We Drove (And Crashed) The NEW Lunar Rover

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Rivian R1S: First Drive Review
Published on 25 Jul 2022, 11:15
NASA is going back to the moon and they are going to need a new ride. Tim Stevens took a virtual ride in the latest generation of Lunar Rovers.
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The ORIGINAL MOON BUGGY, developed in the 1960s by General Motors and deployed on three separate Apollo missions in the early '70s, was formally called the Lunar Roving Vehicle. 50 years on, NASA's Artemis program a new program to get humans back on the moon as soon as 2025. They'll need a new way to get around and GM is building that buggy. This one's called the Lunar Mobility Vehicle, developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin, and I was recently lucky enough to drive it.

Well, a simulated version of the thing, anyway. General Motors' sprawling Milford Proving Ground sits about 45 minutes northwest of Detroit. It covers thousands of acres and offers hundreds of miles of test tracks but, crucial for this enterprise, also houses a number of massive driving simulators. These can be customized to offer any of a number of driving experiences, from droning down the highway to screaming around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With a few tweaks, they can be made to simulate the moon, and that's exactly what GM engineers did. The moon of course offers roughly one sixth the gravity that we experience here on Earth, but there are other differences, too, like a lack of wind resistance and a generally loose, slippery surface to traverse.