This Lunar Rover is inspired by Skoda’s electric car
The Luniaq Rover is an electric lunar vehicle concept that can accommodate up to four astronauts, inspired by the design of Skoda SUV cars.
XTend Design unveiled the Luniaq lunar rover concept inspired by Skoda’s Enyaq electric car. The rover was presented in Virtuplex, the largest Virtual Reality laboratory in Europe. The chief designer of Luniaq is space architect Tomas Rousek of Xtend Design, who previously worked on concepts for missions to the Moon, Mars and asteroids at NASA JPL. The Luniaq Rover is an electric lunar vehicle concept that can accommodate up to four astronauts, inspired by the design of Skoda SUV cars.
The rover’s technical solution is based on NASA’s MMSEV (Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle) platform. Tomas worked on concepts for missions to the Moon, Mars and asteroids at NASA’s JPL. Several of his projects involved rovers based on this system and Tom was also involved in the HDU (Habitat Demonstration Unit) project, a simulation of a space base in the Arizona desert. The cabin can accommodate up to four astronauts, depending on the length of the mission. The rover would also be able to operate autonomously and remotely.
There are two hatches on the sides of the rover allowing connection to the space modules of the lunar base. At the rear, the rover features a âsuitportâ covered by a hinged door that reveals two spacesuits attached to the exterior of the vehicle. This solution allows astronauts to crawl directly into their spacesuits and prevents harmful moon dust from entering the cabin. Electrical energy is stored in solid-state batteries that can be charged using UltraFlex solar panels on the roof. The solar panels can deploy in a fan shape and allow charging while standing or driving slowly. The roof area also houses radiators for cooling during lunar day and antennas for communication with the moon base, Earth, orbital stations and other satellites.
The design of the front of the car is inspired by Skoda Enyaq. The large windows are constructed from transparent aluminum which is more resistant to micrometeorites than glass. Additional radiation protection is provided by layers of polyethylene. The lower front window allows drivers to view the terrain directly in front of the car. Above it there are stereoscopic cameras for scanning the terrain and for 3D imaging to allow remote and autonomous control of the car. Large, flexible wheels would provide a comfortable ride on a bumpy lunar surface thanks to Michelin’s Tweel technology.
For the latest automotive news and reviews, follow carandbike.com on Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.