NASA Will Collaborate with 3 Teams to Design the Next Generation of Moon Buggy

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NASA has granted three space companies the opportunity to design the next generation moon rover, with only one design ultimately chosen to be sent to space. This competition will result in a rugged vehicle that astronauts can drive on the lunar surface, with a decision expected as early as next year.

The three teams will now enter a 12-month feasibility phase, leading to a preliminary design review and subsequent competitive request for proposals. The chosen company will not only design the Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) but will also be responsible for launching and landing it on the moon before the Artemis V mission in 2029.

Each team is keeping specific details, such as battery technology and range, confidential. However, NASA has specified that the rover must have a long 10-year lifespan and be able to accommodate two astronauts in suits.

The vehicles will enable astronauts to transport scientific equipment, collect samples, and explore farther distances on the moon’s challenging south pole. When astronauts are not present, the LTV can be remotely operated to continue its exploration and even interact with new astronaut crews upon arrival.

This initiative falls under NASA’s Artemis program, aiming to establish a permanent human presence on the moon. The success of these lunar rovers will be crucial in advancing human exploration beyond Earth and changing our understanding of the moon’s terrain.

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