NASA Develops a Floating Rail System on the Moon's Surface

Before Mars could be explored, the moon would be an experimental location for human bases in space. The Artemis mission to the moon is hoped to be a stepping stone for humans to eventually live apart from Earth. To support settlement on the moon, NASA has contributed funds to the development of a floating rail system on the lunar surface.

The Flexible Levitation on a Track (FLOAT) project wants to develop a floating rail system that does not require humans to operate by 2030. The rail for FLOAT comes in the form of a coil that opens when needed. The self-driving robots will float using magnetic propulsion with each of them able to carry a cargo of up to 30 kilograms.

With FLOAT, lunar rock and mineral samples can be sent to headquarters for self-guided testing. It will also be used to deliver cargo supplies from the landing site to the mark. FLOAT is one of six conceptual projects that received NASA funding to make it a reality.

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