General Motors’ next vehicle is out of this world – literally.
While the brand is busy building electric Hummers and Corvette supercars, it has just announced a partnership with NASA and Lockheed Martin to build a new lunar vehicle. It’s part of NASA’s Artemis program that is planning on sending people back to the moon for the first time since the Apollo missions ended in 1972.
While there are no details on what the new vehicle will look like, it’s safe to assume they’ll be far more advanced than the original ‘moon buggies’ used by the Apollo astronauts. According to the initial statement, GM will utilise both its electric vehicle and autonomous technology to enable longer driving range and greater flexibility for the astronauts.
“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,” explained 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.”
While GM will bring automotive knowledge, Lockheed Martin has experience building spacecraft and satellites, so the two corporations are pooling resources to try and develop a vehicle that suits NASA’s needs.
“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 investigations on the Moon that will ultimately impact humanity’s understanding of our place in the solar system.”
Back on earth the new Chevrolet Corvette C8 is due to hit Australian GMSV showrooms before the end of the year, while the GMC Hummer EV will go on sale in the USA in 2023.