General Motors and Lockheed Martin are collaborating on the Lunar Terrain Vehicle which aims to allow astronauts to explore the moon. A recent post on GM Design’s Instagram page (embedded below) offers a possible glimpse into the project’s progress.
The clip begins with a lander bringing the vehicle to the lunar surface. He autonomously comes out of a ramp and a cut reveals a fleet of them driving to the moon to travel with astronauts. At this point, a pair of seats fold upwards to make room for them.
The Lunar Terrain Vehicle has a minimalist design, which makes sense as weight is the enemy of transporting anything in space. There is a lowered body with lots of lights on it and prominent fenders on the sides. A large hoop offers some protection for astronauts. At the rear, there is a truck-like loading bed for transporting equipment.
What’s intriguing is that the design shown in this video is different from the original announcement of the collaboration between General Motors and Lockheed Martin. This machine gave every astronaut a dashboard. It also had a lowered body with a cargo area in the rear but without the roll bar.
The lunar terrain vehicle’s goals include being able to reach the moon’s south pole, which has particularly rugged terrain and experiences temperature variations from -280 degrees Fahrenheit at night to 260 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. In addition, the machine must operate autonomously and have sufficient payload capacity to transport scientific equipment.
Judging by these two videos, General Motors and Lockheed Martin still seem to be finalizing the look of the Lunar Terrain Vehicle. The overall plan appears to have a simple, flat platform with all-terrain wheels, room for two occupants, and a crate.