Moon Astronauts Will Ride These Electric Canoos Before Boarding Space Rockets

Artemis program astronaut transportation vehicles by Canoo 12 photos
Photo: NASA/Isaac Watson
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It's been more than one year since NASA announced who will be supplying the vehicles meant to transport the Artemis astronauts to the launch pad. That's a very long time, and we have to admit, caught up with all the other things happening in the world, we kind of forgot all about them.
Until this week, that is, when the space agency announced it has taken delivery of the three vehicles that will be used on the early crewed mission of the lunar exploration program. And they are all Canoos.

Canoo describes itself as a maker of electric vehicles, and although it's not a very present name in the sea of similar companies doing similar things, it does have plans to make a living by producing no less than three different vehicles: the Lifestyle EV, a multi-purpose delivery vehicle, and a pickup truck.

In April 2022 Canoo was awarded a NASA contract to produce crew transportation vehicles for the needs of the Artemis missions. Three of them were to be made and delivered to the Kennedy Space Center. And that's exactly what we've learned happened this week.

NASA announced all three "specially designed, fully electric, environmentally friendly crew transportation vehicles" are now on location, awaiting to enter service in the service of Moon astronauts.

The exact specs of the rides were not announced, although, to be fair, things like range and top speed don't matter all that much in this case. That's because the trip from the crew headquarters at Kennedy to Launch Pad 39B is short, and there's no need to travel fast.

What does matter in the case of such vehicles is their ability to safely transport fully-suited astronaut crews, their support personnel, and additional gear. The Canoos can do that, being large enough to accommodate four astronauts, a spacesuit technician, and specialized equipment.

As per NASA, the vehicles are "customized to accommodate NASA's unique specifications for Artemis missions while also paying homage to the legacy of the agency's human spaceflight and space exploration efforts. "

We're unsure what that first part means, but when it comes to paying homage to the past, that's obvious everywhere, from the color scheme chosen for the vehicles to the badges and decorations.

It won't be until the end of next year when the Canoos will actually transport Moon-going astronauts, the crew of the Artemis II mission. Until then, they will do the rounds on the premises of the Kennedy Space Center as part of training exercises. And we can barely wait to see some videos of these electric astronaut vehicles in action.

As for Artemis II, the mission will carry to the Moon for the first time a person of color, a woman, and a Canadian. The four people (Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch, and Jeremy Hansen) will travel the farthest humans have ever been, 6,400 miles (10,300 km) beyond the Moon, but will not actually land on the satellite.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows Canoo's current lineup of electric vehicles.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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