Dec, 2021 - By WMR
Northrop Grumman teamed up with AVL, Lunar Outpost, Michelin, and Intuitive Machines, and to develop a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) for NASA to carry astronauts on surface of the moon.
The electrically powered, two-seaters, Lunar roving vehicles, known as LRV used in 1972 in Apollo mission turned the Apollo landings from short visits to deep exploration missions. The new LTV is expected to have much more capabilities than its predecessor, from longer service life to capability of handling Lunar temperatures of -260°F (-162 °C) in an instant . The new Northrop Grumman partnership including AVL, Lunar Outpost, Intuitive Machines, and Michelin will be developing a new lunar terrain vehicle for NASA’s Artemis project. The collaborated team is expected to provide multi-disciplinary expertise ready to provide an innovative solution for lunar surface mobility to NASA.
Northrop Grumman being a primary contractor for this project will handle cargo storage, system integration, energy management, navigation, avionics, sensors, controls, operation, training, and mission planning. While AVL is planning to work on the electric propulsion system, and Intuitive Machines is set to provide expertise on landing systems for delivering the rover to the Moon. Lunar Outpost should adapt the dust mitigation and thermal technologies designed for MAPP rover as well as it will provide techniques for quick prototyping. Furthermore, Michelin will be designing an airless tire, which is a field, the company it excels in.
Moreover, former astronauts from Apollo mission Charles Duke and Dr. Harrison Schmitt are also included in the mission to offer feedback based on their experiences of driving on the moon. The entire team claims to provide an agile and codt-effective vehicle design for significantly improving robotic and human exploration of the moon’s surface to further provide a sustainable human presence on the Moon and eventually Mars.
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