NASA and Goodyear invent a tire and writers get to invent another word. Behold the moontire, an airless, mesh tire design, able to handle extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, making it perfect for moon vehicles. NASA and Goodyear were awarded a 2010 R&D Award for their design, also called the Spring Tire, which includes 800 interwoven load-bearing springs.
“This tire is extremely durable and extremely energy efficient,” noted Jim Benzing, Goodyear’s lead innovator on the project. “The spring design contours to the surface on which it’s driven to provide traction. But all of the energy used to deform the tire is returned when the springs rebound. It doesn’t generate heat like a normal tire.”
According to NASA researcher Vivake Asnani, the Spring Tire does not have a “single point failure mode. What that means,” he said, “is that a hard impact that might cause a pneumatic tire to puncture and deflate would only damage one of the 800 load bearing springs. Along with having this ultra-redundant characteristic, the tire has a combination of overall stiffness yet flexibility that allows off-road vehicles to travel fast over rough terrain with relatively little motion being transferred to the vehicle.”
The tire was made for the upcoming return of the human race to the Moon.
Published November 26, 2010 — 21:37 UTC