back to article NASA taps trio of companies to build the next generation of lunar rover

NASA has selected three companies to develop designs for a lunar terrain vehicle (LTV) to transport astronauts around the Moon. Worth $4.6 billion in total, the award will kick off with a year-long feasibility task order before eventually resulting in an LTV that will see action as part of the Artemis V mission, possibly in …

  1. Adair Silver badge

    Why not ...

    ditch the pork barrel, publish the specification, and run a global competition over several years to come up with a champion design, sell the film and distribution rights, have some serious racing with serious prize money, and the winner/s get the contact.

    There would still be change out of $4.6B.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why not ...

      I'd watch that!

      Of course there are limits to testing a 1/6 G vehicle at 1G, and in atmosphere.

      Here's a 1972 NASA report looking at the differences between the predicted behaviour of the Lunar Rover and its actual performance.

      https://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/documents/NTRS/collection2/NASA_TR_R_401.pdf

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Built For Any Planet

    Admittedly, Luna isn't a planet, but over at the Tesla website, the Cybertruck is promoted as "Built For Any Planet"

    https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck

    May be Musk should be challenged to take one of them to the Moon and let it run around under Autopilot.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Built For Any Planet

      Well, building the Cybertruck out of steel was just step one of making it a DeLorean replica. Step 2 is fitting a Mr Fusion unit, Step 3 is fitting wheels that pivot into anti-gravity units.

      "... we don't need roads!"

    2. ldo

      Re: Luna isn't a planet

      It orbits the Sun, not the Earth.

      1. Spherical Cow Silver badge

        Re: Luna isn't a planet

        No, that's a common misconception. While it is true the Sun exerts a stronger gravitational force on the Moon than Earth does, and also true the Moon never travels "backwards" relative to the Sun as it orbits Earth, these things do not mean the Moon is orbiting the Sun instead of Earth. The Earth-Moon system is a bona fide satellite system in its own right, and because the barycentre of this system is inside Earth it is correct to say the Moon orbits Earth.

        1. ldo

          Re: Re: barycentre nonsense

          But by that same argument, the barycentre of the Sun+Jupiter lies outside the Sun. So do we live in the “Sun-Jupiter system”, not the “Solar system”, then?

  3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Brave!

    Intuitive Machines have decided to put Boeing in charge of testing.

    That's a courageous decision. Although I can think of other words to use...

    1. Sven Coenye
      WTF?

      Re: Brave!

      I do hope they run a test under vacuum or there might be a surprise when the driver tries to start the Verbrennungskraftmaschine on the moon...

    2. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Brave!

      It’s an unpressurised vehicle.

      No doors to blow off.

  4. fishman

    Used are far cheaper

    There are a couple of lightly used lunar rovers already on the moon - just bring a set of new batteries, a replacement fender, and you are set to go.

    1. Adair Silver badge

      Re: Used are far cheaper

      Yeah, but they've been left out in the street instead of garaged, so who knows what state they'll be in.

      Around these parts they'd be advertised AIWI - 'As Is, Where Is' - with the owner taking absolutely no liability or responsibility for their condition.

    2. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Used are far cheaper

      Just send up the Road Kill guys.

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