Japan Developing Lunar Bulldozers

June 21, 2016

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is teaming up with Kajima Corporation and Taguchi Industrial to build lightweight, automated construction equipment to work on construction projects on Mars and our moon.

Kajima has already used their A4CSEL (Automated Autonomous Advanced Accelerated Construction System for Safety, Efficiency, and Liability ) software with Komatsu dozers to build dams in southern Japan. The A4CSEL system networks into the dozer's machine control system and uses preprogrammed operating maneuvers based on research done with expert equipment operators.

If all goes well, A4CSEL will allow Earth-based human operators to give instructions to the extraterrestrial equipment via a tablet computer.  Kajima plans to enhance their software so that the remote machines will be able to communicate with each other to avoid collisions or repeating a task such as piling moon dirt.

JAXA has contracted with Taguchi Industrial to develop lightweight machinery that will be easier to lift into space. The European Space Agency, Russian Federal Space Agency and NASA have all previously unveiled plans for extraterrestrial bases.

An indoor experiment will be held sometime after April next year at JAXA's Sagamihara Campus in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. According to Nikkei Asian Review, JAXA hopes to have the machinery ready to construct habitats for four to six people on the moon by 2030 and Mars by 2040.