NASA has yet to return to the moon. But it is uncertain when. When it does, NASA will decide in what manner it wishes its astronauts cruise to and from the moon’s surface.

Northrop Grumman revealed Tuesday that it has designed a Lunar Terrain Vehicle to ferry its Artemis astronauts around Mars.

The company is collaborating on the design of the rover with several companies such as AVL, Michelin tiremaker, Lunar Outpost and Intuitive Machines.

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Just hours earlier, a watchdog government said that NASA may miss its goal of landing people on the moon by several years.

Northrop Grumman announced on Tuesday that it is designing a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) to transport the agency's Artemis astronauts around the moon

Northrop Grumman on Tuesday announced that it was designing a Lunar Terrain Vehicle to carry its Artemis astronauts around Mars.

NASA’s inspector General stated that NASA could miss the deadline due to overruns in costs and inadequate testing.

In its Monday report, the IG said that NASA’s current schedule for landing human beings on the Moon by 2024 will be pushed back due to the need to test and develop the HLS spacesuits.

Also, the report notes that NASA has not correctly estimated all costs of the Artemis program. It could spend as high as $93B between fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2025, if you take into consideration $25B for mission beyond Artemis III. 

Just days before NASA said the costs of litigation, such as Blue Origin’s lawsuit regarding the lunar lander contract, would force NASA to cancel the Artemis mission which would have brought the first woman and person from color to the moon. 

A report from NASA's inspector general said cost overruns and the time needed to proper testing were the likely reasons NASA would miss the target date to return to the moon

NASA’s Inspector General said that NASA was likely to miss its target date for returning to the moon due to cost overruns, and because of the amount of testing required to ensure proper testing.

Northrop Grumman has designed the LTV. This is after NASA in August asked private firms to construct vehicles for Artemis and shuttle astronauts to the moon’s south pole.

NASA plans to establish a base camp there and wants it to be able to sustain itself for at least 10 more years. This will allow NASA to continue its Artemis mission.

“Together, with our colleagues, we will provide NASA an agile, affordable vehicle design that greatly enhances human and robotic exploration on the lunar surface to further enable sustainable human presence there,’ Steve Krein (Vice President of Civil and Commercial Space in Northrop Grumman’s tactical space system division) stated in a statement. 

AVL’s expertise in autonomous driving, battery electric vehicles and propulsion will be used as part of this project.

Intuitive Machines has previously worked with NASA via the Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative (CLPS). They will continue to build upon those capabilities.

Northrop Grumman stated in a statement that the Nova-D spacecraft uses four liquid methane/oxygen engine from its Nova-C program to precision land on the Moon.

Lunar Outpost will offer its expertise in ‘rapid innovations, dust mitigation, and thermal technologies, starting with the development of its MAPP Rover to help provide a solid, cutting-edge LTV Solution.

Michelin has previously worked with NASA to create a ‘airless tire solution’ for the LTV. 

In May, Lockheed Martin and GM announced they had been asked by NASA to create a new electric, autonomous lunar rover (pictured)

Lockheed Martin and GM revealed in May that NASA had asked them to develop an electric autonomous lunar rover.

Lockheed Martin, GM and NASA asked them to develop a new autonomous electric lunar rover in May.

The GM autonomous driving technology will allow the rover to travel’significantly further’ than those developed by the automaker during its Apollo program 50 years ago. 

On October 22, the last Artemis update stated that NASA’s uncrewed Artemis 1 mission wouldn’t launch before February 2022. However, the delay kept NASA on course for the 2024 lunar landing.

The Artemis I mission will see the Orion spacecraft (pictured), the SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy combine to launch the Orion 280,000 miles past Earth around the moon over the course of a three-week mission

Artemis I will be the launch of the Orion spacecraft (pictured), and Kennedy’s ground systems to enable the Orion to orbit the moon 280,000 miles above Earth. This mission is expected in three weeks.

Artemis I will be the mission that sees the Orion spacecraft and SLS combined with Kennedy’s ground systems launch Orion around 280,000 miles above Earth. It is expected to last for three weeks.

Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor for this spacecraft. NASA stated previously that they will keep it in orbit ‘longer’ than any other ship designed to carry astronauts without docking at a station. They also expect it to return home quicker and hotter than before.

NASA successfully assembled the $18.6B SLS rocket in June. The project was announced by NASA back in 2011.

NASA stated that it will continue to meet the February 2022 deadline and will inform the public about any developments.

Artemis II will send four astronauts aboard the Orion capsule crewed into a Lunar Flyby, for maximum 21 days.

The missions were designed to test the technologies and capabilities of Orion, SLS, Artemis and other mission leaders before NASA sends humans back to the moon. 

Since 1972’s Apollo 17 mission, NASA’s Apollo 17 was the last to place humans on the Moon. The Artemis mission is the first.

NASA’s Artemis mission will see the landing of NASA’s first man and woman on the Moon in 2024.

Artemis was Apollo’s twin sister and the goddess of the moon, according to Greek mythology. 

NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 –  including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1 (formerly Exploration Mission-1) is the first of a series that will allow humans to explore the moon and Mars. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will not be crewed and provide the foundation for deep space exploration and human civilization to the moon. 

The spacecraft will fly further than any human-made spacecraft ever.

In three weeks, it will cover 280,000 km (450,600km) distance from Earth. This is thousands of miles more than what the moon can offer. 

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Artemis 1 (formerly Exploration Mission-1) is one of several increasingly complicated missions that will permit human exploration to Mars and the moon. The mission’s stages are explained in this graphic

Orion will remain in space for longer than any other ship designed to carry astronauts, and it will return home hotter and faster than any spacecraft. 

NASA has launched the first deep space exploration mission. It will be the beginning of the next step towards human exploration in deep space. NASA will test and build the necessary systems for exploring the lunar surface and other locations farther than Earth. 

The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard. 

Orion and SLS will work together to support the crew and cargo needs of the deepest space missions.

NASA hopes to have a permanent human presence on the Moon by 2028, as part of its Artemis mission.

Space agency hopes that this colony will make scientific breakthroughs, show technological improvements and provide the basis for private businesses to create a lunar economy.