NASA Seeks Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services for Artemis Missions

NASA Seeks Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services for Artemis Missions

NASA is seeking industry proposals for a next-generation LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle) that will allow astronauts to go farther and conduct more science than ever before as they explore the south polar region of the Moon during Artemis missions.

Artemis astronauts will drive to explore and sample more of the lunar surface using the LTV than they could on foot. NASA will contract LTV as a service from the industry rather than owning the rover. Contracting services from industry partners allows NASA to leverage commercial innovation and provide the best value to U.S. taxpayers while achieving its human spaceflight scientific and exploration goals.

"We want to leverage industry's knowledge and innovation, combined with NASA's history of successfully operating rovers, to make the best possible surface rover for our astronaut crews and scientific researchers," said Lara Kearney, manager of NASA's Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The LTV will function like a cross between an Apollo-style lunar rover and a Mars-style uncrewed rover. It will support phases driven by astronauts and phases as an uncrewed mobile science exploration platform, similar to NASA's Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers. This will enable the continued performance of science even when crews are not present on the lunar surface. Artemis astronauts will use the LTV to traverse the lunar surface and transport scientific equipment, extending the distances they can cover on each moonwalk.

Under the Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services request for proposals, NASA has provided requirements for companies interested in developing and demonstrating the LTV, including an approach that encourages companies to produce an innovative rover for use by NASA and other commercial customers for multiple years.

Engineers will be able to operate the LTV remotely to transport cargo and scientific payloads between crewed landing sites, enabling additional science returns, resource prospecting, and lunar exploration. This will expand scientific research opportunities on the Moon during uncrewed operations, allow scientists to investigate future surface mission locations, and inform research goals and objectives for each site. 

To handle the unique environment near the lunar South Pole, which includes permanently shadowed regions and extended periods without sunlight, the LTV will need to incorporate several systems to support both crewed and uncrewed operations. Some of the more critical systems include advanced power management, semi-autonomous driving, state-of-the-art communication and navigation systems, and protection from the extreme environment.

As part of the proposals, companies are required to provide end-to-end services, from development and delivery to the lunar surface, to execution of operations. Each rover must be able to carry two suited astronauts, accommodate a robotic arm or mechanism to support science exploration and survive the extreme temperatures at the lunar South Pole. The company will be asked to successfully demonstrate the LTV in the lunar environment prior to using it in a crewed capacity.  

NASA intends to use the LTV for crewed operations beginning with Artemis V in 2029. Prior to crew arrival, the rover will be used for uncrewed and commercial activities once it lands on the lunar surface.

Proposals for the LTV services contract are due July 10, 2023, with the contract award scheduled for November 2023. This request for proposals incorporates feedback from the industry through a draft request for proposals and a previous request for information.

Through Artemis, NASA will send astronauts – including the first woman and first person of color – to explore the Moon for scientific discovery, and economic benefits, and to build the foundation for crewed missions to Mars. Together, NASA's Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, Gateway lunar orbital outpost, advanced spacesuits and rovers, and human landing systems are the agency's foundation for deep space exploration.

Click Here to Learn More About NASA's Artemis Mission.


Publisher: SatNow
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GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations

beidou

Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019

galileo

Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017

glonass

Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018

gps

Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014

irnss

Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013