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Business News/ Science / News/  NASA names Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost & Venturi Astrolab to develop rover for crewed Moon mission
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NASA names Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost & Venturi Astrolab to develop rover for crewed Moon mission

Texas-based Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost of Colorado, and Venturi Astrolab of California, have been picked to develop rover for the Moon crewed mission. The companies have been tasked with developing designs under a contract with a combined maximum potential value of $4.6 billion.

The Artemis missions are aimed at returning humans to the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. (Reuters)Premium
The Artemis missions are aimed at returning humans to the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. (Reuters)

US space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has named three companies to develop rover for the first crewed missions to the Moon since 1972. 

Texas-based Intuitive Machines, which landed a robot near the lunar south pole in February; Lunar Outpost of Colorado, and Venturi Astrolab of California, have been tasked with developing designs under a contract with a combined maximum potential value of $4.6 billion, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: NASA to come up with new clock for Moon, where seconds tick away faster

“We are building up the capabilities needed to establish a longer-term exploration and presence of the Moon," Jacob Bleacher, NASA’s chief exploration scientist, said.

“I like to imagine the views and the vistas that the LTV will enable us to see from the surface of the Moon," he added. 

Artemis 5 mission

The NASA will choose one of these companies to carry out a test run for its Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) before the arrival of the crew for the Artemis 5 mission.

The Artemis missions are aimed at returning humans to the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972.

ALSO READ: Japan's Moon lander achieves successful soft landing, resumes operations

Rover

Intuitive Machines has been given an initial $30 million to advance its prototype, called the Reusable Autonomous Crewed Exploration Rover (RACER), with partners including AVL, Boeing, Michelin and Northrop Grumman.

Astrolab’s contract could be “worth up to $1.9 billion" for its Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover, which it is building along with Axiom Space and Odyssey Space Research.

“The FLEX rover is designed to carry two suited astronauts, support scientific exploration with a robotic arm, perform cargo logistics, and withstand the extreme temperatures at the lunar South Pole," the company said in a statement.

“We look forward to the development of the Artemis generation lunar exploration vehicle to help us advance what we learn at the Moon," Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement.

“This vehicle will greatly increase our astronauts’ ability to explore and conduct science on the lunar surface while also serving as a science platform between crewed missions," she added.

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Published: 04 Apr 2024, 05:13 PM IST
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