GM will be partnering with Lockheed Martin for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle which will boast an electric powertrain and self-driving autonomous tech.
General Motors (GM) has been one of the big proponents of electrification. So much so that it is even making an electric Moon Rover for NASA. This rover will be operated by the Artemis astronauts who will explore the Moon. This is not the first time General Motors is developing technology for the Moon. It had created the inertial guidance and navigation systems for the entire Apollo programme including the first moon landing in 1969. GM even helped develop the electric lunar roving vehicle that was used on the Apollo missions 15-17. Lockheed Martin is also involved as it is a huge US defence contractor alongside having a huge role in NASA missions. Both GM and Lockheed Martin are working in tandem for the Artemis program which will launch in 2024 – as they will provide their previous experience to explore the Moon.
“This alliance brings together powerhouse innovation from both companies to make a transformative class of vehicles. 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,” said Rick Ambrose, the executive vice president at Lockheed Martin.
GM will leverage its expertise in propulsion systems and battery technologies to develop a Lunar Terrain Vehicle that will go further than ever before. They will also provide the crew with advanced technologies that weren’t available at the time of the Apollo missions like better safety, autonomous tech.
“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. Working together with Lockheed Martin and their deep-space exploration expertise, we plan to support American astronauts on the Moon once again,” said Alan Wexler, senior vice president, in innovation and growth at General Motors.
These Lunar Terrain Vehicles will enable the first-ever excursions to the south pole of the moon. Generally, the LTV will be able to traverse more treacherous terrain.
“(The self-driving systems) allow the rovers to prepare for human landings, provide commercial payload services, and enhance the range and utility of scientific payloads and experiments,” said GM.
GM of course has huge investments in autonomous and electric car technology with it having its own self-driving service called Cruise and battery platform called Ultium which will debut later this year on the Hummer EV.