Author Topic: Lunar Rover Tire Damage  (Read 1255 times)

Offline damnyankee36

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Lunar Rover Tire Damage
« on: 01/08/2018 07:34 PM »
I've been following news of the development of a new wheel design for a future Mars rover. I noticed that the design was based on the lunar rover tire except that it will be using a shape memory alloy. This is to prevent permanent damage/deformation under heavy loading.
With that in mind, does anyone recall of damage done to any of the lunar rover tires? After John Young's "Grand Prix" test I can't imagine any other mission causing damage during their routine operations.

I would imagine the Mars rover's designers are overbuilding due to the higher gravity and heavy weight of the their rover.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Lunar Rover Tire Damage
« Reply #1 on: 01/08/2018 07:55 PM »
I've been following news of the development of a new wheel design for a future Mars rover. I noticed that the design was based on the lunar rover tire except that it will be using a shape memory alloy. This is to prevent permanent damage/deformation under heavy loading.
With that in mind, does anyone recall of damage done to any of the lunar rover tires? After John Young's "Grand Prix" test I can't imagine any other mission causing damage during their routine operations.

I would imagine the Mars rover's designers are overbuilding due to the higher gravity and heavy weight of the their rover.
None that I can recall, just fender damage with clamp-on quick repair...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline whitelancer64

Re: Lunar Rover Tire Damage
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2018 08:15 PM »
The Apollo lunar rover tires, so far as I know, did not recieve any significant damage during their use on the Moon, however, that doesn't mean they were perfect, if one did hit on a sharp rock, it could have bent some wires and ripped a "hole" in a tire, or deform and bend the tire into a "dented" shape.

*edit* The lunar rover tires were thoroughly tested on the ground prior to the Apollo missions, with such damage seen in rough terrain testing (although never were they subject to such terrain in the Apollo lunar excursions). Endurance testing, which was done over small obstacles, saw some of the wires break where they were repeatedly subjected to flexing, i.e., at the spot where the wheels repeatedly hit the same obstacle over and over for thousands of cycles.

/edit

This is, in fact, the issue with a mesh tire made of conventional aerospace steel alloys, according to this article:

http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-memory-metal-wheels-mars-rovers-2017-11

However, the article says when a mesh tire was made with a Nickel-Titanium alloy, which is, I presume, the "shape memory alloy" materials you are referring to, it could deform all the way to the axel and then spring back, without becoming bent.

This has nothing to do with "overbuilding"
« Last Edit: 01/08/2018 08:40 PM by whitelancer64 »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Lunar Rover Tire Damage
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2018 10:20 PM »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Skylab

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Re: Lunar Rover Tire Damage
« Reply #4 on: 01/09/2018 03:13 PM »
And a short clip can be found here:

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