Who will build and what will be NASA’s future lunar rover?
WASHINGTON, (BM) – The United States is returning to the moon in 2024 after a long lull in decades. To this end, the new astronauts will need to have more advanced and technologically advanced lunar rovers to expand their capabilities during their lunar stay.
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NASA’s Artemis program launches a bidding process for the 2024 lunar rover, which rover will transport to the lunar surface with astronauts.
A company in the United States has traditionally partnered with the US for the past 50 years, and that is Lockheed Martin. This week’s news is that Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics are starting a joint partnership to build the new lunar rover, which will compete with quite serious competition. According to statements from the two companies this week, their collaboration will focus on two main areas – battery-powered propulsion of the lunar rover, which will provide both a long time on the lunar surface and a greater distance to travel.
The astronauts will aim not only to collect lunar finds and geological (or biological) material but will also have to study that unlit part of the moon. Lockheed and DG will have to build a vehicle that will have to haul large loads to be transported back to Earth.
Artemis is NASA’s new lunar program. In the coming years, there will be several flights to the moon under this program. All this means building missiles and rocket launchers to take on these expeditions. Elon Musk and his company SpaceX have already won this contract worth a total of $ 2.9 billion. Currently, however, a procedure is underway to challenge it by another well-known entrepreneur in this business – Jeff Bezos’ BlueOrigin and Dynetics Inc. Lunar missions expect to last at least 100 days.
NASA has sent lunar rovers before. In the 1970s, for example, lunar rovers had a minimal capacity – they traveled only 4.7 miles, and the vehicle did not extend the downtime. Times are different, and this shortcoming of the last lunar rover expects to be overcome.
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According to analysts, the partnership between Lockheed and GM is appropriate. Still, the most significant benefit could come from GM, as it could be the official return of GM to the space business and a new competitor to Elon Musk.
GM and Lockheed said their vehicle would be designed to provide “commercial payload services” and prepare for landing.
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