I can't say for certain how NASA comes up with its designs for lunar rovers, but my guess is that the LEGO Space system plays a big part in it. Today we're looking at Chariot, a 12-wheeled space SUV designed in 12 short months specifically for a proposed 2020 moon landing.

Lucien Junkin, chief engineer, told ABC News:

"Our mandate was building a truck that could go to the moon...Our crew members will stand up, and we can carry more than two astronauts. The Chariot can move in a crablike motion from side to side as well as forward and reverse. It has six wheels instead of four wheels."
Speaking of crablike motions, what ever happened to ATHLETE , the other lunar rover that had LEGO influence written all over it? Chariot does look a tad more practical, if not half as fun.

See? LEGO inspired, or I'll eat my space helmet:


Check out a full gallery and story at the ABC News website. [ABC News]
Thanks Paul!