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Hyundai News & Reviews

The Hyundai Lunar Exploration Rover is ready for blast-off

Hyundai Motor Group announced Thursday that it is building a development model Hyundai lunar exploration rover for space race evaluation purposes. With assistance from major Korean aerospace builders, HMG is building it to show the capabilities in lunar mobility. Napleton News has always had our heads in the clouds so we couldn’t resist telling you about this latest development. Please read on for more.

A Joint Effort

This development prototype will be made to evaluate the capabilities of six aerospace partner agencies. They will be asked to run and support a rover effort for upcoming lunar excursions. The six agencies involved are the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, The Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (KICT), Korea Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute. It seems the only group missing from this are those famous singing K-poppers, BTS!

The Hyundai Lunar Exploration Rover prototype

After discussions with the various agencies, it was decided to begin work on a developmental model. It is currently being fast-tracked for initial testing in late 2024, with an actual production model ready for flight in 2027.

“Hyundai Motor Group has consistently stated its goal to contribute to expanding human reach and the scope of human mobility experiences,” said Yong Wha Kim, Executive Vice President, and Head of R&D Planning & Coordination Center of Hyundai Motor and Kia.

Hyundai points out that with the development of the Rover, they are moving beyond land, sea and air mobility and expanding into space mobility.

The Rover is filled with technology from the Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Corporation. These include autonomous driving technologies like cameras and LiDar as well as advanced robotics. A specialized powertrain drive system is also onboard. And then there are the critical electrical parts like chargers, solar panels and batteries.

Built in stages

The rovers will be built with a lower and upper section. While the upper panels will have scientific payloads that have been retrieved from the Moon’s surface, the lower section will house the powertrain, batteries, charging systems and more. It will also be shielded against radiation and thermal extremes.

Once the lower sections of the Rover are complete, a superstructure-type device will sit atop that will handle advanced technologies for digging, retrieving and human exploration of the lunar surfaces. The goal is to make a vehicle capable of a wide variety of functions for mobility and payloads.

Before sending the Rover to the Moon, engineers will test the prototype model in a moonlike environment on earth. Based on testing results, final preparations will be made for the lunar mission.

Following development, testing and refinement, the plan is to land the rover near the south pole area of the moon. Here it will carry out various scientific missions. The solar-powered, autonomous driving mobility unit will weigh around 70 kg.

That sounds out of this world.




This post was published on May 18, 2023

Mark Elias

I've loved everything on wheels: Trains, Planes and definitely Automobiles. I am constantly in search of the latest in new technology, which makes our lives better each day, but will always respect the classics. You can't continue forward without first taking a look back at where you've been.

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