By Ben Warwick

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Lockheed Martin will partner with General Motors to develop a next-generation lunar vehicle for upcoming missions to the moon. That rover will be developed at Lockheed’s Littleton campus.

(credit: Lockheed Martin)

The announcement of the rover came Wednesday morning. The rover will accompany Artemis astronauts back to the moon’s surface. A crewed landing is currently planned for 2024. The Lunar Terrain Vehicle is billed as the first of many types of “surface mobility vehicles” needed for Artemis.

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“This alliance brings together powerhouse innovation from both companies to make a transformative class of vehicles,” Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space, said in a release. “Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface. These next-generation  rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts as they perform high-priority science investigation on the Moon that will ultimately impact humanity’s understanding of our place in the solar system.”

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(credit: Lockheed Martin)

The rovers will be designed to take the Artemis crew into places never before explored by humans. The Apollo astronauts only traveled a maximum of 4.7 miles from the landing site during the missions of the 1960s and 1970s.

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General Motors developed the guidance and navigation systems for the Apollo program. GM also developed the original lunar lander used in the Apollo missions. For the Artemis rover, GM will use autonomous technology to prepare for human landings and to deliver payloads to the moon.

Ben Warwick