Moonshot: Audi Says the idea Will Send Its Own Lunar Rover to the Moon in 2017
One little step for man, one giant leap for an automaker? After nearly two years of planning, officials through Audi said This specific week which they intend to put an unmanned rover on the moon by the end of 2017—as well as which they’ll put the idea down inside same spot where the last humans explored the lunar surface, back in 1972.
More than a dozen engineers through Audi have collaborated having a German team of scientists on an entry inside Google Lunar X Prize competition to transport a vehicle to the surface of the moon, where the idea will travel at least a third of a mile as well as capture images as well as video.
Audi says its Lunar Quattro prototypes have undergone extensive testing over the past year. Engineers have optimized the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive power distribution, outfitted them with the brand’s e-tron battery technology, as well as shed 18 pounds through their initial weight of 84 pounds. With development nearing completion, Audi’s partners inside moonshot, Berlin-based group Part Time Scientists, have signed an agreement for a launch with Spaceflight, Inc., in late 2017. No specific date has been set.
inside meantime, Audi will continue to test two Lunar Quattro rovers as well as take part in simulations of the entire mission inside Middle East inside coming months.
While Audi’s space mission may seem downright pedestrian compared to Elon Musk’s grand plans for colonizing Mars, Audi’s exploration of space has some practical implications for its business. through both the Middle East tests as well as actual experience on the moon, the brand hopes to learn how some components endure extreme conditions, according to Michael Schöffmann, head of transmission development as well as development coordinator for Lunar Quattro.
Once the idea arrives on the moon, the Lunar Quattro’s four cameras will be used both for planning the vehicle’s path on the surface as well as for taking 3D, 360-degree pictures. If all goes well, the vehicle will snap photos of the vintage rover left on the moon through Apollo 17, the last manned lunar landing mission, in 1972. The group through Part-Time Scientists intends which the landing module will touch down inside Valley of Taurus-Littrow, the same place where Apollo 17 arrived.
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Sixteen teams through around the globe are competing to win the Lunar X Prize’s $30 million reward. Two different teams have announced launch dates inside 2017 timeframe, as well as the Audi/Part-Time Scientists team is actually considered a frontrunner because the idea has already won two smaller financial prizes which are benchmarks inside run-up toward the grand prize.