Every product is carefully selected by our editors and experts. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Why trust us?

The Next Lunar Rover will be Made By General Motors

Oh sure, we’ve made it to the moon, but we’ve only explored about 5 per cent of its surface. That leaves 95 per cent as an unknown. That’s a lot of area to cover if we’re really going to understand our nearest neighbour. Lockheed Martin and GM are working together to develop a new type of lunar vehicle for NASA that will help in the upcoming Artemis missions to explore more of the moon.

You’ll also like:
Would You Pay $2.8 Million for a Place on Jeff Bezos’ Spaceship?
First Look at the Insane Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine Spaceship
The World’s First ‘Space-Aged’ Wine has Returned From Orbit

Lockheed martin x gm lunar rover

Image: Lockheed Martin

“Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface,” says Rick Ambrose, the executive vice president for Lockheed Martin. “These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts.”

The previous rover to drive around on the moon’s surface was only capable of achieving six miles per hour, and only roamed less than five miles from the Apollo landing site. The Artemis missions plan to cover much more area, and that means the new rovers need to be able to go much farther, faster, and be able to handle rougher terrain. Lockheed Martin is designing their lunar vehicle to “travers significantly farther distances to support the first excursions of the moon’s south pole, where it is cold and dark with more rugged terrain.

Lockheed martin x gm lunar rover 1

Image: Lockheed Martin

Details on the new rover are limited as the vehicle is still in the early stages of its development. Jeff Ryder, the VP of growth and strategy for GM, has shared that the vehicle will be “made of very lightweight, strong and resilient materials,” though “exactly what those are is still in formulation.” There won’t be much room for passengers either. NASA’s Human Landing System only carries two fully suited astronauts along with any cargo needed for the mission, so there may only be room for two on the rover. “One is too few, and more than two might be too many initially,” says Kirk Shireman, Lockheed Martin’s lunar exploration vice president. “I look forward to having a pickup truck on the moon, where we can pile as many people in the back as we want.” Until then, the rover developed by Lockheed Martin and GM will greatly improve our understanding of the moon.

Check it out

You’ll also like:
Would You Pay $2.8 Million for a Place on Jeff Bezos’ Spaceship?
First Look at the Insane Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine Spaceship
The World’s First ‘Space-Aged’ Wine has Returned From Orbit

About the author

About the author
STAFF WRITER

Mr Mark Jessen

Mark Jessen studied English at Brigham Young University, completing a double emphasis in creative writing and professional writing/editing. After graduating, Mark went to work for a small publisher as their book editor. After a brief time as a freelance writer, Mark entered the corporate world as a copywriter. These days, his hours are spent mostly in proofing and editing, though he continues to create content for a wide variety of projects. In 2017, Mark completed UCLA's Creative Writing Certification. A prolific writer, Mark has over 20 years of experience in journalism.