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]