For anyone interested in space, in Houston is one of the most important installations in the world. It is where Mission Control for all of NASA's manned rockets is, and it's where the astronaut training for the Space Shuttle program is still done.
As part of Road Trip 2008, CNET News.com's Daniel Terdiman took a quick plane ride down from Nashville for a visit to JSC. There, he got a set of behind-the-scenes tours of several of the center's more important facilities.
This is Chariot, or the lunar truck. It is a prototype of a new lunar rover that NASA is developing for its future missions to the moon. Unlike the rovers used in previous trips to the moon, Chariot has many functions, and it is designed for wide-ranging use. Each of its six sets of wheels is autonomous from the rest, meaning that the truck can move in any direction at any time.
It has two upright seats, which allows the crew to drive standing up, something that is important for visibility, as NASA found that previously, the astronauts had trouble seeing when sitting down in the lunar rover.
June 27, 2008 11:47 AM PDT
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET News.com
| Caption by: Daniel Terdiman
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