Two Lunar Electric Rovers at the NASA Johnson Space Center Rockyard

Description: The lunar electric rover (LER) is a mobility chassis with a cabin module that has the ability to hold a two-person crew for up to 30 days. It can support a four-person crew in case of an emergency. The LER weighs 3000 kg and is 3 m tall. It travels about 10 km per hour and can turn 360 degrees allowing, it to drive in any direction.

Research Objective: NASA is testing a variety of lunar rover concepts to help future astronauts explore the moon further than ever, construct a long-term lunar base and conduct a wealth of science experiments.

Significance: Multiple rovers will allow planetary exploration development and testing. Tests include operational scenarios like in-line of sight vs. out of sight communication while driving the rovers for extended traverses, or long trips, on lunar or Martian surfaces.

Next Steps: The next major milestone for the LER is the operational test at the Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) Analog mission in September 2010 at Black Point, Ariz. The LERs will be simulating a 14-day lunar traverse to validate operational concepts.

More information:
› LER Fact Sheet

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: NASA

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SSERVI Science Teams

  • Observations of the lunar impact plume from the LCROSS event


    McMath‐Pierce telescope observed sodium (Na) emission from LCROSS impact on October 9, 2009.When the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) impacted Cabeus crater on October 9th, it pitched up frozen water along with some sodium, astronomers reported today.

    According to the LCROSS team, the impact event pitched up about 660 pounds of water frozen on the bottom of the crater. NLSI researcher R. M. Killen at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center reported that the plume also contained about 3.3 pounds of sodium chloride.

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Did you know?

The distance to the Moon is measured to a precision of a few centimeters by bouncing laser beams off reflectors placed there by the Apollo astronauts.

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