Before we live on Mars, it is clear that man will first make a brief stop on the moon. And who knows? Maybe one day we can even ride a bike there … A group of students decided to take the lead by inventing some kind of pedal rover. Despite all the odds, NASA was convinced of the idea of this strange space bike.
“Schoolchildren and students from the USA and around the world have designed, built and built their creations for NASA’s 27th annual Human Exploration Challenge (…), NASA’s annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge, for over 25 years in the last eight months tested The sponsors encourage student teams in the US and around the world to push the boundaries of innovation and imagine what it takes to explore the moon, Mars and other worlds … ”explains the space agency on its official website.
Invented as part of a competition
The moon wheel, known as the “RISD Rover”, was designed by a group of students from the Rhode Island School of Design (USA) as part of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. This competition is organized every year by the American Space Agency and is aimed particularly at engineering students.
The challenge encourages them to invent, envision, and innovate the vehicles of tomorrow, especially those that astronauts might one day use on the moon or even Mars. The RISD Rover is one of the little gems revealed during the 27th edition of the competition.
Like all participants, the students at the Rhode Island School of Design had nine months to prepare everything before presenting their creation: draft the plans, choose the right materials, assemble the vehicle and of course test it. The result exceeded all expectations, because the fruits of their hard work impressed the jury with good reason!
“The team has spent 9 months designing, prototyping, analyzing and building a human-powered vehicle that has to traverse a Mars-like obstacle course. The two drivers are also required to perform tasks such as collecting samples and using instruments on the course. The race takes place every spring at the Marshall Space Flight Center. “Lily Douglas explains on her Behance page.
An intelligent vehicle in space
The RISD Rover looks like a kind of foldable recumbent bike that you move forward by pedaling. To steer it we use two levers that need to be pulled or pushed. The bike can carry two passengers seated back to back. Regarding the structure of the machine, the designers used carbon fiber to build the frame and tires.
Photo credit: Lily Douglas / Behance
The whole thing results in a vehicle that is both light and off-road, and the various components of which have been 3D printed. The tires are not only suitable for different surfaces, but can also be exchanged very easily. Safety is also important thanks to the curved spokes that absorb shocks in the event of a fall or collision.
To top it off, the RISD Rover is equipped with a hinge that allows it to be folded vertically in the middle. Thanks to this special feature, the machine perfectly meets the criteria of NASA, which in particular required that the rovers fit into a cube measuring 1.50 m laterally.
We are excited to announce the winners of the Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2021! Congratulations to all of our #Artemis Generation teams! Read more >> https://t.co/7DGDhD0wE2
– NASA Rover Challenge (@RoverChallenge) April 16, 2021
The judges were really amazed, some even want to see the machine at work on earth while waiting for it to be ready for use on the moon one day …