The Artemis program is focused on sending humans back to the surface of the Moon to explore and conduct scientific experiments using a variety of rovers. NASA is looking for a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will enable astronauts to explore the lunar surface farther than ever before.
GM and Lockheed said they will “develop a unique vehicle with innovative capabilities, drawing on their unparalleled engineering, performance, technology and reliability legacies.”
“This alliance brings together powerhouse innovation from both companies to make a transformative class of vehicles,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space. “Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface. These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts as they perform high-priority science investigation on the Moon that will ultimately impact humanity’s understanding of our place in the solar system.”
Meanwhile, GM will offer its expertise in battery-electric technologies and propulsion systems, as well as autonomous technology to “facilitate safer and more efficient operations on the Moon.” GM said autonomous, self-driving systems will allow the rovers to prepare for human landings, provide commercial payload services, and enhance the range and utility of scientific payloads and experiments.
“General Motors made history by applying advanced technologies and engineering to support the Lunar Rover Vehicle that the Apollo 15 astronauts drove on the Moon,” said Alan Wexler, senior vice president of Innovation and Growth at General Motors. “Working together with Lockheed Martin and their deep-space exploration expertise, we plan to support American astronauts on the Moon once again.”
GM manufactured, tested and integrated the inertial guidance and navigation systems for the entire Apollo Moon program, including Apollo 11 and the first human landing in 1969. GM also helped develop the electric Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), including the chassis and wheels for the LRV that was used on Apollo’s 15-17 missions.