According to Audi, "Audi lunar quattro" rover is ready to explore the Moon.
Following "The Google Lunar XPRIZE" competition results and announcing their partnership in early 2015, we already wrote about the German space travel team "Part-Time Scientists" and Audi heading for the Moon. But while then they were only preparing, extensive testing is now behind them and they are ready to try the real thing: complete the 385,000 km trip to the Moon from the end of 2017.
During this time, Part-Time Scientists and Audi engineers enlarged the rover and its wheels to boost its stability and increase the contact surface. Audi reports that the Audi lunar quattro will have four cameras to help it find its way around the Moon, examine objects and take 3D and 360°pictures. They also made it lighter - its weight was reduced from 38 to 30 kilograms, which was achieved by "adopting an optimum mix of materials and using aluminum 3D printing." To examine rover's suitability and readyness, the vehicle was also tested in the Audi sun simulation chamber.
ALINA, the landing module of the Part-Time Scientists, is expected to land close to the 1972 landing point with two Audi lunar quattro vehicles on board. The total transport capacity of the probe they're sending to the Moon is estimated at 100 kilograms, so Part-Time Scientists will also be able to take research equipment.
Project partners include the U.S. space agency NASA, the European Space Agency ESA and Wikipedia.