Aerospace company Motiv Space Systems is constructing what it calls the first robotic arm designed to operate in the cold temperature extremes of the moon.

The COLDArm — which stands for Cold Operable Lunar Deployable Arm — is capable of operating in the extreme colds of the moon’s South Pole as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, which aims to send robotic landers and rovers to the moon.

Source: Motiv Space SystemsSource: Motiv Space Systems

To enable the robotic arm to operate in such conditions, which is a challenge for most equipment, Motiv will build the COLDArm so that it will be capable of operating in cryogenic environments. To accomplish this, the team intends to build the robotic arm using electronics and lubricant-free mechanical components capable of functioning in settings as cold as -279° F.

Attached to existing rovers and landers, this robotic arm will, according to Motiv, cut down on the amount of power required of rover or lander operations and will extend the length of missions.

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