Five decades after its last lunar rover, and eight months after it announced its intentions to build a new one, GM has shown off what its new extraterrestrial vehicle will look like.
In a post on Instagram, the team has shown its design concept. As with the original lunar rover, the new “Lunar Terrain Vehicle” doesn’t exactly look luxurious, but would appear to be well suited to the low-gravity, high-intensity conditions.
“We chose to go to the moon… again!” the automaker wrote in the post. “This is our Industrial Design team’s vision for the next chapter of @GM’s lunar legacy together with our partners #GMDefense and @LockheedMartin.”
With folding seats and four wheels, the LTV looks a bit like a cabover truck with no bodywork. In several shots, it doesn’t have a driver either. In fact, there doesn’t really seem to be a steering wheel, though there may be some controls on a central console. That’s because, as previously announced, the vehicle will be autonomous. That will allow it to prepare the surface of the Moon for human landings, provide payload transportation, and expand the range and utility of science experiments conducted in space.
“Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface,” said Rick Ambrose, executive VP of Lockheed Space, GM’s partner. “These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts as they perform high-priority science investigation on the Moon that will ultimately impact humanity’s understanding of our place in the solar system.”
Used as part of NASA’s Artemis program, the LTVs will help astronauts get back to the Moon. NASA intends to land the first woman and person of color on the surface of the Moon as part of the mission, which is also a stepping stone for the larger mission of sending humans to the surface of Mars.