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Rover

Engineer Tim Lexen has created a prototype ranger device that can move across rough terrai...

Some day in the future, it's possible that an unmanned rover may go trundling across the Martian landscape not on wheels, but on three rotating steel coils. While able to traverse rugged terrain without getting stuck, it could also move sideways to get around obstacles, would be unlikely to malfunction as it would have very few moving parts, and could perhaps even remain mobile if it were to take a tumble and flip over. Although such a vehicle might not be exploring Mars any time particularly soon, a fully-functioning prototype does already exist here on Earth, and its design could find terrestrial applications.  Read More

The Lunokhod 1 lunar rover (Photo: Lavochkin Association)

On November 17, 1970, the Soviet spacecraft Luna 17 delivered the lunar rover Lunokhod 1 onto the surface of the moon. For 11 months after, controlled in real-time by a human team in Moscow, it explored seven miles of the lunar surface. Sending back reams of data, it was considered to be one of the biggest successes of the little-known Soviet lunar exploration program. And then, it disappeared. It wasn’t abducted or anything, it just ceased transmitting, as space probes have a tendency to do. This spring, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spied it on the moon’s surface. The really neat thing: it can still reflect laser beams back to Earth as if it were brand new.  Read More

A tumbleweed rover being tested in Antarctica (Photo: NASA)

For over ten years, NASA engineers have been kicking around the idea of a tumbleweed-inspired Mars rover. This “tumbleweed rover” would be a rugged but lightweight ball, with sensors and other electronics securely suspended inside. It would move about simply at the mercy of the Martian wind, much like its botanical namesake. Until now, the only way of testing such rovers has been to build a prototype, then set it loose here on Earth and watch the fun. That could be about to change, however. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a computer model that can test tumbleweed rover designs before they’re ever built.  Read More

The 911 GT3 R Hybrid

Williams F1 has increased its existing 40% shareholding in Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) to 78% on the back of some very favorable results on the racetrack in conjunction with Porsche and ever growing confidence that the company's magnetically loaded composite flywheel (MLC) technology will find wide application in hybrid passenger vehicles, hybrid buses, electric trains, diesel-electric ships and wind power generation.  Read More

NASA has given its Opportunity Mars Rover the ability to make its own choices about which ...

NASA’s Opportunity is a Mars Rover that just won’t die. In fact, Opportunity is just getting better – and smarter – with age. Originally slated for a 90-sol (that’s 90 Mars days) mission when it landed at Meridiani Planum on Mars on January 25, 2004, Opportunity is still turning up for work and functioning effectively in its seventh year on the red planet. And unlike some of us who are losing our faculties as we age, Opportunity has been given a new capability to make its own choices about whether to conduct additional observations of rocks that it spots on arrival at a new location.  Read More

On test: the lunar truck simulator at the Rock Yard of Houston's Johnson Space Center

It looks like seventies science fiction television is (finally) going to meet reality with NASA planning to set up a real Moonbase Alpha by 2020. In order to meet the heavy load/long range transport requirements of life on the moon, NASA recently teamed up with Goodyear to review and redesign some 40-year-old technology in the shape of the airless tires first seen on the Lunar Rover Vehicles of Apollo missions.  Read More

The Scamander RRV goes for a dip to show off its amphibious qualities.

Fed up with your Ferrari? Lamborghini a bit lame? Rarely get a reason to take your dinghy out of the shed? Haven’t scared the neighbors for a while? If you've answered yes to at least three of these questions, then the Scamander RRV could be just what you’re looking for. Before his death in June this year, former-TVR owner Peter Wheeler built the Scamander RRV (rapid response vehicle), a car that could drive on track, off-road or even on the water, all while carrying four people.  Read More

The self-contained module of the rover allows crew to discard their spacesuits while insid...

NASA’s 12-wheeled Small Pressurized Rover raced (by lunar rover standards) across the moon-like Arizona outback at 6mph this week as part of the 11th annual Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS). While the buggies on the Apollo missions only provided a 6 mile range, the presence of two or more SPRs on a lunar landing will provide a range of over 150 miles.  Read More

The bullet-proof Range Rover Vogue

March 28, 2007 Most luxury vehicle manufacturers have been quietly producing armoured versions of their range for special private customers for years, with Mercedes Benz the most prolific and high profile and the Combat T98, International MXT-MVA and Rhino Runner the most extreme. Whereas once it was considered gauche to advertise such services, and companies were content to have the most influential people seen in their vehicles, marketing imperatives are now being brought to bear and the world’s prestige manufacturers all seem to be adding an armoured model to their range. Now Range Rover will add a fully-armoured Vogue to the range, designed to resist attack from machine gun or hand grenade while its four-wheel drive chassis and off-road ground clearance allows a quick getaway from attack or ambush. Unlike conventional armoured limousines, the Range Rover Vogue Security Vehicle can be driven across all terrains, including unforgiving urban obstacles like high kerbs or even steep steps. Its broad shouldered strength also allows it to be driven at and through obstacles such as gates or even walls.  Read More

The all-new Land Rover LR2 Premium Compact SUV

December 3, 2006 Land Rover used the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil its new premium compact SUV, the Land Rover LR2, earlier this week. The fourth new model launched from Land Rover in just four years, LR2 joins the line-up of Range Rover (2002), Land Rover LR3 (2004) and Range Rover Sport (2005). As the latest addition to the sport-utility vehicle manufacturer's line-up, LR2 is all-new from the ground up, with a view to delivering outstanding on-road performance as well as the off-road ability of a Land Rover. Technical highlights of the LR2 include a brand-new 3.2-liter inline-six engine featuring advanced technologies to deliver an outstanding combination of performance and economy.  Read More

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