Audi Wants to Explore the Moon With Its Very Own Wall-E

One small step for man, one giant leap for all-wheel drive

By Evan Bleier

 
Audi Wants To Explore the Moon With Its Very Own Wall-E
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01 December 2016

For possibly the most adorable entrant for Google's Lunar X Prize, it looks like Audi is going to be roaming that big cheese in the sky faster than we thought.

The news comes this week as PT Scientists — the German team backed by the automaker — announced it had signed a contact to launch of two rovers for a planned moon landing by late 2017.

 If you're unfamiliar with Google's Lunar X Prize competition, allow us to back up. The tech giant has dubbed it the "new space race," inviting privately funded teams to compete and see who could reach the moon first and send  photos back to Earth.

What's in it for the scientists? A $20 million purse prize, and bragging rights for life, of course.

Audi partnered with German engineering firm PT Scientists and the team just announced they’ve put the finishing touches on a rover. Featuring lightweight aluminium construction, the Audi Lunar Quattro is equipped with a trio of cameras that it can use to navigate and take photos, and the electric motors implanted in its wheels will allow the all-wheel-drive vehicle to reach a top speed of more than 2 mph.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery that draws its juice from a solar panel, the 66-pound Lunar Quattro will make it to the moon on a 17,448-MPH Dnepr rocket and attempt to land where NASA’s Apollo 17 mission touched down in 1972.

Will the rover make it? We'll have to wait and see. Here's hoping they'll send their very own Eva along with it.

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