German automobile maker Audi joins Google Lunar XPRIZE with its rover ‘lunar quattro’
German automobile maker Audi joins Google Lunar XPRIZE with its rover

Audi has revealed its XPRIZE rover, the ‘lunar quattro’, whereas study has shown 2014 Indian Ocean space junk’s likely relation with a rocket motor of a 1998 NASA Lunar mission.

The German automobile maker has participated in the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which is a ‘space competition’ wherein privately funded teams from worldwide compete to send and land unmanned rovers on the Moon’s surface by the 31st of December next year.

In a press release last week, Audi unveiled the 35-kilogram rover lunar quattro, which is a product of its collaboration with the Part-Time Scientists team, a Germany-based participant of XPRIZE.

The automobile maker said that many of the components of the rover are composed of high-strength aluminum and is solar-powered.

Audi rover’s theoretical maximum speed is 2.2 mph or 3.6 km/h, and it possesses ‘off-road qualities and safe navigating abilities’ on the moon’s rugged surface. The car maker added that its tires can rotate 360 degrees.

The car maker first declared its support for the Part-Time Scientists team in June last year. It is the only German team left in the Lunar XPRIZE lineup.

Audi has decided to go to the moon as it wants to inspire other tech companies to collaborate with the project.

Audi’s Board Member for Sales and Marketing Luca de Meo said, “We want to send a signal with our involvement with the Part-Time Scientists and also motivate other partners to contribute their know-how”.

If we talk about the space junk’s lunar connection, the space junk reported in October has turned out to have a likely connection with an old NASA Lunar mission rocket.

Nature reported that NASA researchers have suggested that the space junk that fell into the Indian Ocean a couple of months back was most probably the remnants of the ‘Lunar Prospector’, a rocket motor that drove a NASA probe to the Moon about eighteen years back.