Goodyear is expanding into space.

In order to support NASA’s forthcoming Artemis (Opens in a new window) moon missions, the business has announced (Opens in a new window) that it is designing tires for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that Lockheed Martin is developing (Opens in a new window) . (According to the company’s announcement from May 2021, GM is also working with Lockheed Martin on the vehicle’s design, and other experts will likely contribute as well.)

Goodyear said it is utilizing its highly developed airless tire technology, which is now employed on Earth with micro-mobility, autonomous shuttles, and passenger vehicles, to increase lunar mobility and endure the harsh lunar conditions. The corporations are already putting their existing expertise to use on the initiative, testing ideas in lunar soil test beds, among other things.

NASA’s current lunar rovers, according to the corporation, “were purposefully intended for just a few days of use on trips within five miles of their landing locations.” Goodyear, Lockheed Martin, and General Motors are now tasked with creating an LTV for upcoming Artemis missions that can “traverse tough terrain over significantly longer distances while functioning in wider temperature ranges.”

The LTV’s overall design will be the focus of Lockheed Martin and General Motors. Goodyear will concentrate on its specialty: tires. According to the manufacturer, “new tire capabilities will need to be developed for years of durability and even survive the night when temperatures are below -250 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime temperatures are over 250 degrees Fahrenheit.”

However, improving these tires won’t simply help NASA.

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According to a statement from Chris Helsel, the chief technology officer of Goodyear, “Everything we learn from creating tires for the Moons highly tough working environment will help us make better airless tires on Earth.” This will help us achieve our ultimate aim of facilitating mobility wherever it occurs.

According to Goodyear, Lockheed Martin, and General Motors, “they expect to get {their} first vehicle on the surface of the Moon in time to assist NASA’s first landed mission, which is presently scheduled for 2025 and will see the first woman and first person of color walk on the Moon.” Lockheed Martin’s website (Opens in a new window) has further details about the design process for the LTV itself.

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