The National Aeronautics and Space Association(NASA) is asking for help from amongst car manufacturers to help design and create a new lunar rover for the Artemis program set in the year 2024.
This is going to be a mission on about landing the next man on the Moon and this time coming with the first woman. In line with this endeavor, they are hoping to use the great minds of car manufacturers to create a more sustainable lunar rover for that mission that can ferry the pair to and from the desired destination, which would be the Lunar Poles.
Lunar Rover Plans
NASA, although asking for help, has made it clear to the manufacturers that this would be no mere vehicle that has been ever designed before. It has to go above and beyond with its specifications and would deliver and perform flawlessly. This will be one of the two key components that would depend on the mission's success or failure.
It will need to be human-rated, meaning that humans can operate the vehicle, unpressurized as to like an open cabin, and lastly, be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and gear for communications.
The Artemis Program
Set to be the biggest and most ambitious expedition as of writing. The program will reach for the stars like never before and make the human footprint larger than it was ever before. The Artemis Program will be a series of expeditions in three phases. First will be in 2020, an uncrewed flight to test the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft together. Next up would be on 2022, Artemis II, the first crewed flight test of the Space Launch System Orion, is targeted for launch in 2022. Finally, the one where we actually see if humans can achieve success outside the confines of our earth would be set in 2024. NASA will land astronauts on the Moon by 2024 on the Artemis III mission and about once a year thereafter.
The main goal is to ready humans for the chance of really going to Mars, and this is a vital stepping stone in which they need to pass to achieve said goal. Besides the soon-to-be-designed land rover, the other part of the operation would be to use highly advanced robotics that is fully automated to ferry gear across impassable terrain during the expedition. This is to lessen the load of the astronauts as well as bring vital pieces of equipment and resources back for study.
As of now, NASA has only sent about two letters of Requests For Information to different car manufacturers out and for sure would send out more due to the complexity of the project and the diverse opinion of engineers and architects around the world. As this will be the first of many projects that they will have to go through in order for us to live amongst the start, we first have to pull all our resources together to be able to achieve that dream. The faster and more efficient humans got on this living outside mother Earth will definitely not just be a dream anymore, but a reality. First stop, the Moon. Next stop, Mars.