NASA Crew, Rover to Take Part in Inaugural Parade
NASA astronauts Chris Ferguson, Eric Boe, Donald Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Shane Kimbrough recently completed a 16-day, 6.6-million mile trip in Space Shuttle Endeavor. Now, they'll take a more Earth-bound--but perhaps just as meaningful--journey as members of NASA's contingent in the inaugural parade.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee extended the invitation to NASA today. Also part of NASA's parade contingent will be pressurized rover, which the committee described in a press release as "one concept for a new generation of lunar rovers that astronauts will take with them when they return to the moon by 2020." The release states:
The rovers are being tested at sites around the country that have terrain similar to what might be encountered on the moon. The rover could provide astronauts' main mode of transportation on the moon and would allow them the flexibility to work inside it without the restrictions imposed by spacesuits. The adaptable vehicle features wheels that enable "crab style" movements to help the vehicle maneuver through difficult spots, and a cantilevered cockpit to enhance the drivers' visibility of the terrain ahead. Early concepts also provide an exercise ergometer that allows crews to exercise and charge the vehicle's batteries simultaneously.
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