NASA selects companies to develop lunar terrain vehicle for Artemis Moon missions

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 04-04-2024 10:39 IST | Created: 04-04-2024 10:39 IST
NASA selects companies to develop lunar terrain vehicle for Artemis Moon missions
Image Credit: NASA
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NASA has announced companies that will be moving forward in developing the lunar terrain vehicle (LTV) for future astronauts to travel on the Moon's surface as part of the Artemis campaign. The agency plans to use the LTV for crewed operations during Artemis V.

The selected companies include Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab. The LTV developed by the trio will be able to handle the extreme conditions at the lunar South Pole, featuring advanced technologies for power management, autonomous driving, and state-of-the-art communications and navigation systems.

The Artemis astronauts will use the LTV to explore, transport scientific equipment, and collect lunar surface samples, much farther than they could on foot, enabling increased science returns.

"We look forward to the development of the Artemis generation lunar exploration vehicle to help us advance what we learn at the Moon. This vehicle will greatly increase our astronauts' ability to explore and conduct science on the lunar surface while also serving as a science platform between crewed missions," Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

When there is not a crew on the lunar surface, the LTV will operate remotely to support NASA's scientific objectives as needed. Outside those times, the LTV provider will have the ability to use their vehicle for commercial lunar surface activities unrelated to the agency's missions, the agency said on Wednesday.

"We will use the LTV to travel to locations we might not otherwise be able to reach on foot, increasing our ability to explore and make new scientific discoveries," said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist in the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


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