Hyundai Motor Group is a popular leading South Korean automotive manufacturer. While they are popularly known for making modern cars, the automotive maker recently announced its plan to develop a lunar exploration rover. The firm made this announcement on April 20, 2023, and it plans to collaborate with several Korean research institutions in the aerospace industry to build a lunar exploration rover development model. Hence, this exciting announcement officially brings Hyundai Motor Group into the space exploration industry.
Why Hyundai Motor Group is Developing Lunar Exploration Rover
Hyundai Motor Group is planning to build a versatile mobility lunar explorer with the capability of handling several tasks on the lunar surface. The popular automotive company hopes to build this rover with powerful autonomous driving technology, a thermal management system, solar charging, radiation shielding features, and other technologies. Hyundai Motor Group will build the rover to carry several pieces of equipment on its top.
The announcement reveals that the rover will come with a maximum weight of about 70 kg. Hyundai is hoping to commence with the developing model for the rover and complete the testing in a moon-like environment before 2027. This is because the group wants to launch the rover to the moon before the end of this decade. When it finally lands on the moon, the rover will conduct several scientific missions in the south pole region of the moon.
During these missions, the lunar rover will explore the moon’s surface in search of resources and support human exploration on the closest celestial body to Earth. NASA, CSNA, and other space agencies are also working towards sending rovers to explore the lunar south pole.
Yong Wha Kim of Hyundai Motor and Kia, said, “The creation of the lunar exploration mobility development model reflects our goal and our ambition to achieve tangible results in the face of significant challenges. With the rover’s development, we are moving beyond land, sea, and air mobility to expand into space mobility.”
Hyundai Motor Group Long Term Vision on the Moon
Hyundai Motor Group has envisioned a long-term goal of providing humans on the moon with several high-tech devices such as innovative mobility solutions, autonomous driving technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, and other fascinating technologies. The group knew that they cannot accomplish these fascinating goals alone.
Hence, they are partnering with other Korean aerospace research institutes to fasten the process of actualizing its goals on the lunar surface and beyond. As soon as the lower part of the rover is built, the team will expect it to operate as a mobility platform. The lower part will also support the upper part which will accommodate several advanced technologies for excavation, digging, and other exploration tools to source for resources on the moon’s surface.
Hyundai Motor Group is known for its innovation in building automobiles for the world. The company’s interest in the space exploration industry will surely benefit South Korea Space Agency as the firm will be bringing its expertise in autonomous driving technology and other advanced technologies into the space sector.
The six Korean research institutes that will be involved in this project include the Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI), Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), Korea Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH) and Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT). They will all collaborate with Hyundai and bring this futuristic idea to life.
Sending a rover to the moon actually require lots of planning. Hyundai Motor Group is partnering with some of the best six Korean aerospace institutions to make this mission possible by 2027. Aside from Hyundai, Rolls Royce is also developing interesting space technology for future missions. We should be expecting more automotive manufacturers to enter the space industry with innovative technologies. What do you think about this interesting announcement?