- Satellite Evolution Group
Northrop Grumman announces team for NASA’s next-generation lunar terrain vehicle
Northrop Grumman Corporation, is teaming up with AVL, Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Michelin to design a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) to transport NASA’s Artemis astronauts around the lunar surface. This team provides multi-disciplinary expertise that is ready to deliver an innovative solution to NASA for lunar surface mobility.
“Together with our teammates, we will provide NASA with an agile and affordable vehicle design to greatly enhance human and robotic exploration of the lunar surface to further enable a sustainable human presence on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars,” said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial space, tactical space systems division, Northrop Grumman.
As prime, Northrop Grumman will lead systems integration, bridging its own flight-proven experience with spacecraft design to include cargo storage, energy management, avionics, navigation, sensors, controls, mission planning, operations and training, with the following teammate capabilities:
• AVL, an industry-leader for the development, simulation, and testing of vehicle systems, will bring its expertise in the advancement of battery electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and propulsion solutions to make lunar surface mobility a reality.
• Intuitive Machines will build on its capability developed through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative to meet NASA and commercial demand for larger lunar surface payload delivery. Their Nova-D spacecraft utilizes four liquid methane/oxygen engines from the mature Nova-C program for precision landing on the Moon.
• Lunar Outpost, a leader in lunar mobility platforms, will leverage its expertise in rapid innovation, dust mitigation and thermal technologies from the development of its MAPP rover to help deliver a robust, cutting-edge LTV solution.
• Michelin will leverage the experience gained from previous collaborations with NASA to build lunar rovers, its expertise in high-tech materials, and the know-how acquired in the development of airless solutions for extreme applications to design an airless tire solution for the LTV.
In addition to the proven expertise brought by the teammates, Northrop Grumman has engaged Apollo astronauts Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmidt and Charles Duke, to incorporate their hands-on experiences into the design for the LTV–allowing the team to optimize the vehicle for the needs of NASA researchers and Artemis astronauts.