NASA Begins Moon Rover Study Today

Date: April 8, 2024 07:40:07

Author: Yao Liwei

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States recently announced a feasibility study on lunar rovers for the Artemis Moon mission, in partnership with three companies: Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab. The research will span one year, and upon its completion, only one company will be selected for the final demonstration mission. This mission will require the company to build a lunar rover and transport it to the Moon for performance and safety testing.

According to NASA’s plan, these lunar rovers will ultimately need to be capable of carrying out both manned and unmanned missions, serving as both a means of transportation for astronauts and a remote-controlled explorer. NASA stated that they will sign a service contract with the chosen company worth up to a maximum of 4.6 billion US dollars (approximately 33.304 billion Chinese Yuan), valid until 2039. The selected company will also have the opportunity to utilize these rovers for commercial activities during idle times.

During the development process, the product of Intuitive Machines is referred to as the “Moon Racer,” while Venturi Astrolab’s product is named “The Adaptable,” and Lunar Outpost’s product is known as “Moon Dawn.” All these lunar rovers are required to accommodate two astronauts and withstand the challenges of the extreme environment in the lunar South Pole region.

NASA’s Chief Exploration Scientist, Jacob Bleacher, stated, “We will use these rovers to reach areas inaccessible by foot, significantly enhancing our exploration capabilities and leading to new scientific discoveries.”

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