Northrop Grumman announced team to develop the Lunar Terrain Vehicle. DULLES, Va. – Nov. 16, 2021 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is working on a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) alongside AVL, Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Michelin to carry NASA’s Artemis astronauts over the lunar surface. This group has the multidisciplinary experience and is prepared to present NASA with a unique solution for lunar surface mobility.
“Together with our teammates, we will provide NASA with an agile and affordable vehicle design to greatly enhance human and robotic exploration of the lunar surface to further enable a sustainable human presence on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars,” said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial space, tactical space systems division, Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman will lead systems integration as prime contractor, leveraging its own flight-proven experience with spacecraft design to include cargo storage, energy management, avionics, navigation, sensors, controls, mission planning, operations, and training, as well as the following teammate capabilities:
- AVL: AVL, an industry leader in the development, simulation, and testing of vehicle systems, will contribute its knowledge of battery electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and propulsion technologies to help make lunar surface mobility a reality.
- Intuitive Machines: To address NASA and commercial demand for increased lunar surface payload delivery, Intuitive Machines will improve on its capability acquired through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. For precision landing on the Moon, their Nova-D spacecraft uses four liquid methane/oxygen engines from the mature Nova-C program.
- Lunar Outpost, a pioneer in lunar mobility platforms, will draw on its experience with rapid innovation, dust mitigation, and thermal technologies gained during the development of its MAPP rover to assist in the creation of a robust, cutting-edge LTV solution.
- Michelin will design an airless tire for the LTV based on its prior cooperation with NASA to produce lunar rovers, its expertise in high-tech materials, and the know-how gained in the development of airless solutions for harsh situations.
In addition to the colleagues’ proven knowledge, Northrop Grumman has enlisted Apollo astronauts Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmidt and Charles Duke to contribute their hands-on experience to the LTV design, allowing the team to improve the vehicle for NASA researchers and Artemis astronauts.
Watch the video introducing the Lunar Terrain Vehicle Team here.
NASA had awarded the contract to develop the living quarters for astronauts working on the Gateway, the planned in-orbit moon outpost. NASA’s Artemis program is developing the Gateway to support science investigations and surface landings at the moon. The Habitation and Logistics Outpost, or HALO, will be developed by Northrop Grumman. The combined spacecraft is scheduled to fly on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in November 2024.
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, which conducts resupply flights to the International Space Station, inspired the HALO design. In June 2020, HALO was granted a prior contract for preliminary design review work. The module’s evaluation procedure was concluded in May.