NASA isn’t in the business of building cars, but it does have a new concept vehicle it wants to show the world. The vehicle is a conceptual Mars rover meant to inspire younger generations to learn and support the agency’s mission to send Earthlings to Mars one day, according to CBS News.
As conceptual as it is, some of its features may make their way to manned mission vehicles in the future. Parker Brothers Concepts built the Mars rover, which features a 700-volt battery to power the onboard electric motor. Charging occurs via solar panels. Inside, the rover seats four and the rear compartment can be detached for potential scouting missions on planets far, far away. There’s also a laboratory in the rear of the rover. This thing is big at 28 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 11 feet tall.
To ensure the rover has no issues climbing over various terrain, spherical concept wheels were employed. NASA says the wheels are designed for traction on rocks, sand, and other various types of terrain the rover may encounter on planets like Mars.
NASA has a long history of innovating and letting its technology trickle down to consumers. Will we one day see spherical wheels? Perhaps. Goodyear has played with the idea. Other bits of technology and engineering seen here could very well influence future NASA vehicles, as well as future street vehicles.
The Mars rover will be on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the facility’s “Summer of Mars” event that started June 5 and runs through September 4. The rover will also make appearances at various events on the U.S. east coast this year.