NASA aims to send the first woman and first person of color to the lunar surface within a few years. And like the Apollo astronauts of 50 years ago, they will use a moon buggy to make their way across the rocky surface.
Aerospace technology company Northrop Grumman is designing a so-called “Lunar Terrain Vehicle” (LTV) that NASA plans to use for the approaching Artemis moon landings.
Few details are currently available on the specific design of Northrop’s vehicle, indicating that it is still in the early stages of development. This week, however, the Virginia-based company was able to share an image (below) showing what it could look like.
Northrop says the proposed LTV will be “flexible and affordable.” To achieve its design goal, it is partnering with four commercial companies: propulsion system specialist AVL, space products supplier Intuitive Machines, space technology company Lunar Outpost and tire expert Michelin.
It also works with the Apollo astronauts Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt and Charles Duke to learn from their hands-on experiences and knowledge gained during their lunar missions in the early 1970s.
“Together with our teammates, we will provide NASA with an agile and affordable vehicle design to greatly enhance human and robotic exploration of the lunar surface to enable a sustainable human presence on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars,” said Steve Kerin, director of Northrop. in an edition.
NASA issued an appeal in August to request LTV designs from American companies. It said the lunar rover must be electrically powered and designed to last at least 10 years so it can be used on multiple Artemis missions.
For the Artemis program, the space agency is drawing on the expertise of commercial companies such as Northrop to develop and build the necessary space hardware as part of efforts to reduce costs and shorten preparation time.
But despite this approach, NASA admitted earlier this month that it would not meet its original 2024 target for returning humans to the lunar surface, citing a slew of problems that would mean the first astronaut moon landing since 1972 would not have happened at the earliest. 2025 will take place. .