Thursday 20 December 2007
Goodyear and NASA heading for Mars
Goodyear is developing a non-pneumatic tyre for use on the NASA Chariot, a manned vehicle designed for lunar and Martian
exploration. The innovative 'run-flat' technology is being evolved from Goodyear's original design for the Lunar Roving
Vehicle tyres used in the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972.
The unique atmospheric conditions on the moon and Mars require a non-pneumatic design capable of developing traction on
sandy, undulated terrain in regions never before seen in detail. They must also support ten times the weight and last
100 times the distance of the original LRVs.
NASA principal investigator Vivake Asnani highlighted Goodyear's experience in the Apollo program, its understanding of
vehicle dynamics and its state of the art computer modelling capabilities as reasons for choosing the company as a
partner for the project.
Twelve tyres will be manufactured by year's end 2009 and demonstrated at the Johnson Space Center in Texas.
Goodyear principal investigator Dave Glemming said the project would also yield answers to the future application of
non-pneumatic tyres on Earth.