Lockheed Martin and GM associate to develop new moon buggy for NASA astronauts and cargo

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An artist’s idea reveals a top level view of the lunar car design.

Lockheed Martin | Common Motors

Lockheed Martin and General Motors are partnering to develop a brand new sort of lunar car for NASA to make use of throughout its upcoming Artemis missions to the moon, the businesses introduced on Wednesday.

“Floor mobility is crucial to allow and maintain long-term exploration of the lunar floor. These next-generation rovers will dramatically prolong the vary of astronauts,” Lockheed Martin government vp Rick Ambrose mentioned in an announcement.

Earlier this yr NASA issued a discover to corporations that it “requires a human-class rover that can prolong the exploration vary of” astronauts throughout missions for the company’s Artemis program. The NASA program, introduced by President Donald Trump’s administration and continued below President Joe Biden, consists of multiple missions to the moon’s orbit and surface in the years ahead.

NASA’s request for a next-generation lunar car famous it ought to make the most of quite a lot of cutting-edge applied sciences, together with electrical car techniques, autonomous driving, and dangerous terrain capabilities.

GM has constructed such a car earlier than, as the corporate was the most important subcontractor that helped Boeing create the lunar roving car that was utilized throughout three Apollo missions on the moon.

Apollo 16 astronaut John Younger drives NASA’s Lunar Roving Car (LRV) on the Descartes touchdown website on the Moon on April 21, 1972.

Charles Duke | NASA

Whereas NASA’s earlier rover was able to reaching practically driving across the moon at practically six miles per hour, it traveled lower than 5 miles from the Apollo touchdown website.

Lockheed Martin says its next-generation lunar terrain car is “being designed to traverse considerably farther distances to help the primary excursions of the moon’s south pole, the place it’s chilly and darkish with extra rugged terrain.”

CNBC’s Mike Wayland contributed to this story.

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