Michelin prepares its lunar cycle for the Artemis mission

Michelin is aiming for the Moon and is developing a wheel specifically dedicated to this star. As part of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send humans to Earth’s natural satellite, the French instrument maker was asked to provide wheels for the lunar rover. A prototype was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, held January 5-8.

Be prepared for the Artemis event in 2025

The peculiarity of the wheels developed by Michelin is that they do not contain air. In an environment devoid of air, such an asset would facilitate the logistics of the vehicle while eliminating the risk of puncture. To develop its wheel, Michelin has teamed up with the American company Northrop Grumman, which specializes in space and defense technologies. The two were selected after NASA’s call for tenders began in November 2021.

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By 2025, the Artemis program plans to send a man and a woman to the Moon. They will travel in Lunar Vehicle or LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle). “This lunar cycle will be able to withstand the extreme conditions of the lunar pole to facilitate exploration of the lunar surface and allow a permanent presence on the Moon in 2025 and possibly on Mars”, explains Northrop Grumman, which develops the vehicle. The objective of the two astronauts will be to find a suitable location to set up a base camp on the Moon. The poles of the Moon are targeted more specifically because they will contain large amounts of icy water.

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Long-standing collaboration with NASA

Michelin has been collaborating with NASA since the 1990s. In 2009, it introduced the Michelin Lunar Twelve, a wheel developed for NASA’s Moon missions. For the Artemis program, the group specifies that it “Will build on experience gained from previous collaborations with NASA for lunar rovers, to design a new tire-wheel structure that could enable LTV missions in the extreme conditions of the Lunar South Pole”,

At CES in Las Vegas, he wasn’t the only one to offer airless wheel technology. Korean Hankook also unveiled its prototype, but it is not intended for lunar roads.

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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