From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999
posted 01-03-2011 02:07 PM
During a tour last week of Johnson Space Center, I had a chance to see both of NASA's Space Exploration Vehicles (SEV) parked inside Building 9N, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
Previously known as the Flexible Roving Expedition Device (FRED), the Lunar Electric Rover (LER) and the Small Pressurized Rover (SPR), the SEV concept is now being developed to be destination-flexible, able to work both in space and on planetary surfaces.
NASA is now testing concepts for a new generation of vehicles, building on lessons learned from the Apollo missions as well as the unmanned rovers on Mars. The Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) concept is designed to be flexible depending on the destination; the pressurized cabin can be used both for in-space missions and for surface exploration of planetary bodies, including near-Earth objects, the moon and Mars. Near both cabins' doorways, there are now emblems for each of the "missions" the SEVs have embarked on, including Desert RATS at Black Point, AZ and the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade.Click on the below photos to view larger images.
The surface exploration version of the SEV has the cabin mounted on a chassis, with wheels that can pivot 360 degrees and drive about 10 kilometers per hour in any direction. It's about the size of a pickup truck (with 12 wheels) and can house two astronauts for up to 14 days with sleeping and sanitary facilities. Likewise, the in-space version of the SEV would have the same pressurized cabin on a flying platform; it too would allow two astronauts to stay on-site for 14 days. [Source: NASA]