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NASA Chooses Three Companies to Develop Vehicle for Moon Surface Exploration

NASA has selected three companies – Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab – to develop a lunar terrain vehicle (LTV) for Artemis astronauts to use on the Moon. The vehicle will assist in scientific research during the Artemis campaign and preparations for Mars missions.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center director, Vanessa Wyche, expressed excitement for the development of the Artemis lunar exploration vehicle. This advanced vehicle will enhance astronauts’ ability to explore, conduct science, and serve as a platform for research between crewed missions.

The LTV will be utilized for crewed operations during Artemis V, with a combined maximum potential value of $4.6 billion for all awards. Feasibility task orders will initiate a year-long study to develop a system meeting NASA’s requirements and design maturity for the project phase.

During intervals between Artemis missions, when crews are not on the Moon, the LTV will operate remotely to support NASA’s scientific goals. Additionally, providers will have the opportunity to utilize their LTV for commercial lunar surface activities outside of NASA missions.

Chief exploration scientist at NASA Headquarters, Jacob Bleacher, stated that the LTV will enhance exploration capabilities and allow for new scientific discoveries in hard-to-reach locations on the Moon. Through Artemis, NASA will send diverse astronauts to explore the Moon, including the first woman, person of color, and international partner astronaut.

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