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NASA Test Driving New Small Pressurized Rover in Arizona (News) October 27, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in Current News, NASA, rover, Youtube.
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That is a NASA image (from their EDGE blog) of their Black Point, Arizona test driving yesterday of their lunar Small Pressurized Rover concept.

In a lava-field area with many geologic similarities to the lunar surface, the new rover roared into action at speeds up to 6 mph, designed with leather seats and bunks with the ability for astronauts to take the vehicle on two-week trips. The vehicle includes “suitports” (see at right, image also from NASA’s EDGE blog), allowing the astronauts to enter and exit the rover without having to bring the suits (and the potentially dangerous dust clinging to them) in.

“Dust is the No. 1 environmental problem on the moon.”
Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut (Wired.com dust article)

This is where the name “Small Pressurized Rover” comes in–the cabin being pressurized is what allows the astronauts to not have to wear the suits inside.

The testing has been going on for a week with day-long rides (sounds like fun), with the big test coming up in a three-day jaunt, largely to test the comfort of the vehicle (sorry, no wet bar).

Check out NASA’s official page for their trademark really huge pictures and more details (including some great informational PDFs with even more images, and a short video, embedded below via Youtube:)

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