Lockheed Martin and General Motors are collaborating to foster another sort of lunar vehicle for NASA to use during its forthcoming Artemis missions to the moon, the organizations reported Wednesday.
“Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface. These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts,” Lockheed Martin executive vice president Rick Ambrose said in a statement.
Recently, NASA gave a notification to organizations that it “requires a human-class rover that will extend the exploration range of” astronauts during missions for the office’s Artemis program. The NASA program, reported by previous President Donald Trump’s administration and proceeded under President Joe Biden, comprises of multiple missions to the moon’s orbit and surface in the years ahead.
NASA’s request for a next-generation lunar vehicle noted it ought to use an variety of cutting-edge technologies, including electric vehicle systems, autonomous driving, and hazardous terrain capabilities.
GM has assembled such a vehicle previously, as the organization was the significant subcontractor that assisted Boeing with making the lunar wandering vehicle that was used during three Apollo missions on the moon.
While NASA’s past wanderer was equipped for arriving at almost driving all over the moon at almost six miles each hour, it traveled under five miles from the Apollo landing site.
Lockheed Martin said its next-generation lunar terrain vehicle is “being designed to traverse significantly farther distances to support the first excursions of the moon’s south pole, where it is cold and dark with more rugged terrain.”