All partners involved in the project will bring their vast and proven expertise to the table. As the leader of the team, Northrop Grumman will be in charge of systems integration, avionics, navigation, sensors, controls, cargo storage, to name its main responsibilities.
Michelin will be in charge of developing the airless tires of the lunar rover, while AVL will handle the electric propulsion system. Intuitive Machines will provide vehicle launch and landing functionality for the LTV, applying the same technology used for its Nova-D lander, which can deliver a payload of up to 1,100 lb (500 kg) to the lunar service. Lunar Outpost will leverage its know-how in dust mitigation and thermal technologies used for its MAPP rover, built for extraterrestrial and extreme environments.
In addition to the aforementioned partners, Apollo astronauts Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmitt and Charles Duke will also be part of the team and contribute to the design and optimization of the LTV, so that it can meet the needs of NASA researchers and Artemis astronauts.
Described by Northrop Grumman’s Rick Mastracchio as not just a spacecraft but the ultimate off-road vehicle, the new lunar rover will be a science platform and a remotely-controlled robot.
NASA recently announced that the first crewed Artemis landing on the moon will most likely take place no earlier than 2025. As reported by TechCrunch, even though there is no contract solicitation at this moment, NASA did provide some details on what it might look for in the next lunar vehicle. It should be able to travel up to 12.4 miles (20 km) on the lunar surface on a single charge, and it should be able to carry a minimum of 1,763 lb (800 kg).
We'll keep you updated on how the development of the new LTV goes.