back to article NASA, UK boffins plan tunnelling Moon mole robot

A joint working group set up by the British government and US space agency NASA has recommended that the two countries cooperate on a "UK-led" unmanned moon mission. Under the so-called "MoonLITE" (Moon Lightweight Interior and Telecoms Experiment) plan, a satellite would be placed in orbit round the Moon. The spacecraft would …


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  1. MikeC


    I didn't realise The Mole could fit into Thunderbird 3! Or can Thunderbird 2 now manage return trips to the moon!

    The one with the marrionette strings attached please!

  2. Alan Jenney

    Conductive vs. conducive

    Is the Moon conductive to human life? Some ancient civilisations may have believed that the Moon was a God that had significant rule over on life on Earth, but in these enlightened times we've narrowed it down to tides, menstural cycles and the like.

    Looking at alternative meanings, the Moon (under the grey outer surface) appears to consist of rust, so it's not conductive to electricity even. Now I'm just being silly.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Chris Branch

    How long

    How long until we discover amanfromtheMoon?

    Will he beam his thoughts down to Earth?

    Will they make any more sense?!

  5. Ian Peters

    Beagle 2

    This one gives the UK boffins experience on entry to the surface

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Follow the (lack of) money

    To be pondering this kind of project, where the UK has a pretty poor track record (Beagle 2), at the same time that Keith Mason's STFC is ruthlessly cutting mainstream astrophysics, where the UK has been hugely successful, is frankly insane.

    My guess is that this is Keith's way of generating some positive spin to distract public and politicians from the mess that he and STFC has made, albeit with the help of HMG who didn't stump up enough cash. But the amounts of money are small potatoes (80 million) compared to Iraq (a few billion) and Northern Rock (55 billion) so why not fix it and generate some *real* good news stories, not over-the-horizon, unlikely to happen or work fluff like Moon LITE?

  7. Mike

    Been done before

    I thought Beagle 2 tried to do that already. They just forgot to fit the drill to it so launched it into the planet at high velocity instead.

    Or was that just to try and destroy Megatron?

    The metallic jacket that turns into a taxi, please.

  8. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Plonkers are as Plonkers do.

    "so why not fix it and generate some *real* good news stories, not over-the-horizon, unlikely to happen or work fluff like Moon LITE?" .... By Anonymous Coward

    Posted Tuesday 19th February 2008 10:53 GMT

    Crikey, that's easy to answer, AC. They are not Fit for ITs Purpose.

    Those that are though, can QuITe easily change fiat paper money into ferrari gold. And I also note that the emptyheads always talk of things which are being discussed and will be revealed when market conditions improve/over-the-horizon etc etc. which all just means that they haven't made anything up which will be believable, which makes me wonder why they are being paid at all for their failure. Government is a Fraud and a Block on Private Enterprise in furtherance of Ignorance in Arrogance in Control.

    Ok Rant over. And it does you good to Clear the Air.

    I suppose sitting with your hands in the till makes it easy though.

    And the Jolly Roger because I suppose they are all happy campers, but who would want to be one, with the spotlight on one's every move reported back to Base for Profiling and Grooming .........

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Insulting manipulation of UK science policy

    Would this be the same Keith Mason pushing the ExoMars project - the one whose projected costs have just DOUBLED to £650M?

    Would this be the same Keith Mason currently decimating whole areas of the UK science base - cancelling work on the international linear collider, withdrawing from Gemini telescopes, sacking half the UK's scientists?

    What a stupid idea this project is. When is Keith Mason going to get the sack? Soon I hope.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is I suppose what happens when themanintheMoon multiplies and goes forth (IT angle for those old enough)

    ( Bomber jacket )

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Scaredy cats...

    How come they are no longer using manned space missions to the moon anymore and are sending probes launched from a craft that has not landed on the lunar surface?

    Was there something that happened up there that has put NASA off from using manned flights? Surely excavation by a human is better than that conducted by a probe? Maybe there is something you haven't told us NASA boffins?

  12. Jay


    Gbay must be getting crowded...

  13. Anonymous Coward

    This is nothing.

    I'll be impressed when they plan a robot to seek fossils in the caverns of Uranus.

    ...mine's the one with a note saying "Mrs. Buttlestock's Third Grade Homeroom" pinned to the back.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Not a good idea

    I would expect the Mole people are going to be mightily pissed when told to bend over for a probe by something that just crashed through the ceiling.

    Or maybe not.

  15. Richard


    Has someone hacked amanfromMars's account - that post made sense! I do hope he's not ill or anything - maybe an attack of Lunacy?

  16. Adrian Esdaile

    A better name?

    If it fires "three or four penetrator probes into the lunar crust", would a better name be Moon Far Underground Calibrated Knowledge Exploration Robot?

    The space suit on the left, thanks.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    I'll bet those pesky Moonies have WMD hidden inside their deep dark caverns of hate [tm].

    Mine's the long overcoat with the multi-colour scarf!

  18. Dalen


    Now I'll have to move my secret lunar base to elsewhere. Maybe I should try the Mariana Trench next.

    Pesky sane boffins always getting in the way of my world domination plans.

    Roboservant! My lab coat, please.

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