Audi’s adorable moon rover is getting launched into space next year


Audi had more than cars on display at its booth at the Detroit Auto Show.

The company was also showing off a small, adorable moon rover built by a group of German scientists.

audi moon roverAudiI mean if that isn’t a close second to Wall-E cuteness I’m unsure what is?

The scientists are building the spacecraft because they are competing in Google’s Lunar XPrize challenge, a $30 million competition to send an unmanned rover to the moon.

To win the prize money, the rover must successfully roam around the moon for at least 500 meters (1,640 feet) and snap high-definition images and video that can be sent back to Earth.

The German scientists, who dubbed their team the “Part-Time Scientists,” will launch the rover into space in 2017, according to a press release.

Audi, who has been funding the scientists since the beginning of 2015, said it got involvedto show how its all-wheel drive technology can be used in all kinds of terrain — even the bumpy lunar surface.

audi moon rover

The rover, named the Audi lunar quattro, will be attached to a lunar vehicle on board a rocket that will travel over 236,000 miles to the moon.

The scientists have selected the old landing site of the Apollo 17 as their target, which is just north of the moon’s equator. The trip will take about five days. Apollo 17 was NASA’s last manned mission to the moon, which occurred 45 years ago.

The lunar vehicle underwent testing in the Austrian Alps and Tenerife, an Island off of Spain’s Canary Islands, to prepare for the rugged surface of the moon. It is made out of aluminum and comes with a solar panel that feeds energy directly to its lithium-ion battery, which powers the rover’s four wheels.

The little guy can go a little over 2 miles per hour.

There are currently 15 teams competing in the Google Lunar XPrize competition.