An Off-Road Trip to… the MoonOctober 2nd, 2015 by David Beran
Advertisements for off-road vehicles have grown more hyperbolic , promising that 4x4s can traverse the most punishing terrain, perform challenging maneuvers and even cruise through a zombie apocalypse. Germany-headquartered Audi is taking things one step further – one giant step, that is. In fact, it may be more accurate to call it a leap for mankind.
Audi will implement advanced technology, electronics, robotics and all-wheel drive into a rover with the capability to drive on the moon. Dubbed the “Audi lunar Quattro”, the driverless rover will be equipped with all-wheel drive and plans are for it to drive in a target zone near to the Apollo 17 landing site where NASA’s final manned mission to the moon occurred.
Designed and developed by the team Part-Time Scientists for the Lunar-X prize, the lunar vehicle will be equipped with a few items you won’t find on a typical Audi SUV. To function on the rugged moon landscape where temperatures can climb to over 500 degrees, it will house a thermal management system. Consumers have questioned using lighter-weight aluminum on Audi trucks, but an amalgamation of aluminum and magnesium will be required for transporting the rover. Because its tow vehicle will be a launching rocket, it has to be as lightweight as possible. If it didn’t have to be so light, they might add some Rock Krawler products and a WARN winch.
Audi’s Quattro drive will be instrumental in making the trek of over 500 yards over powdery sand surfaces. Employing solar panels, a lithium-ion battery in the chassis, and double wishbone suspensions allowing it to rotate 360⁰ render it a marvel of innovation. It will have state-of-the-art cameras to transmit high-def images and video back to earth and the rover’s speed will max out at 2.2 mph.
Plans are for the Quattro lunar rover to make the trip in 2017. Next stop: Mars
About the Author: David Beran
As a professional inkspiller living in Los Angeles, I’ve written in industries ranging from entertainment to employment to automotive. Terrain I cover includes off-road events and races, budget builds, custom mods, EVs and the latest innovations in aftermarket 4x4 parts. I’m always eager to learn about new trends in 4x4s and my motto is “go off-road or go home.” Google+ is the destination for my dispatches: https://plus.google.com/+DavidBeran/posts.