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Part-Time Scientists and Audi lunar quattro ready to head for the Moon 2016.12.03

Berlin/Ingolstadt, Germany - November 29, 2016 - It has shed eight kilograms in weight, while also gaining Audi e-tron power: Following extensive tests the "Audi lunar quattro" rover is ready to tackle one of the most difficult terrains of all in exploring the Moon. As well as the development of the lunar vehicle, the mission has now also achieved a further landmark: The German space travel team "Part-Time Scientists" announced yesterday at Audi City in Berlin that it plans to complete the 385,000 km trip to the Moon from the end of 2017 using a launcher booked with Spaceflight Inc. As an early technology partner and ambassador of the Part-Time Scientists' mission, Audi has been instrumental in generating extensive publicity for the project and bringing other strong partners on board.

Part-Time scientists und Audi lunar quattro ready to head for the moon.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 

Berlin/Ingolstadt, Germany – November 29, 2016

• Development of “Audi lunar quattro” moon rover completed

• German space travel team “Part-Time Scientists” signs agreement on rocket launch

• More partners from business and research recruited for the project

It has shed eight kilograms in weight, while also gaining Audi e-tron power: Following extensive tests the “Audi lunar quattro” rover is ready to tackle one of the most difficult terrains of all in exploring the Moon.

The Audi lunar quattro at the 2016 North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
As well as the development of the lunar vehicle, the mission has now also achieved a further landmark: The German space travel team “Part-Time Scientists” announced yesterday at Audi City in Berlin that it plans to complete the 385,000 km trip to the Moon from the end of 2017 using a launcher booked with Spaceflight Inc.

PASSION - MISSION TO MOON
Passionate support.
Audi experts from various different departments are providing the Part-Time Scientists with committed support to make the Audi lunar quattro fit for its journey to the Moon.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
As an early technology partner and ambassador of the Part-Time Scientists’ mission, Audi has been instrumental in generating extensive publicity for the project and bringing other strong partners on board.

PASSION - MISSION TO MOON
Moon yearning.
Robert Böhme and his colleagues Jürgen Brandner and Karsten Becker are the brains behind a group now consisting of 35 engineers working on making the dream of a moon landing come true.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
Audi and the German group of engineers announced their partnership in early 2015.

Their common objective: to bring together the technological expertise of both partners in getting a rover to travel about on the Moon, under the auspices of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.

PASSION - MISSION TO MOON
Audi lunar quattro.
2017 should see the first Audi drive on the Moon.
Together with the Part-Time Scientists, Ingolstadt engineers are preparing the moon rover for the very toughest conditions ever faced by an Audi.
But the tasks set by the Google Lunar XPRIZE merely mark the beginning of the real mission for the Audi lunar quattro …
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
A group of 16 Audi experts has since been supporting the Part-Time Scientists with expertise in a large number of technical areas and has optimized the rover for the lunar mission.

Frank Schätzing has mastered the art of transforming dry scientific facts into gripping stories.
The former advertising agency manager achieved his breakthrough in 2004 with science-fiction bestseller The Swarm.
Five years later, he conquered the Moon with his novel Limit.
We interview Schätzing about the fascination with space, multiplex cinemas on Mars and the Mission to the Moon supported by Audi.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
Audi was above all able to contribute its quattro experience, knowledge of lightweight construction and expertise in e-tron and design in helping the Berlin team with the development of the unmanned lunar vehicle.

Michael Schöffmann, Audi moon expert.
Besides his regular job as Head of Transmission Development, Michael Schöffmann also coordinates the technical cooperation with the Part-Time Scientists.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
“We are proud that we have given the moon rover important aspects of the four rings’ DNA: It is a quattro, has an e-tron battery on board, drives in piloted mode and offers an intelligent mix of materials,” remarked Michael Schöffmann, Head of Audi Transmission Development and Development Coordinator of the Audi lunar quattro.
“The collaboration with the Part-Time scientists is also very enriching for us: We are breaking new technological ground with the Audi lunar quattro and can learn much about how automotive components behave in extreme conditions.”

