Click above for a gallery of the Small Pressurized Rover

NASA has been testing its latest rover that it hopes will shuttle astronauts around on the surface of the moon when the agency heads back around 2020. Initial testing is taking place in the Arizona desert, which features a rocky landscape that is similar to what the rover will face when it actually goes interstellar. There's all kinds of cool technology built into the six-axle twelve-wheeled machine, of course. Each axle can move independently, allowing the Small Pressurized Rover (SPR) to turn, or "crab" 360-degrees on a dime. Sitting atop that chassis is a pressurized cabin where passengers can operate the vehicle without wearing suits, though a pair of spacesuits are available through two portals at the front of the vehicle.

The rover is electric and gets its juice from on-board batteries. Those batteries (of unknown chemistry or capacity) can be charged by the astronauts as they exercise or presumably when the vehicle is docked, likely with solar power or with hydrogen fuel cells. There is reportedly enough capacity available to travel up to 625 miles at speeds of 6 miles per hour, which is just over a walking pace.


[Source: NASA via Autoblog]

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