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Artemis Astronauts to Ride in All-Electric Futuristic Vehicles With Pod-Shaped Exteriors

NASA's Artemis II astronauts are set to ride in style. The journey they will have to make from the crew quarters to the Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be all electric. A fleet of futuristic crew transportation vehicles provided by EV maker Canoo will replace the agency's Astrovan fleet.
Canoo EV rendering 12 photos
Photo: Canoo
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The last time humans set foot on the Moon was in 1972. Now, 50 years later, the astronauts are preparing to return to the lunar surface and establish a long-term presence. Artemis is the name of the mission that will put the first woman and person of color on the satellite and will act as a stepping stone to Mars.

Preparations are currently underway for Artemis I, the uncrewed flight that's supposed to validate both the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion capsule that will take astronauts to the Moon. Artemis I is expected to take place this year. If everything goes well, a crewed mission is scheduled for 2024.

Until then, astronauts have to thoroughly prepare for the historic journey. Crew comfort, safety, and functionality are just a few of the factors that will determine the mission's success. NASA announced that Canoo EVs will replace the fleet of modified Airstream trailers known as Astrovan.

Three futuristic vehicles with pod-shaped exteriors will shuttle the fully suited astronauts, their support team, and their equipment from the crew quarters to the launch pad. It's a nine-mile (14.4 km) trip, and it will be all electric.

The vehicles will be based on Canoo's all-electric LV model, which looks similar to a minivan with a spacious interior. The transport will be designed to fit NASA's requirements. The agency says that the futuristic-looking EV will be an eight-seater and will also have space to fit inside four fully suited astronauts.

In addition to their primary role, the vehicles will also be used in training, as well as to support other prelaunch activities and launch countdown rehearsal tests. The fleet is expected to arrive at the spaceport in June 2023.

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Editor's note: Gallery includes images of Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle.

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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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