Pioneering astronauts will begin their trip to the Moon in style thanks to new electric crew vehicles.
NASA has received a fleet of vehicles that will take Artemis crews on the final Earth-bound leg of their journey before boarding their rocket and spacecraft.
Teams from manufacturer Canoo Technologies Inc. of Torrance, California, delivered three specially designed, fully electric, environmentally friendly crew transportation vehicles to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida this month.
The zero-emission vehicles can carry four astronauts in their Orion crew survival system spacesuits, support personnel including a spacesuit technician, and provides room for specialized equipment for the drive to Launch Pad 39B ahead of Artemis missions to the Moon.
Ahead of Artemis II, the first crewed mission under Artemis that will send four astronauts around the Moon and bring them home, the fleet will be used for astronaut training exercises at the spaceport.
The approximately ten-day flight will test NASA’s foundational human deep space exploration capabilities, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, for the first time with astronauts and will pave the way for lunar surface missions, including landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.
Many aspects of the design, from the interior and exterior markings to the color of the vehicles to the wheel wells, were chosen by a creative team that included the Artemis launch director and representatives from NASA’s Astronaut Office based at Johnson Space Center in Houston. They provided insight from the conceptual phase throughout production. Canoo was awarded a contract in April 2022 to manufacture the vehicles.
“The collaboration between Canoo and our NASA representatives focused on the crews’ safety and comfort on the way to the pad ahead of their journey to the Moon,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s Artemis launch director.
“I have no doubt everyone who sees these new vehicles will feel the same sense of pride I have for this next endeavor of crewed Artemis missions.”
Historically, during launch operations at Kennedy for NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs, the earlier Astrovans were the primary means of transporting crews from the astronauts’ crew quarters in the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the launch pad.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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