Amazing Times Automakers Went Into Space
Although car companies focus on car production, which is logical, they have been a part of the space race for a while. The recent launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with a Tesla Roadster on-board stunned the world, and if you still haven’t seen the stream, you better check it out as soon as possible. But Tesla is not the only company that sent the vehicle into space.
Tesla on Falcon Heavy
Elon Musk is truly a brilliant man, and whether you love him or hate him, you need to admit that. He is the owner of the car company that sent their vehicle in space, carried by a rocket made by his company again. He knows how to get the attention of the world and seeing Falcon Heavy and Tesla together in space was outstanding.
GM Robonaut 2
General Motors and NASA go a long way back, and in 2010, the car company presented Robonaut 2, which is a robotic humanoid that can perform tasks in an environment far away from the Earth. Robonaut 2 went to the International Space Station one year after its official introduction.
Audi Lunar Quattro
Audi decided to join forces with Part-Time Scientists, and the carmaker assembled a small moon rover. The goal of these two companies is to launch the rover in 2019 and land at the Apollo 17 landing site.
Once again, the cooperation between GM and NASA resulted in the GM RoboGlove. This is another product as a part of the Robonaut program, and the battery-powered glove can add strength to help reduce fatigue or sense the pressure exerted when you are wearing it.
GM/Apollo Lunar Rover
Although Tesla is the first one to send the production vehicle in space, the Lunar Rover will be the first vehicle that was used in space. It is assembled by GM, and it was crucial during the missions on the Moon.
Toyota “Voice” for Kirobo Robot Astronaut
Kirobo went to the International Space Station in 2013, and it was produced by several Japanese companies. One of its features was a voice recognition functionality, which was developed by Toyota, so we can say that Toyota was also in space in some form!
Nissan/NASA Autonomous Vehicle Development
Nissan and NASA have been working together in order to enhance autonomous systems for vehicles on Earth as well as the interplanetary rovers. The good news is that Nissan has just extended the agreement with NASA, which means that they will continue to work diligently on making this world better.
NASA/Parker Brothers Concepts Mars Rover
This massive Mars Rover was made by Parker Brothers Concepts, and it was presented at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is just a demonstrator, but hopefully, a version that will go to Mars will soon arrive.
This is just a regular vehicle with no futuristic features or the ability to travel on some distant planet. The reason why we have to mention it is that it transported Space Shuttle crew from and to the pad for more than 30 years.
If you think that Lexus has never been in space, you are wrong. A spaceship with Lexus’ badge was seen in the 2017 film called Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and this is what interplanetary travel will look for Lexus in 700 years from now. Everything starts with dreams!
Honorable Mention – The Chevrolet Corvettes of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo
Even though it wasn’t an official deal between Chevrolet and the astronauts, all of the original Mercury crew members owned a Corvette except John Glenn. This cooperation extended to Gemini and Apollo missions.
And who knows? Maybe in 50 years, we will drive Teslas on the surface of the Red Planet!