The 2021 Mars mission aside, NASA’s Artemis project is the next big thing in space exploration. The American space agency intends to set up a more solid presence on Earth’s moon, and it’s roping in several companies to make that happen. SpaceX has been contracted to create the lunar lander for NASA (though there’s some ‘debate’ on that point), and now the fate of the new Artemis rover has been decided.
NASA shoots for the Moon
General Motors (GM) has announced that it is partnering with Lockheed Martin to create the new Artemis lunar rover. Only ‘rover’ is the wrong term — it’s a Lunar Terrain Vehicle, or LTV, and it’ll transport astronauts around the moon as they explore the largely lifeless orb.
It is intended to be far more rugged and useful than the Apollo rovers, which travelled just shy of eight kilometres. It’ll be designed to help mankind explore the Moon’s southern pole for the first time, while “[a]utonomous, self-driving systems will allow the rovers to prepare for human landings, provide commercial payload services, and enhance the range and utility of scientific payloads and experiments.”