With help from Oceaneering Space Systems, NASA is now testing concepts for a new generation of vehicles, building on lessons learned from the Apollo missions as well as the unmanned rovers on Mars. The Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) concept is designed to be flexible depending on the destination. The pressurized cabin can be used both for in-space missions and for surface exploration of planetary bodies, including near-Earth objects, the moon and Mars.
The surface exploration version of the SEV has the cabin mounted on a chassis, with wheels that can pivot 360 degrees and drive about 10 kilometers per hour in any direction. It’s about the size of a pickup truck (with 12 wheels) and can house two astronauts for up to 14 days with sleeping and sanitary facilities. Likewise, the in-space version of the SEV would have the same pressurized cabin on a flying platform; it too would allow two astronauts to stay on-site for 14 days.
Oceaneering engineers have been key contributors from the start of the SEV program. Oceaneering has been responsible for design and manufacturing of mechanical and electrical systems, as well as electronics, energy storage, and controls.