Luxembourg, 27 May 2021. – Lockheed Martin and General Motors join forces to design the next generation of lunar rovers, the companies said.
“Unlike the Apollo days when the rovers only traveled four miles from the landing site, Artemis astronauts will go farther and explore more of the Moon’s surface than ever before to conduct critical scientific research”, the companies said. “The new rovers will be capable of transporting astronauts across farther distances on the lunar surface.”
A Lockheed Martin-GM rover would be able to preposition itself autonomously near a landing site prior to the astronauts’ arrival, and astronauts would have the ability to task the rover from the Human Landing System or the orbiting lunar Gateway to conduct science operations without a driver, the companies said.
“This enables NASA to fit more science into a smaller amount of time, and allows us to uncover the critical information that the other 95% of the lunar surface may hold”, they said.
The Lockheed Martin-GM rovers would be designed to survive and even operate in the two-week long night that sees temperatures of down to -280 degrees Fahrenheit, and day-time temperatures of 260 Fahrenheit, they added.