May 4, 2010

Rover Lunar For Exploration New Tech Here On Earth

In the year 2020, NASA will be back on the moon. This time NASA will explore thousands of miles of the moon’s surface with individual missions lasting six months or longer. Just as we did during the Apollo program, NASA will be developing new concepts and technologies – concepts and technologies that will also benefit life on Earth.

The Chariot lunar rover is a large, six wheel drive vehicle with active suspension and computerized navigation. It has a totally enclosed, pressurized cabin where the astronauts can ride in shirt sleeved comfort. It has a range of 62 miles and can operate independently for two weeks at a time. The pressurized cabin comes with beds, a pantry, a waste-management system, and a pair of space suits.

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According to National Geographic, "...the Chariot has a longer wheelbase and is outfitted with the same automatic stability control used to keep today's sport-utility vehicles from rolling over. Steering is controlled by a computerized navigation system, and all six wheels can turn in any direction or be individually lifted for greater maneuverability. The craft also has two gears—first gear tops out at 3 miles (5 kilometers) an hour, while second gear can safely reach 12 miles (20 kilometers) an hour. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries allow the craft to venture up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) and back before needing a pit stop at a solar-power station.

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1 Responses to “Rover Lunar For Exploration New Tech Here On Earth”

Mike Y said...
May 16, 2010 at 9:51 AM

These are pretty amazing machines. I saw them at the Johnson Space Center in Houston last weekend. Apparently, they were designed for Mars but are fully capable of working on the Moon as well, where they actually have a greater range due to the brighter sunlight on the moon.

We've done the flags & footprints - it's time to go back to the moon and start doing some real work.


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