the national aeronautics and space administration (NASA
) joined forces with goodyear
to develop an airless tire to be used on extra-terrestrial surfaces. the 'spring tire' features 800 load bearing springs and is designed to carry heavy vehicles over much greater distances than the wire mesh tire used on the apollo lunar roving vehicle.
it's able to withstand the sharp temperature differences of outer space and will not blow out if it is punctured. should a puncture occur, it would affect only one or a few of the 800 load bearing springs.
'with the combined requirements of increased load and life, we needed to make a fundamental change to the original moon tire. what the goodyear-NASA team developed is an innovative, yet simple network of interwoven springs that does the job. the tire design seems almost obvious in retrospect, as most good inventions do.'
'along with having this ultra-redundant characteristic, the tire has a combination of overall stiffness yet flexibility that allows off-road vehicles to travel fast over rough terrain with relatively little motion being transferred to the vehicle'. - vivake asnani, NASA principal investigator
see a video of the tire's development here
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