Audi’s technical knowledge is going out of this world – literally. The company best known for its automobiles has built a rover to send to the moon.
In 2018 the Audi Lunar Quattro Rover will be embarking on a mission to the moon, with the aim of analysing the remains of the Apollo 17 Lunar Rover, which has been on the moon since 1972 – when the last human - Nasa astronaut Gene Cernan - left the moon.
Check out the video below to find out more.
To undertake the mission Audi has teamed up with PT Scientists, a German team of engineers and scientists bidding to be the first private company to visit the moon, to collaborate on the construction of the Lunar Quattro, which uses various elements of Audi’s automotive technology.
Quattro technology enables it to climb steeper slopes of 15-20 degrees. Ultra technologies, including 3D-printed wheels have reduced the weight by 23% and e-tron technology creates a power-efficient engine powered by a solar panel that tilts to collect energy.
Audi and PT Scientists worked closely with Nasa, following the Lunar Heritage Protection guidelines which were drawn up by the agency to protect the Apollo landing sites.
Robert Boehme CEO of PT Scientists told BT.com: “The legal situation is nobody can own anything in space, however you can dig up resources and use them.”
Audi is sending not one but two rovers to the moon, one to explore, the other to document the trip using a stereoscopic camera with object detection.
Both will launch from Cape Canaveral travelling the 238,900 miles in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA).
Special care has to be taken within a 2km radius of Nasa’s landing module. Nasa is worried about preservation of its heritage and doesn’t want to affect original footprints, so the rovers will have to travel slowly and move in a zig zag fashion.
The exploration will last around 11 days, working during sunlight hours. Once their mission is complete, the rovers will stay on the moon.
The Audi Lunar Quattro Rover also has a role in the latest Alien movie, Alien: Covenant, which is in cinemas now (above). A prototype vehicle was on the red carpet at the premiere with director Ridley Scott and star Michael Fassbender.
Find out more about Audi’s Mission to the Moon