Latest Trending News

NASA Selects Three Companies to Develop Lunar Terrain Vehicle for Artemis Missions

San Francisco: Taking a step towards advancing lunar exploration, NASA has chosen three companies – Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab – to develop a lunar terrain vehicle (LTV) that will facilitate astronauts’ movement across the Moon’s surface during the Artemis missions.

The selection of these companies underscores NASA’s commitment to enhancing scientific research and preparing for future human missions to Mars, the space agency announced in a statement.

Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, expressed optimism about the development of the Artemis generation lunar exploration vehicle, emphasizing its pivotal role in advancing lunar exploration capabilities. “This vehicle will greatly increase our astronauts’ ability to explore and conduct science on the lunar surface while also serving as a science platform between crewed missions,” Wyche stated.

NASA plans to integrate the LTV into crewed operations starting with Artemis V. The contract, structured with “firm-fixed-price task orders,” holds a combined maximum potential value of $4.6 billion for all awards.

Each selected provider will embark on a feasibility task order, encompassing a year-long special study to design a system aligning with NASA’s requirements through the preliminary design maturity project phase.

During intervals between Artemis missions, when astronauts are not present on the Moon, the LTV will function remotely to support NASA’s scientific objectives as necessary. Additionally, the providers will have the flexibility to utilize their LTV for commercial lunar surface activities unrelated to NASA missions during these periods, as outlined by the space agency.

Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, highlighted the significance of the LTV in expanding exploration capabilities. “We will use the LTV to travel to locations we might not otherwise be able to reach on foot, increasing our ability to explore and make new scientific discoveries,” Bleacher explained.

Through the Artemis program, NASA aims to send astronauts – including the first woman, first person of color, and the agency’s first international partner astronaut – to explore the Moon, marking a significant leap forward in humanity’s quest for space exploration.


Comments are closed.