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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Lockheed, GM propose Artemis lunar rover

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Author Topic:   Lockheed, GM propose Artemis lunar rover
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 48739
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-26-2021 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lockheed Martin and GM release
Lockheed Martin, General Motors Team-up to Develop Next-Generation Lunar Rover for NASA Artemis Astronauts to Explore the Moon

Lockheed Martin and General Motors Co. are teaming up to develop the next-generation of lunar vehicles to transport astronauts on the surface of the Moon, fundamentally evolving and expanding humanity's deep-space exploration footprint.

Above: A new generation of lunar rovers under development by Lockheed Martin and GM could be used by Artemis astronauts to extend and enhance the exploration of the surface of the Moon.

NASA's Artemis program is sending humans back to the Moon where they will explore and conduct scientific experiments using a variety of rovers. NASA has challenged industry to develop a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will enable astronauts to explore the lunar surface farther than ever before. The LTV is the first of many types of surface mobility vehicles needed for NASA's Artemis program.

To support NASA's mission, the two industry leaders will develop a unique vehicle with innovative capabilities, drawing on their unparalleled engineering, performance, technology and reliability legacies. The result may allow astronauts to explore the lunar surface in unprecedented fashion and support discovery in places where humans have never gone before.

Lockheed Martin will lead the team by leveraging its more than 50-year-history of working with NASA on deep-space human and robotic spacecraft, such as NASA's Orion exploration-class spaceship for Artemis and numerous Mars and planetary spacecraft.

"This alliance brings together powerhouse innovation from both companies to make a transformative class of vehicles," said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space. "Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface. These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts as they perform high-priority science investigation on the Moon that will ultimately impact humanity's understanding of our place in the solar system."

GM is a leader in battery-electric technologies and propulsion systems that are central to its multi-brand, multi-segment electric vehicle strategy, positioning the company for an all-electric future. Additionally, GM will use autonomous technology to facilitate safer and more efficient operations on the Moon.

"General Motors made history by applying advanced technologies and engineering to support the Lunar Rover Vehicle that the Apollo15 astronauts drove on the Moon," said Alan Wexler, senior vice president of Innovation and Growth at General Motors. "Working together with Lockheed Martin and their deep-space exploration expertise, we plan to support American astronauts on the Moon once again."

GM has a proven history of supporting NASA and working within the space industry. The company manufactured, tested and integrated the inertial guidance and navigation systems for the entire Apollo Moon program, including Apollo 11 and the first human landing in 1969. GM also helped developed the electric Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), including the chassis and wheels for the LRV that was used on Apollo's 15-17 missions.

Unlike the Apollo rovers that only traveled 4.7 miles (7.6 kilometers) from the landing site, the next-generation lunar vehicles are being designed to traverse significantly farther distances to support the first excursions of the Moon's south pole, where it is cold and dark with more rugged terrain.

Autonomous, self-driving systems, will allow the rovers to prepare for human landings, provide commercial payload services and enhance the range and utility of scientific payloads and experiments.

Lockheed Martin brings unparalleled experience and capabilities in deep-space exploration. It has built spacecraft and systems that have gone to every planet, been on every NASA mission to Mars including building 11 of the agency's Mars spacecraft, and played major roles on the space shuttle program and International Space Station power systems.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 48739
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-20-2022 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lockheed Martin and Goodyear release
Goodyear Joins Lockheed Martin to Commercialize Lunar Mobility

Vehicle Tires Designed for Extreme Temperatures in One Sixth Gravity on Crater-Filled Terrain

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company supplied essential products for NASA's Apollo program, including the Apollo 11 mission which landed on the Moon 53 years ago today. The company will continue that tradition—focusing on lunar vehicle tires—by joining Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) in its development of a lunar mobility vehicle.

Above: Goodyear is bringing decades of experience to next-gen lunar mobility vehicles.

Since Apollo, Goodyear continued innovating alongside NASA to advance designs for a lunar vehicle tire. The team of companies intends to be the first to establish extended-use commercial vehicle operations on the Moon. Goodyear brings its vast expertise in a mission-critical component to traverse the lunar surface, tires.

"NASA's Artemis program to live and work on the Moon has a clear need for lunar surface transportation that we intend to meet with vehicles driven by astronauts or operated autonomously without crew," said Kirk Shireman, vice president of Lunar Exploration Campaigns at Lockheed Martin. "We're developing this new generation of lunar mobility vehicle to be available to NASA and for commercial companies and even other space agencies to support science and human exploration. This approach exemplifies NASA's desire for industry to take the lead with commercial efforts that enable the agency to be one of many customers."

Goodyear is drawing from its advanced airless tire technology used on Earth with micro-mobility, autonomous shuttles and passenger vehicles, to advance lunar mobility and withstand the challenging conditions on the Moon. The companies are already applying existing expertise to the project including testing concepts in lunar soil test beds.

"Everything we learn from making tires for the Moon's extremely difficult operating environment will help us make better airless tires on Earth," said Chris Helsel, senior vice president, Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer at Goodyear. "This will contribute to our end goal of enabling mobility no matter where it takes place. Just as important, it is an honor to write history with these two prestigious companies who know how to make giant leaps in exploration and mobility."

The Apollo lunar rovers were purposely built for just a few days of use on excursions within five miles of their landing sites. Future missions will need to traverse rugged terrain over much longer distances while operating in greater temperature extremes. New tire capabilities will need to be developed for years of durability and even survive the night that sees temperatures of below -250 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime temps of over 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lockheed Martin leads this growing team by leveraging its more than 50-year-history of working with NASA on deep space human and robotic spacecraft, such as NASA's Orion exploration-class spaceship for Artemis and numerous Mars planetary spacecraft. The company will also manage the development of the program's commercial business operations and engagement with NASA and global space agencies. Lockheed Martin has also helped NASA explore every planet of our solar system, and continues to develop new technologies for future space missions.

Another teammate, MDA of Canada, recently announced its commercial robotic arm technology will be used on the human-rated lunar mobility vehicles. The arm will provide valuable contributions as support for astronauts as well as enabling greater functionality of the rover on fully autonomous missions.

Together, the teams are applying unique perspectives and shared expertise to new challenges and market approaches that are being considered for the first time. The companies expect to have its first vehicle on the surface of the Moon in time to support NASA's first landed mission that will have the first woman and first person of color walk on the Moon, currently planned for 2025.

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