Return to Tashi Station with SPR

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Blair had a problem with a power converter on his T-34 heading to Tashi Station, and Mos Nocohost was the nearest place that sold power converters.   As we approached Black Point Lava Flow, we happened to see a bunch of tents in the distance.  Using stealth like techniques, we decided to investigate.  Avoiding all imperial entanglements, we managed to get some cool pics of a very cool looking small pressurized rover concept.

Small Pressurized Rover
Small Pressurized Rover Concept.  Credit: NASA EDGE

NASA is now testing a new generation of rovers that will be used when we return to the moon by the end of the next decade.  One of these rover concepts is the Small Pressurized Rover or SPR.  The SPR consists of a Mobility Chassis and an SPR cabin module. 

Small Pressurized Rover
SPR showing the “crab style” movements.  Credit: NASA EDGE

The SPR concept offers many advantages over the rovers of the Apollo days.  It will increase the potential range of exploration, provide protection for the astronauts, reduce the amount of time astronauts must wear pressurized suits and allow for more scientific research.

Small Pressurized Rover
The SPR in action.  Credit: NASA EDGE

Another unique advantage of the SPR system is the crew lock concept, providing a rapid EVA ingress/egress.  The crew lock will allow the crew to enter and exit the EVA suit while never having to bring the suit inside, keeping the internal space mostly free of dust.

EVA suit
EVA mock-up suit. Credit: NASA

Well, the second power converter died on the T-34 and we were stuck out on the lava flow with no transport to get to Mos Nocohost.  As the Sun drifted away below the horizon and temperatures falling near freezing, I asked Blair if we had a back up plan.  “Back up plan?” responded Blair.   Have no fear, SPR is here.   The SPR team is a great group of engineers and technicians. They definitely have the “right stuff” and have been working hard the past couple of years on lunar rover concepts.  In fact, they managed to find time to bail us out and provide a lift into town.

SPR at night.
SPR in action at night.  Credit: NASA

We had a great time covering the SPR test at Black Point Lava Flow in Arizona.  Look for an NE@ segment in the next month or so featuring Astronaut Mike Gernhardt taking us on a test drive in the SPR.

All the best,
Chris
Host

19 thoughts on “Return to Tashi Station with SPR

  1. rocketman Post author

    Great pics!!! Is that Blair in the space suit on the back of SPR? Keep up the great work. I wish NASA EDGE was on cable TV (besides NASA TV). I am sure you all have thought about that. By the way, where is Franklin? Isn’t he suppose to be preventing the astronaut from falling? 🙂

  2. The Co-Host Post author

    No, that isn’t me in the suit behind the SPR. I did, however, get to see a couple of demonstrations of the process of getting in and out of the suits. I kept looking for an opportunity to try it myself, but no luck.

    BTW, Franklin would have been there, but he was on his Honeymoon. As cool as SPR is, I think he made the right decision.

  3. guest Post author

    Nice touch the suit carrier. But I am little preoccupied with the viability of the idea. If the suits are exposed, it can be damage by flying debriefs of the wheels. Remember what happen when the LRV lose the fenders on the moon. It also can be perforated by a lucky or unlucky micrometeorite. If the suit go this way must have a little of insulation that protect them. Also the temperature could be an issue. The idea is are very practical in order to save time to go to EVA, saving oxygen, and the deletion of the air look or even in an emergencies.

    Ricardo Salam�

  4. wcb Post author

    sorry, who is Franklin? Isn’t he suppose to be preventing the astronaut from falling? :)Is that a humor of you making?

  5. NASA EDGE Host Post author

    WCB – Check out Vodcast #10: Lunar Architecture. You’ll see Franklin helping Blair out with his home made space suit. I think Blair would still be stuck in Arizona if it wasn’t for Franklin.

    All the best,
    Chris
    Host

  6. Brent Post author

    Hey NASA EDGE,
    Thanks for coming out to Black Point, AZ! We had a very exciting 2 weeks out there. The entire field test, especially the 3-day SPR mission, was a huge success thanks to the extremely hard work of a lot of dedicated people. Can’t wait for your NE segment on this one. Lovin’ the SW parody.

    Cheers,
    Brent
    Geologist

  7. Mark Daymont Post author

    Awesome report- keep the SW references coming!
    This is a great rover design, I love it… but someone’s gonna have to tell us just how they get into that suit and get the life support system in behind them! Please…. 🙂

  8. Glenn Thomas Post author

    Amazing looking photos! I'd assume the design of that vehicle is to enable maximum visibility at the front so that the ground can be monitored?

    The graduated filter on the the EVA mock up suit photo adds a nice effect to that photo too.

    Cheers,

  9. Sunil Post author

    Sunil wrote:

    Great pictures! Would love to ride those rovers. The last photo at night was really brilliant.

    *Note – We can’t use external links due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thank you,

    The Co-Host

  10. Wally Post author

    Wally wrote:

    “Pretty amazing. I can relate to the troubles you faced and I love this line: ‘Have no fear, SPR is here.’

    It looks like a great group of people with amazing abilities.

    Keep em comin’

    Wally”

    *Note – We can’t use external links due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thank you,

    The Co-Host

  11. guest Post author

    I not one that like to be a downer for ideas. Yet from what I understand about the notion of not introducing foreign biological factors onto Mars; actually putting humans on Mars itself may be too extreme a challange. That said, the two moons of Mars seem like an idea goal for more than one reason. The biggest being the costs of atmospherically braking etc, a lander; and having to get out of the Mars ‘gravity hole’, when leaving. From the moons’ closer distances, the time delay of remotely running robots is not as near as hard to execute. And getting them fully ‘sanatized’ for the insertion into the Mars’ enviroment is much much easier.

    Yah, I got the note. Food and water, and uh! … that to too.

    Sincerely,

    Gregory D. MELLOTT

  12. SANJOY DUTTA,KOLKATA,INDIA,09433785357 Post author

    MY SON SOHAM DUTTA(HE IS 8 YRS OLD.READING IN II STANDARD IN SCHOOL) USED TO ASK ME WHAT IS NASA? I TOLD HIM IT IS ULTIMATE DESTINATION OF SCIENCE.CONGRAT. TO ALL SCIENTIEST. KINDLY LET ME KNOW ABOUT NASA EDUACTION.

    REGARDS

    SANJOY DUTTA

    KOLKATA
    INDIA

  13. Josh Post author

    “Hopefully NASA continues space exploration, it really is a credit to our race and our country. I love the movie APOLLO 13 and love watching launches here in FLORIDA!”

    Note – We can’t use external links due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  14. Sunil Post author

    “Great pictures! Would love to ride those rovers.
    The last photo at night was really brilliant.

    Sunil”

    Note – We can’t use external links due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  15. Wally Najimi Post author

    “Pretty amazing. I can relate to the troubles you faced and I love this line:
    “Have no fear, SPR is here.”

    It looks like a great group of people with amazing abilities.

    Keep em comin’

    Wally Najimi”

    Note – We can’t use external links due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  16. jubin Post author

    man its really cool,the sort of technical problems u face & finding there solutions instantly its fantastic.

  17. Jenny Craig Post author

    “Have no fear, SPR is here. SPR is really a great group of engineers and technicians. They have a solution for every problem. I wish I could take a ride of this rover.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  18. guest Post author

    “Thanks for the information, it has been very enlightening.”

    Note – We are unable use external links (ads, spam, etc…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

Comments are closed.