Beyond The Borders – Autonomous Racing Takes Over The Moon
One small step for man, one thrilling race for vehicles. Transportation technology extends its reach going beyond the borders of the world.
The US company Moon Mark is planning to deploy two autonomous race cars into space and host the first-ever remote-controlled car race on the moon’s surface.
Earlier in 2020, the company launched to high school students across the world the challenge to design the racers. The project involved preparing a vehicle resistant to the moon’s rough and shifting climate; the racers had to weight no more than 11 pounds, and be equipped with a Wi-Fi module, a compact battery, an IU solar panel, a UHF radio and a single board computer.
The next part of the project will consist of eight weeks of hearth-based qualifying rounds between the winning designers. The final two car designs will be refined by aerospace and motorsport experts, in collaboration with the renowned automotive designer Frank Stevenson and the aerospace technology company Lunar Outpost, which will help ensure the effectiveness of the race cars.
“Space is a fascinating place, remaining untapped for budding designers, and I’m very much looking forward to sharing some of my knowledge to those involved in this innovative project,” said Stephenson in a statement.
Moon mark has also partnered with Intuitive Machines, private aerospace company on track to become the first to land on the moon. The cars will be loaded onto Intuitive Machine’s Nova-C lunar lander, which is due to launch from earth atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2021.
Once the rovers land on the moon, the competitors will race them remotely around a predetermined track, navigating the harsh, otherworldly terrain. A sphere of cameras will capture every aspect of the race and send high-resolution video back to our planet, allowing the audience to enjoy the electrifying experience from home.
The constant development of aerospace technology is starting to present humanity to new perspectives, which take into account the aerospace context and merges it with the most disparate sectors of application.
The landing on the moon by autonomous racers is the sign of a significant turning point, an ever-deeper interaction is developing between our planet and space, and more and more companies are willing to participate to it.
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