The next mission into the Queen’s Chamber shafts would have two primary objectives: Send a robot crawler up QCS to explore the space behind the first blocking slab using the same opening Pyramid Rover had drilled, determine if the rough block at the opposite side was the end of the shaft or another blocking slab, and if the latter, drill a hole through it and see what is behind it.
Send a robot crawler up QCN to drill a hole through blocking slab and see what is on the other side.
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Through interviews and exchanges with the Djedi Project manager, Shaun Whitehead, as well as other team members, this article promises to be Pyramid Rover was a successful reconnaissance mission into the southern shaft coming out of the Queen’s Chamber (QCS).
The mission had confirmed that the 20 x 20 cm blocking slab and the final section of U-block were made of a higher quality type of limestone than the rest of the shaft, most likely the fine limestone quarried at Tura rather than the rougher local yellow limestone.
The next robot would need to be able to look up and down and from side to side, as well as take a look at the back of the blocking slab.
One of the most curious features of the shafts is the copper pins in the two blocking slabs.
The LED array on the probe did not provide much ambient light, so Rover was unable to examine the walls and floor of the chamber, much less the back of the blocking slab.
Even the view of the opposite block was limited by the quality of the light.Larger, more structural questions presented themselves as well. Did the shaft continue on the opposite side, or come to an abrupt end against the core masonry of the pyramid? Zahi Hawass, the Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, had some decisions to make.Was the block inserted into the shaft like a cork, or did it sit flush against the end of the shaft like a lid? Initial planning for the next mission into the Queen’s Chamber shafts began soon after the conclusion of the Pyramid Rover Project, and at one point it seemed that a team from Singapore University had been selected as early as August, 2004. Hawass talked as if the Singaporean mission was a done deal.But now, using technology designed for uses as divergent as space exploration and terrestrial search and rescue, we are finally able to explore the chamber behind Gantenbrink’s Door.Picking up where we left off with Pyramid Rover, this exclusive covers how the Djedi Team won the “Robot Olympics in the Desert”, the members who make up the team, the specifics of the robot’s design, and the results of Djedi’s maiden voyage up QCS and into the chamber behind the first blocking stone.The Djedi Project is not just the new mission to explore the pyramid shafts—it truly is the next generation in robotic archaeology.