|Peter Visscher, the space and robotics manager at Ontario Drive and |
Gear, stands with a chassis for the company's lunar rover project
[Scott Cressman/New Hamburg Independent].
New Hamburg Independent
New machines for exploring the moon are taking shape in a workshop at Ontario Drive and Gear, as the New Hamburg company moves closer to its deadline for building new lunar rovers.
Since Ontario Drive and Gear (ODG) was awarded an $11.5 million contract by the Canadian Space Agency in December 2010, the company’s lunar rover project has grown from two staff members to six engineers and technologists.
Located in a back corner of the company’s building on Bleams Road, the team quickly filled its first work area with gears, tangles of exposed wiring, and metal pieces that might have been from a giant puzzle. They expanded into another workshop, then filled that one too.
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) subcontractor developing unmanned lunar rovers
The deadline to produce a high-tech rover is six months away. The project, called Artemis, also spawned a robotic offspring when ODG was contracted to build another smaller rover. That project has been nicknamed “Artemis Junior” by ODG’s space and robotics manager Peter Visscher.
And while the project’s ambitions have grown, the rovers themselves have got smaller. ODG’s first rover prototype, built in 2010, weighed 650 pounds. Visscher and his team have cut that down by building with titanium, which is a third of the weight of steel.
But it’s also more expensive, and the rovers are getting more complicated as new features are added.
The Artemis rover is designed by ODG’s team to be an all-purpose tractor for moon exploration. It could carry astronauts or equipment, or move across the moon’s cold surface by remote control.
Read the full article from the New Hamburg Independent HERE.