The Robotics & Advanced Automation department at SoftServe, one of Ukraine’s biggest software engineering firms, will be working on a NASA-funded lunar exploration project by simulating robotic systems for live construction, mechanical interaction, and free movement on the moon’s surface.

As stated in a press release by SoftServe, the scope of the project is to “advance [the] development of extreme environment landing pad technologies and enable safer lunar landings.”

The team consists of 19 Ukrainian staff, according to Ukrainian IT outlet DOU, and some of them will be working on the project alongside other companies under a US firm called Astroport Space Technologies after the US firm secured a grant and funding under the NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project.

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The project is slated to start this month.

“Our work will involve the creation of a large number of digital simulations of the construction process on the Moon, taking into account the peculiarities and properties of the soil,” said Lyubomir Demkiv, Robotics Practice Leader at SoftServe.

“We will also explore with our partners the possibilities of interaction between machines, on-site devices and optimal movement concepts,” he said.

The STTR program from NASA is an annual grant funding research, development, and innovative technologies demonstration that supports the needs outlined by NASA, where the results could be utilized by researchers and later commercialized.

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But to formally begin the negotiations, EU member states still have to sign off on a formal negotiating framework for the process, proposed by the European Commission in March.

SoftServe was founded in Lviv in 1993 and has since grown globally with operations in 16 countries, providing consultancy and software development services in numerous fields.

In 2023, IT remained Ukraine’s biggest service export, contributing 4.9 percent to the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP) at $8 billion.

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