Visitor Center, and the Lunar Science Institute. Not a bad way to pass the time in sunny California!

To see the robotics tests video clips in larger frames, visit my Pillownaut YouTube Channel, and to see the rest of our day in pictures, please visit my Pillownaut Picasa photo albums.