2021-06-13

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Lockheed Martin and General Motors will develop for NASA lunar electric car

3 min read

American company Lockheed Martin and General Motors will develop an electric lunar car for NASA. It is planned to be used as part of the ARTEMIS manned space program on the study of the Earth’s satellite. The project was named LUNAR TERRAIN VEHICLE.

Image source: Lockheed Martin

During the current decade, the United States plans to send research robotic and manned missions to the Earth satellite, as well as to establish a lively research base there. The recently held presentation was led by Lockheed Martin and General Motors reported that their development would be equipped with autonomous technologies. In addition, the worked lunar vehicle will have a “substantially higher stroke stock” compared to lunar cars (LUNAR ROVING VEHICLE, LRV), which were used during the “Apollo-15” missions, Apollo-16 and Apollo-17 “In the early 70s of the last century.

Both companies have decided to cooperate after NASA applied to the private sector with a proposal to develop two types of lunar vehicles for the lunar program of Artemis: Open Rover Lunar Terrain Vehicle (or LTV) and larger Lunar Surface Science Mobility System. The second will be a hermetic multicole mobile research laboratory.

For LTV, the American aerospace Agency NASA has put forward only a few key requirements. The lunar rover must be equipped with autonomous movement technologies and machine view system managed from Earth, to move in adverse conditions of the lunar surface. In addition, the vehicle must be completely electric, able to recharge itself independently, for example, using side solar panels or other systems, as well as with the help of external infrastructure, which is planned to be placed on the moon. In addition, LTV must be able to transport two equipped astronauts, as well as any payload weighing up to 500 kg to a distance of at least two kilometers on a single battery charge. From the lunar car requires a robust design capable of withstanding the unfavorable conditions of the southern pole of the moon, where the temperature may vary from +126 in the sunflower point to -173 degrees Celsius during the moon night.

Lunar Terrain Vehicle Lunar Car is at an early stage of development, so the company has not yet become reported by its characteristics, expected weight and stroke. However, according to Vice-President General Motors Jeff Ridera (Jeff Ryder), it will be created from lungs, durable and elastic materials. Vice President of Lockheed Martin Kirk Shireman added that they want to create a device with a very long service life.

It should be added that both companies already have extensive experience in developing technologies that were used on the moon. Lockheed Martin and General Motors were one of those who participated in the Apolon Space Program. General Motors has developed for lunar cars used in the “Apollo-15” missions, Apollo-16 and Apollo-17, the corps and wheels. Lockheed Martin, in turn, participated in the development of landing modules.

During the Mission “Apollo-17” in 1972, its commander of the Eugene Sernan (Eugene Cernan), who had already everly flying to the Earth’s satellite within the framework of the “Apollo-10” mission, but not planted on his surface, a total of traveled on a lunar car LRV more than 35 km and removed from the lunar landing module for a distance of more than 7 kilometers.

Юджин Сернан верхом на лунном автомобиле передвигается по ухабистой лунной долине Тавр—Литтров

Eugene Sernan Riding on a lunar car moves along the bumpy lunar valley of Tavr Litters

In Lockheed Martin and General Motors note that their new electric lunar car will be able to drive a much greater distance than the Lunar Buggy of Apollo program and will allow astronauts “with comfort to study the lunar surface, and also to visit those places where there has never been a person “

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