April 23, 2024

Science – Three American companies compete to develop the lunar module for NASA's Artemis 5 mission

Garrett Matthews, President of Venturi Astrolab Photo: Agence France-Presse

Three US companies are competing to develop a lunar rover for the Artemis 5 manned lunar mission planned for later this decade: Texas-based Intuitive Machines, Colorado's Lunar Outpost, and California's Venturi Astrolab.

Three US companies are competing to develop a lunar rover for the Artemis 5 manned lunar mission planned for later this decade: Texas-based Intuitive Machines, Colorado's Lunar Outpost, and California's Venturi Astrolab have been awarded a lunar rover design. It is called the Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV), as NASA announced on Wednesday (local time).

She said that one of the three companies must conduct a test on the lunar surface with its rover before the mission crew lands there. The company that will be awarded the contract will be determined after a one-year development phase. A robot from Intuitive Machines landed near the moon's south pole in February.

“We are building the capabilities necessary for long-term exploration and presence on the Moon,” Jacob Bleicher, NASA’s chief scientist, told reporters. Bleicher promised that the new lunar module “will radically change our view of the Moon.”

Two astronauts will be able to use the vehicle to collect samples, even in remote areas. The LTV will have a robotic arm and will be able to transport scientific equipment. It should also be able to operate independently when the astronauts are not around.

The Artemis 5 lunar mission is scheduled to launch in 2030. Artemis 3, the first mission to bring humans to the Moon again, is scheduled to launch in 2026. However, it is questionable whether the schedule can actually be met. . China also plans to send a manned mission to the moon in 2030.

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