In the future, astronauts will travel over the moon in electric vehicles. A car for Artemis: The US technology company Teledyne Brown Engineering wants to build a vehicle for the upcoming moon missions of the US space agency National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA). The Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan, among others, is involved in the project.
Teledyne announced the plan at the Space Symposium being held this week in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The electrically powered Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) is intended for one of the upcoming Artemis missions. Teledyne supplies components for this. According to the company, it also worked on the construction of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), which the Apollo astronauts used to travel over the moon in the early 1970s.
Teledyne takes over the project management, production as well as integration. Another partner is the US space company Sierra Space, which will develop the flight software, among other things. Sierra Space has developed the Mini Shuttle Dream Chaser and Inflatable Habitat for Space Stations.
Two vehicle manufacturers are involved
In addition, two-vehicle manufacturers are involved in the project: in addition to Nissan, the company Textron Specialized Vehicles, which belongs to the Textron conglomerate. The formerly independent company Arctic Cat builds quads and snowmobiles and is said to work on the chassis. Nissan already has experience with vehicles for other celestial bodies: the automaker has developed a lunar rover together with the Japanese space agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa).
Such an LTV should be able to transport two astronauts and a payload - a total of 500 kilograms. It must be able to climb inclines of at least 15 degrees and operate in a temperature window between 138 degrees Celsius and minus 173 degrees Celsius.
Astrolab recently presented a prototype of its Flexible Logistics and Exploration (Flex). The US space company has already tested the rover in the Californian desert. In addition, the US companies Lockheed Martin and General Motors are also developing a moon car.