GM, the maker of the Hummer EV, and Lockheed Martin, the defense and security company, have unveiled their Lunar Mobility Vehicle, hoping NASA will choose it for future manned lunar missions. Mars rover based on Hummer EV.
In a few years, NASA’s Artemis mission plans to return four astronauts to the moon in 2027. For this, the American space agency needs a new rover, the famous vehicle that will allow astronauts to travel on the moon. So a design competition was launched, and the pair formed between the American manufacturer GM (to whom we owe the Hummer EV) and the American defense company Lockheed Martin (to whom we owe the F35) have just revealed some details about their proposal.
Common base with Hummer EV
The rover of the two American companies would naturally be based on a fairly well-known technical basis, sincethis is the famous 100% electric Hummer EV. This one has incredible bandwidth (as well as a particularly practical crab mode) and uses only electrical power. GM announces in a press release that the work that made the Hummer EV possible will be restored for this rover, including performance, chassis, battery, and autonomous driving!
Indeed, despite the Hummer EV’s gigantic consumption (which in some cases can pollute more than an electric car), it’s a pretty fascinating showcase of technology. We also wonder if it has any real-world application. So the engineers took its base and modified it using a simulator to successfully keep its wheels on the lunar ground so it wouldn’t fly off into space.
Batteries must be durable
As for the battery, if this rover is selected, it will use GM’s Ultium electric platform, which is currently only integrated into the Hummer EV. We remind you that this is a technology that was introduced in 2020 with an energy capacity of 50 to 200 kWh, very high performance and very fast charging thanks to its 800-volt architecture. However, they will need to be protected from bad weather, including temperatures that can vary by 260 degrees Celsius day and night on the moon! If they are not solid batteries, they must be durable!
Autonomous driving according to the program
The autonomous driving part, which is in the hands of GM’s Cruise division, is also very important. This will be much more difficult to implement than on Earth, as engineers will not be able to test it thousands of kilometers away in real-world situations. Not taking into account that the surface of the moon is much less smooth than an asphalt road. The rover will allow two astronauts to explore the moon.
In a recent media interview Automotive newsBrent Diep, GM’s program manager, clarifies that the old 1971 rover, built at the time by GM and Boeing, was also used as a base because it had successfully completed its mission. The new rover should be able to be used for 10 years on the surface of the moon. Regarding autonomous driving, the man, however, recalled that the absence of a road would make this task easier, but the most difficult thing would be to reproduce the surface of the moon on a virtual map.
GM and Lockheed Martin are certainly not alone in this call for projects. It is also possible to note the car manufacturer Nissan, which has entered into a partnership with the American company Sierra Space. So it remains only to wait for NASA’s choice.
To follow us, we suggest you download our app for Android and iOS. You can read our articles, files and watch our latest YouTube videos.