USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Impact-Actuated Digging Tool for Lunar Excavation

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Honeybee Robotics
460 West 34th Street New York, NY 10001-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Impact-Actuated Digging Tool for Lunar Excavation
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX09CE73P
Award Amount: $99,554.00


Honeybee Robotics proposes to develop a vacuum compatible, impact-actuated digging tool for the excavation of frozen and compacted regolith on the lunar surface and in the permanently shadowed craters of the lunar poles. This technology development effort will address the most challenging aspects of excavation in the lunar environment and work to develop a design relevant to a range of future lunar missions. This effort will also serve to guide and inform the requirements for the vehicles and systems that will be necessary for such missions. The fundamental architecture of an impact-actuated digging tool has been demonstrated for terrestrial applications for the Department of Defense. Honeybee's digging tool design is a novel approach ideally suited for lunar applications to defeat compacted and frozen regolith. By using the impact energy imparted by a reciprocating hammer transferred through the scoop to defeat the target material, the need for large reaction loads from the vehicle is minimized, allowing for a much smaller, lower mass system. This ongoing effort will serve to instruct and maximize the benefit to NASA.

Principal Investigator:

Kris Zacny
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Chris Chapman
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Honeybee Robotics Ltd.
460 W 34th Street New York, NY 10001

EIN/Tax ID: 880193033
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No