The return mission to the moon has not been decided, but Northrop Grumman is designing the new moon rover for that purpose. A new lunar vehicle will be utilized for astronauts when everything is set for the Artemis mission.

Last Tuesday, the aerospace firm said it won the contract for the next generation Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) or rover as the chief space transport on the moon.

To build it, Northrop Grumman will tap several firms like AVL, Michelin, Lunar Outpost, and Intuitive machines.

Cost of the project

NASA inspector general informed that it had abandoned the planned date for the return mission with reasons for it are the time needed to test the hardware, reports the Daily Mail.

Development and testing of the HLS and brand-new spacesuits will need to be extended by the agency from 2024 to several years later, as mentioned last Monday.

Part of the inspector general's report says that NASA does not cost the space program correctly. A total cost of $93 billion from 2021to 2025 will be spent for the Artemis program, adding the $25 billion for Artemis III, cites Euro News.

Another reason said the watchdog audit is the case filed by Blue Origin had pushed back the return mission to the moon with the first woman and person of color.

The details of the report

The aerospace firm got the LTV contract after August the US space agency requested bids to build the space rover according to specifications to travel in the moon's lunar pole. Northrop Grumman is designing the new moon rover for this express purpose.

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Initial plans are to build a permanent base camp in the zone that would need a vehicle capable of moving astronauts and working for at least a decade. Also, the base will be where several missions are going to be housed permanently.

Steve Krein, vice president of civil and commercial space in Northrop Grumman's tactical space systems division, said in a statement that all the people involved would create the vehicle which suits NASA's costs and specs to help in the exploration of the lunar body.

A component like the battery will be built by AVL, including autonomous driving and engines for mobility.

NASA has worked with Intuitive Machines in conjunction with the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. This new initiative will add to capabilities for the Artemis missions.

Northrop Grumman added that the Nova-D spacecraft uses a quad of liquid methane/oxygen engines from the Nova-C moon landing.

Part of the Lunar Outpost job will be in fast innovation, stopping dust and technology for thermals in developing the MAPP (Next-Generation Mobility for the Lunar Surface) rover as the best build for the moon.

Michelin will create an airless tire for the LTV, which is crucial for mobility.

Another company that tried for the lunar transport vehicle (LTV) is GM to include a proviso for an electric type rover. GM was the firm that designed the Apollo rover.

To be clear about the Artemis launch date reveals it was supposed to be on February 2022 but got moved to 2024. The mission will be the first one since the last in 1972 for the Apollo program.

Northrop Grumman is designing the new moon rover that will be a new one, designed with current tech and made to last for several missions after.

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