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Tire good for moon, and earth

NASA and Goodyear have developed an airless tire to transport large, long-range vehicles across the surface of the moon.

NASA and Goodyear have developed an airless tire to transport large, long-range vehicles across the surface of the moon.

The new “Spring Tire” with 800 load bearing springs is designed to carry much heavier vehicles over much greater distances than the wire mesh tire previously used on the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV). The new tire will allow for broader exploration and the eventual development and maintenance of a lunar outpost.

According to Vivake Asnani, NASA’s principal investigator at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, this was a significant change in requirements that required innovation.

According to Goodyear engineers, development of the original Apollo lunar mission tires, and the new Spring Tire were driven by the fact that traditional rubber, pneumatic (air-filled) tires used on Earth have little utility on the moon. This is because rubber properties vary significantly between the extreme cold and hot temperatures experienced in the shaded and directly sunlit areas of the moon.

“Virtually everyone I spoke with was blown away by the idea that this technology may one day be used, not only for extraterrestrial vehicles, but also, perhaps, for vehicles here on Earth,” noted Asnani.

 
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