Goodyear and Lockheed Martin Join Forces To Commercialize Lunar Mobility

Lunar Rover Goodyear Tires 6 photos
Photo: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Astronaut on the MoonEarthMoon MarksLunar RoverAstronauts on the Lunar South Pole
It always seems impossible until it’s done, and the 1969 Moon Landing proved that for the entire human race. That was the start of a new era of space exploration and innovation. Since then, Goodyear has helped push the needle for new tire technology.
In 2009, together with NASA, Goodyear invented their “Spring Tire,” improving on the wire mesh tire that the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle had been using during space exploration. Now Goodyear joins Lockheed Martin in their quest to develop their next-generation Lunar Rover for NASA’s Artemis program.

We’re developing this new generation of Lunar mobility vehicle to be available to NASA and for commercial companies and even other space agencies to support science and human exploration,” said Kirk Shireman, vice president of Lunar Exploration Campaigns at Lockheed Martin.

According to the company, only 5% of the Moon’s surface has been explored by the human race, while the next generation of space vehicles will use autonomous, self-driving systems for the remaining 95%.

While the Apollo rovers were purposefully built for short-term use (only a few days and merely five miles within landing sites), the new Moon rover(s) will have to face more considerable challenges. Future missions will require traveling over longer distances, in harsh conditions, and over more extended periods of time, so Goodyear’s new tires will need to be up for the task.

The Moon’s rugged terrain and temperature fluctuations of 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 Celsius) won’t make things easy for the growing team. That said, the people working on this ambitious project have 50 years of space exploration to draw from.

Ultimately, the companies are planning to commercialize Lunar mobility.

NASA’s Artemis III project – aiming to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon – is planned for 2025. The companies are hoping to have their first new-gen rover ready in time to help NASA.
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