Bridgestone Develops New Lunar Rover Tyre Concept

Bridgestone Develops New Lunar Rover Tyre Concept

Bridgestone is supporting the overall push for lunar mobility with added safety and peace of mind with their new lunar tyre.

Bridgestone recently unveiled a new lunar rover tyre, an innovation that promises to traverse the moon’s unforgiving terrain more effectively than ever.

This latest feat of engineering was showcased at the 39th Space Symposium, held in Colorado Springs, USA, from April 8 to 11, 2024, a gathering that marks the pinnacle of space-related dialogue in the United States.

Known globally for mastering the roads of Earth and propelling the wheels of various forms of mobility, Bridgestone now sets its sights sky-high—supporting the next giant leap in space mobility. Drawing from a well of experience in extreme conditions, Bridgestone has honed its technology to now face the moon itself. 

This is actually the second generation of concept tyres to be launched; Bridgestone’s first-generation lunar rover tyre was inspired by none other than the durable footpads of camels.

The tyre featured a soft, metal-based felt material on the tread that contacts the moon’s regolith enhancing traction through increased friction.

The second generation of this tyre evolves further, incorporating a skeletal structure designed to withstand the rigorous demands of lunar exploration. Bridgestone has integrated thin metal spokes and segmented treads to combat the harsh lunar conditions marked by extreme temperature fluctuations, vacuum, and radiation exposure.

This design not only boosts durability but also enhances the tyre’s ability to cover the lunar landscape effectively by increasing contact area and reducing the sinking into the regolith. Through structural simulations, they’ve optimised the shape and thickness of the metal spokes, allowing for flexibility while minimising strain.

This lunar tyre project is part of Bridgestone’s broader strategy as outlined in their Mid Term Business Plan for 2024-2026, exploring the “Air Free” concept beyond Earth. The insights gained from the lunar environment could revolutionise tyre technologies on Earth, furthering Bridgestone’s commitment to innovation and value creation.

Driving humanity and our exploratory spirit ever forward, under the guiding principles of their “Bridgestone E8 Commitment.”

Read more tyre news on AUTA, or check out our latest videos on Ignition Labs TV and on TikTok!

Sean Loo

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