Monday, February 16, 2009

Michelin Tires On Lunar Chariot

MOTOR TREND - WIDE OPEN THROTTLE

Taking their tires to a whole other level (quite literally) is French tire maker Michelin, who has recently been approved to supply its wheel and tire combination to NASA's lunar rover program.

Through the use of a unique textile tread, Michelin and NASA developers created a wheel/tire combo capable of maintaining flexibility and constant ground pressure (aka grip) over loose soils, rocky landscapes and craters. It also achieves these feats while working in below freezing temperatures. In case you're wondering, fine tuning of the advanced rollers didn't take place on the moon, but rather on Hawaii's lunar-like volcanic surfaces.

Engineers claim their most advanced set of tires is 3.3 times more efficient than the original Apollo Lunar Rover wheels. Together, NASA and Michelin have more than 20 years experience in producing space-age tires.

Source: Michelin

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