Frank Schätzing has mastered the art of transforming dry scientific facts into gripping stories.
The former advertising agency manager achieved his breakthrough in 2004 with science-fiction bestseller The Swarm.
Five years later, he conquered the Moon with his novel Limit.
We interview Schätzing about the fascination with space, multiplex cinemas on Mars and the Mission to the Moon supported by Audi.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
Over the past few months Audi’s experts have been working on the rover’s intelligent all-wheel-drive power distribution, optimizing its high-performance electronics and contributing their piloted driving expertise to the development process.

Audi lunar quattro. The designer.
Jorge Diez heads up the visual reworking of the Audi lunar quattro.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
In order to boost stability and increase the contact surface, the engineers and designers enlarged the rover and its wheels.

Meanwhile they reduced its weight from 38 to 30 kilograms by adopting an optimum mix of materials and using aluminum 3D printing.

Audi lunar quattro. The engineer.
Jürgen Brandner, specializes in the rover’s mechanicals.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
Sophisticated tests, for instance in the Audi sun simulation chamber, were also run to simulate the extreme conditions on the Moon and examine the suitability of the rover’s components.

On the Moon, the Audi lunar quattro will have four cameras to help it find its way around.

Audi lunar quattro. The electronics specialist.
Karsten Becker coordinates inwardly and outwardly.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
It will use them to examine objects and take 3D and 360°pictures. One popular motif will be the rover from the Apollo 17 mission, which still stands in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow.

Audi lunar quattro. The founder.
Robert Böhme, IT consultant and the brain behind the Part-Time Scientists.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
ALINA, the landing module of the Part-Time Scientists, will touch down close to the 1972 landing point with two Audi lunar quattro vehicles on board.

Metal 3D printing: Wheel for Moonrover mission to the moon, lightweight construction in space.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
The probe will travel to the Moon on a launcher such as a Falcon 9 and has a total transport capacity of 100 kilograms.

As well as the two rovers, the Part-Time Scientists will therefore also be able to take research equipment to the Moon for other partners.

Audi lunar quattro
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
In this context, project partners such as the U.S. space agency NASA, the European Space Agency ESA and Wikipedia were recruited because of their substantial scientific interest in the mission.

Audi lunar quattro
Lightweight design. The rover’s weight was significantly reduced by an optimum material mix and Audi’s expertise in the field of 3D aluminum printing.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
The Part-Time Scientists plan to set off for the Moon from late 2017.

Before then, they will still need to conduct extensive stress testing of the two Audi lunar quattro vehicles and the landing probe.

Audi lunar quattro
Cameras. On the Moon, the rover orientates itself using just four cameras.
It can also use these to investigate objects and take 3D images, panorama pictures and 360-degree shots.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
To that end the team will be simulating the entire mission in the Middle East over the next few months, and is now performing some final fine-tuning.

The Part-Time Scientists came together in late 2008 on the initiative of IT expert Robert Böhme and are based in Berlin.

They now number 35 engineers on three continents.

Audi lunar quattro - quattro drive.
The torque sent to each of the wheels, which can rotate 360 degrees around their vertical axes, is just enough but no more, in order to prevent spin.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
Working together with international space experts, their aim is to make the lunar mission become a reality and gather as much knowledge as possible to promote technological development and advance scientific progress.

Audi lunar quattro - Solar panel
The rover derives its energy from a swiveling solar panel roughly 3,600 square centimeters in size.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
The Google Lunar XPRIZE, worth more than USD 30 million, is a space travel competition aimed at engineers and entrepreneurs from all over the world.

To win, a private team must get a rover on the moon, drive it at least 500 meters and send high-resolution pictures back to earth.

Audi lunar quattro
Top speed 3.6 km/h – The Audi lunar quattro, the moon rover.
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
From an original field of almost 30 challengers, there now remain five leading teams in the race to head off for the moon.

The Part-Time Scientists are the only team from Germany.


Videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/PartTimeScientists  


The Audi lunar quattro
Photo courtesy of Audi
 
Contact

Christine Maukel
Spokeswoman Sales and Marketing
Tel. +49 841 89-41573


Source: Audi Media Center

https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/  



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Editor-in-Chief of ASTROMAN magazine: Roman Wojtala, Ph.D.


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