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Artemis Lunar Rovers

The Artemis Program will use Orion to transport astronauts to lunar orbit. From there, astronauts will transfer either to the Gateway Lunar Outpost for later transfer to a landing system, or transfer directly from Orion to a landing vehicle.

Once on the lunar surface, astronauts will use a lunar rover to travel about. On 3 April 2024, NASA awarded contracts to three companies to develop crewed, unpressurized rovers capable of operating on the Moon’s South Pole. The companies contracted are Intuitive Machines (Houston, Texas), Lunar Outpost (Golden, Colorado), and Venturi Astrolab (Hawthorne, California).

Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines is developing its Moon RACER (Reusable Autonomous Crewed Exploration Rover).

Partnering with Intuitive Machines is AVL, Boeing, Michelin, and Northrup Grumman.

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Moon RACER (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

Lunar Outpost

Lunar Outpost is developing its rover, called Lunar Dawn.

Partnering with Lunar Outpost is Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Goodyear, and MDA Space.

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Lunar Dawn (Credit: Lunar Outpost)

Venturi Astrolab

Venturi Astrolab is developing its FLEX (Flexible Logistics and EXploration) rover.

Partnering with Venturi Astrolab is Axiom Space and Odyssey Space Research.

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Artist's concept of FLEX on the lunar surface (Credit: Astrolab)

Pressurized Rover

In addition to the unpressurized rovers, there will also be pressurized rovers for extended cruise range from the landing site. An example of such a vehicle is the Toyota Lunar Cruiser, being developed jointly by Toyota and JAXA.

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Lunar Cruiser (Credit: Toyota)


Page last modified: 06 April 2024 16:07:24.