Hyundai Motor Group, a leading South Korean automaker, recently announced its foray into the space exploration industry.
On April 20, 2023, the company revealed its plans to develop a model of a lunar exploration rover in conjunction with several Korean research institutions in the aerospace sector.
The ambitious initiative aims to establish a flexible mobility platform capable of accommodating various payloads, with state-of-the-art autonomous driving technology, solar charging, thermal management, and radiation shielding capabilities.
The rover will be able to carry various equipment on its surface, with a maximum weight of 70 kg.
After completing and testing the development model in an environment similar to that of the Moon’s surface, the group hopes to launch a rover with the ability to carry out various scientific missions in the south pole area of the moon by 2027.
The missions aim to explore the lunar surface for resources and support human exploration.
According to Yong Wha Kim, a representative from Hyundai Motor and Kia, “The creation of the lunar exploration mobility development model reflects our aspirations and our goal to achieve tangible results amidst formidable challenges.
With the rover’s development, we are venturing beyond land, sea, and air mobility to expand into space mobility.”
Hyundai Motor Group envisions expanding human reach and providing various innovative mobility solutions through robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous driving technologies in the long run.
Collaborating with aerospace research institutes in Korea is a significant milestone toward achieving its Metamobility vision.
The consultancy body anticipates that once the lower part of the rover is developed, it will function as a mobility platform, supporting an upper part that will hold an array of advanced technologies for digging, excavation, and human exploration of the lunar surface for resources.
Hyundai Motor Group’s entry into the space exploration industry marks a significant development for South Korea’s aerospace sector, opening up new possibilities for innovation and technological advancement.
The company’s expertise in autonomous driving technology and mobility solutions will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the lunar exploration rover project, paving the way for future space exploration missions.
Six Korean research institutions are involved in the project, including the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI), Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), and Korea Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH).