General Motors and Lockheed Martin are collaborating on the Lunar Terrain Vehicle that aims to let astronauts explore the moon. A recent post on the GM Design Instagram page (embedded below) offers a possible glimpse at how the project is progressing.
The clip starts with a lander bringing the vehicle to the lunar surface. It autonomously drives off a ramp, and a cut reveals a fleet of them driving on the moon to rendevous with some astronauts. At that time, a pair of seats fold upward to make room for them.
The Lunar Terrain Vehicle has a minimalist design, which makes sense because weight is the enemy of transporting anything into space. There’s a low-slung body with lots of lights on them and prominent fenders on the sides. A big roll hoop offers some protection for the astronauts. At the back, there’s a truck-like cargo bed for carrying gear.
What’s intriguing is that the design on display in this video is different from the one in the original announcement of the General Motors and Lockheed Martin collaboration. That machine gave each astronaut an instrument panel. It also had a low-slung body with a cargo area in the back but without the roll hoop.
The goals for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle include being able to reach the moon’s south pole, which has especially rugged terrain and experiences temperature swings from -280 degrees Fahrenheit at night to 260 Fahrenheit during the day. Also, the machine needs to function autonomously and have enough payload capacity to carry scientific equipment.
Judging by these two videos, General Motors and Lockheed Martin appear to be still finalizing the look of the Lunar Terrain Vehicle. The general plan appears to be having a simple, flat platform with off-road-capable wheels, room for two occupants, and a cargo bed.
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