Summary of the Project

When you think of space exploration... think of astronauts, big rockets, men on the moon, and the space shuttle. Future space exploration will depend on robots like Nomad, and work of telenauts here on Earth.

Telenaut:1.(n) a person who controls a space robot from earth; 2. today's astronaut

Designing Nomad

The Nomad project started four years ago. Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh formed a team to find better ways to design, build, and communicate with robotic explorers so that they can survive long treks under harsh conditions.

(the team was looking for ways to practice on earth what will eventually be done in space)

Nomad Comes Alive

After two and a half years of research and design, scientists knew how the robot needed to:

But, that was in a lab at CMU. NASA wanted to see the robot in action. They funded a demonstration project to build a robot and test it in a desert. That robot is Nomad.

Nomad in the Desert

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile was chosen because of its "out of this world" terrain. With no plants, the desert resembles the moon or Mars more than it resembles earth. Nomad is ready to begin it's 200 kilometer trek through this barren, beautiful land.

Signals are beaming back between Nomad, Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center, and the researchers at California's NASA Ames complex. Visitors to the Science Center have a chance to participate in the project first hand by becoming a telenaut. Visitors to our web site can explore our pages, experience pictures Nomad has taken in the desert, and see what space missions will become in the 21st century.

Back to the Atacama Desert Trek Home Page
Last Modified on: Fri Jun 13, 1997