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Space & Astronomy

'Moon Racer' lunar buggy shortlisted for NASA's Artemis V mission

By T.K. Randall
April 7, 2024 · Comment icon 0 comments
Intuitive Machines Moon Racer.
Is this the future of lunar driving ? Image Credit: Intuitive Machines
If this early concept image is anything to go by, the astronauts could soon be zooming around on the Moon in style.
While the original Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) Moon buggy used by the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 astronauts was certainly functional, it wasn't exactly much of a looker.

Given that the priority was function over style as well as to make it as small and lightweight as possible, it's perhaps no surprise that the engineers at NASA didn't waste time trying to make it look aesthetically pleasing.

When it comes to the design and build of the next-generation lunar buggy that will be used during NASA's upcoming Artemis V mission, however, it seems that style may be very much back on the table.

Intuitive Machines - one of the three shortlisted firms tasked with producing the vehicle - has provided a concept image of what can only be described as a lunar race car (see top image).
Indeed, the vehicle even has the words "Moon Racer" painted on it.

NASA's own designation for the project is Moon Reusable Autonomous Crewed Exploration Rover (RACER) - with the new vehicle being required to carry 500 kg of cargo alongside two astronauts for significant distances across the harsh environment of the lunar surface.

Intuitive Machines' vehicle, which will be designed and built in co-operation with Boeing and Northrop Grumman, should do all this while also looking like something out of a science-fiction movie.

Of course, with two other firms - Lunar Outpost and Venturi Astrolab - also vying for the contract, it's possible that NASA will choose one of their designs instead.

The winner is expected to be announced in approximately one year's time.

Source: Auto Evolution | Comments (0)




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