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Monday, August 8, 2022

Watch a new lunar rover drive across Death Valley terrain

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California-based aerospace startup Venturi Astrolab has debuted its new lunar rover, designed to hold and transport people and cargo (modular payloads to support operations, exploration, site surveying, and more). The Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover is intended for use on the moon and, later, Mars.

A full-scale prototype of FLEX has been trialled in the Death Valley, with former astronaut Chris Hadfield at its helm. A stunning bit of footage featured the sheer size and capabilities of FLEX, as it moves across the desert terrain in California. There, a team were conducting tests on the rover’s mobility performance on challenging ground, as well as examining both crewed and telerobotic operations.

Hadfield said “it was just a joy” to be able to drive the new rover.

“To have a chance to drive that rover, to see it’s potential, it immediately appears in my mind’s eye, something that looks a lot like this is going to be helping people out when we start to live on the moon – and eventually Mars.”

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