Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tires for the moon (and beyond)

So when it comes to picking tires for a moon car, a standard set of Firestones or even a premium set of Michelins just aren't going to cut it. Even the designs from 40 years ago won't work as the expectations and demands on the new rovers will be higher IF we (meaning the US) ever return to the moon.

Goodyear has been on the case and has developed new tires that are also thought to be Martian worthy, not just lunar worthy.

The design spec for these tires must be truely mindblowing. Think not only about the temperature extremes (often with the high and low occuring on different sections of the tires at the same time) but also the massive radiation fluxes (no ozone to cut off anything below 320 nm) which would chop up all the organics like a Benihana chef goes through vegetables. Just even trying to test the materials in a meaningful way would be a huge undertaking.

I really found all of this impressive.

No comments: