Bridgestone reaches for the moon with Teledyne project
20 Sep 2022
Tire maker to help design and build ‘crewed lunar terrain vehicle’
Huntsville, Alabama – Bridgestone Corp. has joined US advanced engineering company Teledyne Brown Engineering for the development of a crewed lunar terrain vehicle (LTV) for NASA to support future exploration on the moon.
In a statement 18 Sept, the Japanese tire maker said it had signed an exclusive ‘teaming agreement’ with the Teledyne team to provide “lunar tires” for the NASA LTV programme.
The vehicle, it said, will be expected to endure extreme temperatures and harsh environments over long periods of time to support crew mobility and research efforts.
In addition to Bridgestone, the design team also includes industry leaders such as Nissan North America, Sierra Space and Textron.
"This partnership helps further solidify the strength of our team and the durable vehicle that will be a product of its collaboration," stated Scott Hall, president of Teledyne's Engineered Systems Segment.
According to Bridgestone, the tire & rubber group has been working on lunar vehicle tires since 2019 to develop a product that can function safely under difficult operating conditions, such as rocky and sandy deserts with exposure to extreme temperatures and cosmic ray radiation.
The group is currently developing and validating metal airless tire concepts featuring its "mastering road contact" technology, which Bridgestone said is “a core-competency acquired from various experiences on roads around the world.”
"This project is a bold new challenge for humanity, and we are honoured to be joining the Teledyne Team,” said Makoto Ishiyama, executive director, next generation technology development, Bridgestone.
The project, he went on to say, will help Bridgestone fulfil its E8 environmental commitments, by providing ‘extension’ for “nonstop mobility”.