LAS VEGAS — Michelin Group is preparing to go to the moon by 2025 as part of a team put together by U.S. aerospace giant Northrop Grumman, which bid for NASA's Artemis program last November.
A model of the future lunar vehicle, equipped with a Michelin airless tire/wheel hybrid, was revealed to the general public for the first time at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January.
The tire/wheel hybrid will be capable of resisting the extreme conditions at the lunar pole, making exploring of the lunar surface easier and enabling "a sustainable presence on the moon" in 2025.
Ultimately the Michelin research and development team aims to equip vehicles destined for Mars.
The Artemis program developed by the NASA plans to send one man and one woman to the moon in 2025.
The two astronauts will travel around in a new lunar vehicle, looking for a site suitable for setting up a base camp.
Michelin said participating in the program offered an opportunity to acquire new knowledge in terms of mobility solutions and 'stimulated' its innovation capacities.
The French tire maker said it will rely on its "high-technology materials" and the know-how acquired in the development of airless solutions for the development of the lunar tire.
The prototype version shown at CES was 3D printed. Michelin did not specify what material it used for the prototype.