Goodyear has announced that it is developing tires for the Lunar Vehicle (LTV), to be built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with General Motors to support future moon landing NASA Artemis missions.
“Goodyear is drawing from its advanced airless tire technology used on Earth with micro-mobility, autonomous shuttles, and passenger vehicles, to advance lunar mobility and withstand the challenging conditions on the Moon,” claims Goodyear. “Together with Lockheed Martin, the company is already applying existing expertise to the project including testing concepts in lunar soil test beds.”
The company explains that NASA’s existing lunar rovers “were purposely built for just a few days of use on excursions within five miles of their landing sites.” Now, Goodyear, Lockheed Martin, and General Motors must develop an LTV that can go “over much longer distances while operating in greater temperature extremes” for future Artemis missions.
Lockheed Martin and General Motors will focus on the overall LTV design. Goodyear will focus on its area of expertise: tires. “New tire capabilities will need to be developed for years of durability,” the company says, “and even withstand nighttime temperatures below -156 degrees Celsius and daytime temperatures of 120 degrees Celsius.” But work on lunar tires could benefit more than just NASA.
“Everything we learn from making tires for the Moon’s extremely difficult operating environment will help us make better airless tires on Earth,” Goodyear CTO Chris Helsel said in a statement. “This will contribute to our end goal of enabling mobility no matter where it takes place.”
The first NASA Artemis mission is still scheduled for 2025, by which time Lockheed Martin, General Motors, and Goodyear should have time to develop their lunar vehicle.