The latest in moon rides

September 8, 2008 6:24:15 PM PDT
NASA wants to return to the moon, but before they go they need to get some new wheels.The lunar truck was one of the newest prototypes being unveiled at the Johnson Space Center Monday.

It's like no vehicle you'll find at any dealership on Earth. With six wheels that move independently in any direction unlike the SUV's you and I know. It is designed not to get stuck in steep terrain like that of the moon.

Unlike unpressurized rovers of the past though, this one is being designed with an optional cabin that a crew can live in for days at a time. That means the crew can venture further to areas of the moon never seen up close before.

These are of course all ideas in their infancy.

Take for example one of the lunar lander models. NASA is trying to figure out just how big it needs to be. Starting first with how small they can make it.

They asked us to get inside and see what it was like to exercise in such close quarters. You might want more room, but that means it'll be heavier.

Again these are all concepts, some further along than others.

But NASA hopes to put all of this to work on the moon when they land there in 2020.

The goal is returning to the surface to again take samples of the moon. There are still more than 840 pounds of moon rock collected during the Apollo missions still being used by scientists today.

NASA scientists say it's imperative to look more closely at the moon so we can understand the origin of the universe.

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