Next Generation Vehicle For Space Exploration From NASA
NASA’s engineers have recently designed a new generation of vehicles for the future space exploration missions. The Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) concept is pretty flexible depending on the intended destination: the pressurized cabin can be used both for in-space missions and for surface exploration of planetary bodies, including near-Earth asteroids and Mars. Both concept versions are now being tested at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The surface exploration version of the SEV is about the size of a pickup truck; it has a cabin mounted on a chassis, with wheels that can pivot 360 degrees and drive about 10 kilometers per hour in any direction. It can house two astronauts for up to 14 days with sleeping and sanitary facilities. The surface SEV needs little or no maintenance, and can travel thousands of miles climbing over rocks and up 40 degree slopes during its ten year life. The in-space version of the SEV would have the same pressurized cabin on a flying platform and it would allow two astronauts to stay on-site for up to 14 days. The in-space SEV also features manipulator arms and an airlock for handling satellites and other objects of interest. For both versions of the vehicles astronauts can work in shirtsleeves in the safety of the vehicle’s cabin, and in case of need for exploration missions, they can enter and exit their spacesuits through suitports.
The in-space version of the SEV: