A London-based company have allowed guests to experience walking on the moon using VR at a launch event unveiling their electric lunar rover concept.
XTEND DESIGN, an architecture and design agency, unveiled the concept moon rover LUNIAQ which draws inspiration from Skoda's ENYAQ electric car.
The rover was presented during the Czech Space Week in Virtuplex, the largest virtual reality laboratory in Europe, where guests were able to walk on the moon in the life-size simulation of a virtual lunar base.
Penned by Czech designer and Chief Designer of XTEND DESIGN Tomas Rousek, LUNIAQ is based on NASA’s MMSEV platform (Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle).
Inside, the cabin can accommodate up to four astronauts, depending on the length of the mission. There are two hatches on the vehicles sides, allowing the connection to the space modules of the moon base.
At the rear, the rover features a ‘suitport’ covered by a hinged door which reveals two spacesuits attached to the outside of the vehicle. This solution allows astronauts to crawl directly into their spacesuits and prevents harmful lunar dust from entering the cabin.
The front of the car is inspired by a Skoda ENYAQ. Large windows are built of transparent aluminium which is more resistant to micrometeorites than glass. Additional radiation protection is provided by polyethylene layers.
The bottom front window allows drivers to watch the terrain directly in front of the car. Above it, there are stereoscopic cameras to scan the terrain and for 3D imaging to enable the remote and autonomous control of the car.
Large soft wheels would offer comfortable driving on bumpy lunar surface thanks to Michelin's tweel technology. The electrical power is stored in solid-state batteries that can be charged by means of ultraflex solar panels on the roof.
The solar panels can unfold into a fan shape and allow charging while standing or driving slowly. The roof area accommodates also radiators for cooling down during lunar day and antennas for communication with the lunar base, earth, orbital stations, and other satellites.
“Sustainable development could enable us to keep progressing forward and extend the biosphere to other places in space.' says designer Rousek. "We would like to inspire people on how we could continue to progressively develop our technologies and one day live and drive in places other than Earth. Technically, humanity is advanced enough, so it is becoming just a question of our motivation and funding. The new era of electric mobility could continue across the entire Solar System and beyond.”