Lunar Backpack as a real-time navigation system

NASA researchers and their partners developed a lunar backpack to aid moon explorers.

The backpack is a remote sensor that uses light detection and laser light to create a real-time navigation system.  It delivers a high-resolution map of the surrounding terrain, including deep ravines, mountains, and caves, even in pitch darkness.  

The device can help ensure the safety of astronauts and rover vehicles in a GPS-denied environment like the Moon.  It can also mark specific sites where they found some unique mineral or rock formation, so others can easily return for further study.

Now, the engineers are continually improving the hardware and miniaturizing the device that weighs about 40 pounds.  They envision the next-generation unit to be about the size of a soda that can be mounted on the astronaut’s helmet.

What do you think of the lunar backpack?  Please comment your thoughts below.      

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