The automobile industry has advanced so much that we now have a moon bike.
“A moon buggy requires almost the same space as 3-4 Tardigrades,” Nico Müller, one of Hookie’s co-founders told us in an email interview. “The weight is much less than that of a complete buggy made out of steel.”
The most important factor here is that of weight. For 1 kg of an object around the orbit, it costs approximately $2,720. Hookie designed a lunar e-motorcycle that has a weight of 308 lbs. (140 kg). The lunar roving vehicle, or moon buggy, used for NASA’s lunar landings weighs 463 lbs. (210 kg). this means that they have used light materials to make the bike.
The Tardigrade is named after the incredibly resilient animal that is capable of tolerating extreme space atmosphere. It was inspired by a digital design created by Russian artist Andrew Fabishevskiy in 2020. Hookie co-founders Nico and Sylvia Müller have sought permission from the creator and got ready to make its application.
Germany’s TUV inspection did not apply to the vehicle that gave it more room for smooth production. “No TUV means we were able to focus on simple functionality, materials, and the weight,” he said. “On our Tardigrade, we had the opportunity to work with brands like Dupont – Kevlar, and Cake together. Authenticity for every detail was the goal in the design process.”
The vehicle has a thin frame of ten millimeters with laser-cut aluminum and axles that were also made using ultra-light metal. The outer body is made up of tubing, while a Kevlar cover with aluminum coating was provided by NASA supplier DuPont. This will protect the drivetrain from space radiation, minor impacts, and the harsh cold of the moon. The electric drivetrain was arranged by the Swedish firm Cake, which is famous for its eco-friendly electric bikes.
The most challenging task was making its balloon tires. The tires are airless were made from 3D printed 12 polyurethane tread modules. The parts of the bike can be detached separately and replaced when needed.
Niko Müller stated that “NASA knows about our Tardigrade project [and] it would be amazing to talk about future collaborations or ideas. We’re totally up for this.”