Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New moon buggy

NASA wants the next astronauts visiting the moon to be driving a pressurized rover they could ride in like it was a motor home. If the crew spotted something intriguing outside, they'd climb into attached spacesuits and go explore.

"It's not much bigger than the Apollo rover. I call it a cross between a sports car and a spacesuit," said NASA astronaut Mike Gernhardt, who is working with engineers to develop more capable moon buggies.

The ice-shielded rover would protect the astronauts inside from solar storm radiation. The crew could spend most of its time in the comfort of shirtsleeves during trips from lasting hours to more than a week. If they need to go out, they can hop through a porthole into the ready-to-go spacesuits.

"It would only take 10 minutes to get in the suit and be boots on the surface," Gernhardt said.

HT Flame Trench.

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