Canoo, an electric car startup, has delivered its first consignment to NASA. A trio of the company’s Crew Transportation Vehicles (CTVs) arrived at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center this week.
Although they appear to be meant for lunar exploration, the vans are intended to transport people to the KSC’s launch pads, beginning with NASA’s upcoming Artemis 2 mission.
The vans, which are based on Canoo’s existing lifestyle vehicle design, can carry fully-suited astronauts, as well as flight support crew and any equipment they may require, according to Canoo.
“The vehicles have an exclusive interior and exterior design that will provide astronaut and crew comfort and safety while on the nine-mile journey to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center,” the company said, adding that interior images of the vehicles would be released later this year.
NASA will fly its first crewed mission to the Moon since the Apollo program ended in 1972 with the Artemis 2 mission. During the 10-day trip, four astronauts will circle the satellite.
NASA intends to conduct more testing of its Orion capsule and Space Launch System (SLS) super heavy-lift rocket during Artemis 2 to confirm that both spacecraft are safe for future crewed trips to the lunar surface.
Canoo, on the other hand, sees this as an opportunity to generate interest in their EVs. The corporation informed investors in May 2022 that it was running low on cash. Since then, it has struck a deal with Walmart to supply the retailer with 4,500 EVs.
The company also provided the US Army with a test vehicle. Even with those agreements in place, it still has a long way to go before reaching financial sustainability.