Saturday, February 02, 2008

NASA Rolls Out Lunar Hot Rod

People aren't quite sure what to make of the bright-white vehicle with gold rims and gold trim that is a cross between an off-road vehicle and someone's fantasy hot rod.

This vehicle is dubbed the Chariot by the design team at the Johnson Space Center. This team was given one year to design and build this ultimate concept lunar rover.


Needs more "bling."

8 comments:

W.M. Bear said...

The caption on the first picture states that NASA is planning to build a lunar colony. I don't think that's quite accurate. In my understanding, they're aiming for a permanent humanned presence on the Moon but it will be more like a base than a colony, somewhat along the lines of the ISS now except with a larger population. Maybe, though, it will eventually evolve INTO a colony, although I suspect that will take decades if not longer. The model would seem to be the science bases in Antarctica, which have never evolved into colonies although, with climate change, they may ultimately do so. We do indeed live in interesting times. I do want to see NASA return to the Moon though, illogical as that may actually be....

dad2059 said...

w.m. bear: My friend Quasar9 would agree with you, although I don't see funding for this in the next U.S. administration.

China, or Russia maybe.

Personally, if America follows through with this, it just might be private industry that builds it.

Mac said...

Dad2059--

So I'm not the only one who sees Dubbya's "Moon-Mars Initiative" going up in smoke?

W.M. Bear said...

Personally, if America follows through with this, it just might be private industry that builds it.

Robert Heinlein always seemed big on this idea in his fiction. Of course, he idealized capitalist entrepreneurs. The interesting thing is, a consortium of billionaires probably could fund even a Mars expedition if they had the will to do it. Unfortunately, except for tourism, the profit motive doesn't seem to be very operative here.

Interestingly, there probably ARE huge profits to be made, with things like Helium 3 for fusion reactors and even (my own "grand scheme") slurping up the methane and ethane from Titan into huge orbital tankers. (Maybe when gas reaches $20-30 per gallon.) Personally, I don't think the whole space tourism thing is, so to speak, going to really take off....

bill said...

Looks like a Leyland double decker bus chassis before the bodyworks been fitted.

mr. intense said...

What is the point of attempting to mine Helium 3 from the moon, at unimaginable costs (trillions) when there is no working fusion technology? Sounds insane to me.

W.M. Bear said...

Ah, but that's the whole point, mr. i. Helium 3 is the most easily controlled fusion fuel that's known. I think that's because it has the lowest fusion temperature or something like that. The Chinese have said they're going for it, if means anything (and it doesn't necessarily, I suppose).

But what do think of my idea of uploading methane and ethane from Titan? Can I get a patent on this, do you think? I've never seen it anywhere else, though it seems kind of obvious to me. There's an s.f. novel lurking there somewhere, anyway....

W.M. Bear said...

An a very "Heinleinesque" s.f. novel, I might add....