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Monday, 19 January 2009 12:46

NASA’s Lunar Electric Rover concept vehicle is shown being readied by Johnson Space Center personnel for its appearance in the 56th Presidential Inauguration parade on Jan. 20, 2009.

The pressurized rover is a concept vehicle being developed for possible use by astronauts upon their return to the moon by 2020.

This 12-wheeled rover is about the size of a pickup truck. It can comfortably house two astronauts for up to 14 days, requires little or no maintenance, and can climb over rocks and up 40 degree slopes on the harsh lunar surface. The rover can "kneel," allowing its cockpit to provide both wide and close-up views of terrain for astronauts as they work comfortably in shirt-sleeves. Should they want to collect lunar samples, they can quickly enter and exit their spacesuits through suitports. The cabin is removable, allowing the chassis to carry payloads or be driven by astronauts in spacesuits.

Also representing NASA in the parade will be the STS-126 space shuttle crew commanded by Chris Ferguson, International Space Station (Expedition 17/18) Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and a delegation of NASA employees.



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