Friday, January 16, 2009
Before it gets to space, a moon buggy will make history by being the first to boogie along an inaugural parade. NASA will participate in President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural parade with the crew of the latest shuttle mission and a small pressurized rover that is the current design for a mission to the moon in about 12 years. It will be driven by astronaut Michael Gernhardt. NASA hasn't chosen a final rover design yet, but the one in the parade is the leading prototype at the moment, succeeding wildly on a three-day desert trek in Arizona in October. It is different from the Apollo era open top rovers. It is sealed like a car, allowing two astronauts to sit in it without wearing bulky spacesuits.