Airless tires? Sure, it might be the next big step for automobiles. Goodyear, though, is also working on a giant leap for the industry.
The Ohio-based tire manufacturer is currently helping Lockheed Martin build its next-generation lunar vehicle. The two companies are gunning to become the first to “establish extended-use commercial vehicle operations on the Moon.”
Building commercial lunar transports before a colony has even been set up? Now that’s advanced thinking. Seriously, though, this isn’t just some PR gimmick—Goodyear has been involved in the space travel industry for quite some time already. In fact, the company helped make the Apollo 11 mission 53 years ago possible.
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Once the vehicle is ready, it will be made available to both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and commercial companies. It will supposedly be autonomous, too, and will draw some inspiration from the company’s airless tire technology.
“Everything we learn from making tires for the Moon’s extremely difficult operating environment will help us make better airless tires on Earth,” Goodyear senior vice president Chris Helsel said in a statement.
“This will contribute to our end goal of enabling mobility no matter where it takes place. Just as important, it is an honor to write history with this prestigious company who knows how to make giant leaps in exploration and mobility.”
Once we can take cars up to the moon, can we even still consider space the final frontier? Okay, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Airless tires will do for now.
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