The Audi Lunar Quattro pint-sized rover, is made from aluminum and carbon fiber.
Team leader of the project Robert Böhme, explains:
“It’s much lighter than our first versions, and we’re able to design and shape it any way we want.
It was made using things like piano wire and plastic, so it will be interesting to see how that has all held up.
The Apollo 17 LRV is of particular interest to us because it wasn’t made from the same high-tech materials NASA used on the lander. It was made using things like piano wire and plastic, so it will be interesting to see how that has all held up. Of course it’s an historic site, so we will be respectful of that, as well.”
So why still all the secrecy? Because all the developing, testing, changing, scrapping and redesigning is still going on. Day after day, week after week. To make it even lighter, even more stable, even more efficient—because on the moon, after all, reliability and sustainability are even more mission-critical than for Earthbound vehicles. The Audi Lunar quattro is slated to be transported to the moon on a Russian rocket and lowered to the surface near the Apollo 17 landing site in late 2016 or early 2017. And who knows: maybe the first Audi on the moon will run across the US rover that’s been waiting for a visit since 1972.