The last humans visited the moon in 1972, they got around on a relatively simple battery-powered vehicle. As NASA prepares for the next crewed mission to the moon, its looking to give the lunar rover a upgrade.
Lockheed Martin and General Motors said that they are working together to develop next-generation lunar vehicle designed to be faster and capable of travelling farther distances than its predecessor. If the project is selected by NASA, the rover would be used on upcoming Artemis mission. The first mission, which will be a uncrewed test flight, is scheduled for November. The request for the proposal will likely to be published in the third or fourth quarter of this year, executives said at a media briefing Wednesday. NASA will award the contract after evaluating the submitted proposals.
The previous rover was only capable for travelling less than five miles from the Apollo landing site, limiting the astronaut's ability to collect important data on far-flung lunar locales, like the north and the south poles. The moon's circumference is nearly 7,000 miles. These two companies are aiming to improve the specs, Lockheed VP for lunar exploration Kirk Shireman said, noting that the exact materials used for new rover, its range and other capabilities have yet to be determined.