A Michelin airless tire that might equip the future lunar vehicle

A tire capable of resisting the extreme conditions at the lunar pole in order to make it easier to explore the lunar surface and allow a sustainable presence on the moon in 2025, and ultimately on Mars: this is the aim of the Michelin R&D teams.

roue sans air_vehicule lunaire

 

The model of the prototype airless lunar tire, fitted to the lunar vehicle, will be on show at the Northrop Grumman head office (Falls Church, Virginia, USA).

The Artemis program developed by Nasa plans to send one man and one woman to the Moon in 2025. The two astronauts will travel around in a new lunar vehicle, looking for a site suitable for setting up a base. In fact, the American space agency plans to build a base camp in this area, which will have a large amount of water ice.

A challenge in line with Michelin’s purpose and its skills

Participating in this adventure and accompanying these exploration works are in line with Michelin’s purpose and with its passion for mobility. For the Group, this is in fact an opportunity to acquire new knowledge in terms of mobility solutions and further stimulate Michelin’s unique capacities for innovation. In order to design an airless tire solution suited to the LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle), in addition to its experience acquired during previous collaborations with NASA, Michelin will rely on its expertise in high-technology materials and on the know-how acquired in the development of airless solutions for extreme applications.

Did you know?

Michelin, an aviation pioneer, has already offered its know-how to the conquest of space.

In the 1990s, the brand supplied the tires for the space shuttle, essential for it to land correctly when returning from its mission. In the 2000s, Michelin once again worked with NASA to develop the Lunar Wheel, in order to equip exploration vehicles. This is a wheel without compressed air that is both flexible and robust and that cannot be punctured, which will serve as the basis for developing the prototype planned for 2025.

The Michelin group’s R&D in figures

  • An R&D budget of EUR 1 billion
  • 6,000 people in the R&D sector
  • 10,700 patents

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