Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV)
Artist's impression the Lunar Terrain Vehicle on the lunar surface
Production2029 (est.)
PredecessorLunar Rover Vehicle

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) is an unpressurized rover being developed for NASA that astronauts can drive on the Moon while wearing their spacesuits.[1] The development of the LTV is a part of NASA's Artemis Program, which involves returning astronauts to the Moon, specifically the lunar south pole, by 2026, but the LTV will not fly until Artemis V in 2030 at the earliest.[2] The LTV will be the first crewed lunar rover developed by NASA since the Lunar Roving Vehicle used during the Apollo program.


On February 6, 2020, NASA issued a request, seeking industry feedback on relevant state-of-the-art commercial technologies and acquisition strategies for a new Lunar Terrain Vehicle. NASA also stated in the request that they want the new LTV to draw on recent innovations in electric vehicle energy storage and management, autonomous driving, and extreme environment resistance.”[3]

On August 31, 2021, NASA released another request to private companies for additional input on approaches and solutions for a vehicle to transport Artemis astronauts around the lunar south pole. NASA also asked if American companies are interested in providing the LTV as a commercial service, or as a product NASA would purchase and own.[4]

On November 2, 2022, NASA issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the LTV as a service (LTVS).[5] The draft was open for feedback until December 1, with a planned final RFP release date of on or about February 8, 2023, a proposals due date approximately 30 days later, and an anticipated contract award date of on or about July 19.

On January 27, 2023, NASA published an update stating that it anticipated that the LTVS final RFP release will be delayed until no later than May 26.[6]On May 26, NASA released its services request for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle, with proposals due on July 10 and a contract award scheduled for November.[7] On October 30, NASA delayed the award of the contract to March 31, 2024, to allow additional time to evaluate proposals.[8]

On April 3, 2024, NASA announced that Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost and Venturi Astrolab are the three companies developing the LTV as part of a 12-month feasibility and demo phase.[1][9]A source selection statement by NASA provided further details on cost and overall feasibility on 9 April, 2024. The Intuitive Machines proposal was for $1.692 billion, Lunar Outpost for $1.727 billion and Astrolab for $1.928 billion to develop the vehicle.[10]


Five proposals for a Lunar Terrain Vehicle have been publicly unveiled since NASA's initial request.


As of March 2023 NASA plans to launch the Lunar Terrain Vehicle on Artemis 5, which is expected to launch no earlier than March 2030.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Chang, Kenneth (3 April 2024). "NASA Picks 3 Companies to Help Astronauts Drive Around the Moon - The agency's future moon buggies will reach speeds of 9.3 miles per hour and will be capable of self-driving". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 April 2024. Retrieved 4 April 2024.
  2. ^ a b Foust, Jeff (13 March 2023). "NASA planning to spend up to $1 billion on space station deorbit module". SpaceNews. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  3. ^ "NASA to Industry: Send Ideas for Lunar Rovers". NASA. February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "NASA Prompts Companies for Artemis Lunar Terrain Vehicle Solutions". NASA. August 31, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  5. ^ "NASA Makes Progress with New Lunar Terrain Vehicle Moon Rover Services". 2 November 2022.
  6. ^ "SAM.Gov Lunar Terrain Vehicle opportunity". Retrieved April 22, 2023.
  7. ^ "NASA Pursues Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services for Artemis Missions". NASA. May 26, 2023. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  8. ^ "NASA delays Artemis lunar rover award by four months". SpaceNews. November 4, 2023. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  9. ^ "NASA Selects Companies to Advance Moon Mobility for Artemis Missions - NASA". Retrieved 2024-04-03.
  10. ^ Foust, Jeff (2024-04-15). "NASA document outlines selection of lunar rover companies". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2024-04-15.
  11. ^ "Lockheed Martin, General Motors Team Up to Develop Next-Generation Lunar Rover for NASA Artemis Astronauts to Explore the Moon". November 16, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  12. ^ "MDA Joins Lockheed Martin and General Motors On Next Generation Lunar Rover Development". April 5, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  14. ^ "Northrop Grumman Announces Team for NASA's Next-Generation Lunar Terrain Vehicle". November 16, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "Teledyne, Sierra Space and Nissan Designing Next-Generation Lunar Terrain Vehicle for NASA". April 7, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  16. ^ "Bridgestone Joins Teledyne Lunar Terrain Vehicle Development Team". September 11, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  17. ^ Foust, Jeff (March 31, 2023). "Astrolab to send rover to the moon on SpaceX's Starship". SpaceNews. Retrieved April 5, 2023.
  18. ^ "Leidos, NASCAR speed into Lunar Rover race". April 17, 2023. Retrieved May 10, 2023.