ERJ staff report (SS) Akron, Ohio -- Goodyear Tyres and the NASA Glenn Research Center are working together to develop non-pneumatic tyres for use on the moon, and eventually on Mars.
According to a 13 Dec statement from Goodyear, the company and NASA have given themselves a one-year timeline to develop the tyre, and will use technology from the first moon landing to aid them in their design.
The initiative is being funded by NASA's Innovative Partnership Program (IPP), which was established to advance key technologies to meet critical needs for NASA's missions.
"The challenges associated with creating a lunar tyre are further complicated by the fact that there are no lunar roads,â€ said NASA's principal investigator, Vivake Asnani, in the statement.
â€œLunar tires need to be designed to develop traction on sandy undulated terrain, in regions that humans have never even seen up close. Plus, the prospect of an immobilising 'flat tyre' would be devastating to the mission,â€ he added.
According to Joe Gingo, Goodyear's executive vice president and chief technical officer, "The mission performance goals for these tyres will push known tyre technology well beyond its comfort zone." He said that he is confident that the company will have the capabilities to do that.
The Goodyear team will consist of â€œa cross section of research and tyre technology associates at the Akron Technical Center,â€ said the company.
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Photos of the lunar tyre from Goodyear