The vehicles are needed to haul future Artemis moon mission astronauts on a 9-mile (14.5 kilometer) journey to the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA is commissioning three of the vehicles, which need to be spacious enough to hold fully suited astronauts, support staff and gear.
In a statement on Wednesday, NASA hailed the new crew transportation vehicles as "futuristic transports with pod-shaped exteriors" that will be environmentally friendly. An "inspirational rendering" of Canoo's concept shows what looks like a souped-up minivan with a silver paint job that pays tribute to the '80s-chic Astrovan. The final design could look different.
on its Artemis I SLS rocket and Orion capsule with the hopes of launching it on a trip around the moon later this year. That mission won't have any humans on board, but Artemis II will have a crew. Canoo is expected to deliver the new, made-in-the-US fleet by mid-2023.
The Canoo render might look a bit like a vintage sci-fi illustration, but it's mercifully way classier than a tongue-in-cheek proposal from hot dog company Oscar Mayer last year for an. The Artemis crews will be able to step out of their launch-limos with pride.