NASA has demonstrated a trio of new electric vehicles that will take astronauts to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. The eco-friendly minivan, developed by the Californian startup Canoo Technologies, is capable of transporting four astronauts in launch suits.
It will also carry personnel and specialized equipment needed at Launch Pad 39B for NASA Artemis crew lunar missions. The first of them will be Artemis II, which will send four astronauts to orbit the Moon in November 2024.
“The collaboration between Canoo and our NASA representatives focused on the crews’ safety and comfort on the way to the pad ahead of their journey to the Moon. I have no doubt everyone who sees these new vehicles will feel the same sense of pride I have for this next endeavor of crewed Artemis missions,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s Artemis launch director.
Previously, the Kennedy Space Center used so-called Astrovans for NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle programs to transport astronauts from the crew cabins in the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the launch pad.
Over the next year, a fleet of new electric vehicles will be used for training astronauts at the cosmodrome. And then, in 16 months, the vehicles will play an important role in transporting four Artemis II astronauts to the newly tested SLS rocket, after which the astronauts will board the Orion spacecraft for the first crewed flight to the Moon in 50 years.
The successful Artemis II mission will pave the way for the first manned landing on the Moon since 1973 and put NASA on the path of building a permanent astronaut base there with the aim of using this place as a launch pad for the first human mission to Mars. A journey that begins inside an Earth electric vehicle and ends inside a Martian lander.
Earlier, we reported on how NASA conducted critical tests of the Artemis V rocket.
According to NASA
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