ABOUT THE CHARIOT
The NASA SEV (Space Exploration Vehicle), aka the "Chariot", or the MMSEV (Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle), is an advanced rover designed to facilitate crewed missions on the surface of extraterrestrial bodies such as the Moon and Mars. Developed as part of NASA's Constellation program, the SEV is an evolution of the original Lunar Electric Rover (LER) concept, with a focus on enhancing mobility, versatility, and human habitability.
The SEV consists of a pressurized cabin mounted on a highly mobile, twelve-wheel chassis. The vehicle has a modular design, allowing it to be configured for a variety of mission objectives and terrain conditions. The chassis features active suspension and advanced drive systems that enable it to traverse difficult terrain with ease, while the pressurized cabin provides a comfortable living environment for astronauts.
One of the key features of the SEV is its ability to dock with lunar and Martian habitats, as well as other rovers, enabling the exchange of crew, supplies, and power. The vehicle is also equipped with a suite of advanced scientific instruments, enabling the crew to carry out in-depth research and exploration during their missions.
The SEV has a range of approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) on a single charge, which allows for extended missions without the need for frequent recharging. The vehicle's life support systems can support two astronauts for up to 14 days, allowing for longer stays on the surface and more extensive exploration.
Only 2 Chariots were built before the Constellation Program was canceled in 2010. Although they never saw use in outer space, the Chariot’s innovative design and technologies continue to influence the development of next-generation lunar and planetary rovers.
ABOUT THE ARTIFACT
This structure served as a prototype component for the suspension mounting system of the vehicle's chassis. NASA fabricated this part and then shipped it to Racefab, located in Rusk, Texas, where the rovers were collaboratively designed and manufactured. Each rover incorporates six of these components, based on this initial prototype. According to Racefab, no additional copies of this component exist.
The rovers' chassis were constructed from 4130 chromoly steel, an alloy composed of chromium and molybdenum. This material is recognized for its high strength, wear resistance, toughness, and low thermal conductivity. However, these properties also make it challenging to machine.
Once assembled, the vehicles were treated with a powder coating process. Initially, they were coated with a metallic silver layer, followed by a layer of robot gold. Lastly, a translucent finish was applied for an extra touch of aesthetics and protection.
OWN A PIECE OF THE CHARIOT
You can now own a piece of the prototype Chariot rover. We have meticulously cut this structure into pieces for purchase.
Each fragment measures approximately ⅜ x ¼ x ¼".
Supply is very limited and finite. Only a handful of fragments remain after being featured in our monthly box.
Like many of our past artifacts, we'll never be able to restock this item once they're gone.
- Certificate of Authenticity
- Display Case
- Research Card
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A fascinating piece of science history