Tom Cremins, associate administrator for strategy and plans at NASA, said the agency plans to issue a request for information on a next-generation lunar rover “in the coming weeks,” Space News reported Wednesday.
Cremins told attendees at the SpaceCom Expo in Houston that the unpressurized rover will be used to support astronauts for Artemis moon missions. NASA’s Johnson Space Center will lead the effort, which is focused on establishing partnerships with industry.
Last month, NASA Administrator and 2019 Wash100 winner Jim Bridenstine announced that the agency plans to use a commercial lander for the $250M Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover project that seeks to traverse the moon’s south pole in 2022.
NASA is in the process of evaluating input on the Human Landing Systems program focused on deploying commercial approaches to lander development. The agency is also continuing work on the proposed lunar gateway to support the 2024 moon landing as well as other future space efforts.