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Goodyear: 'To the moon -- and beyond'

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop non-pneumatic tires for use on the moon and eventually Mars.

"The basic rubber pneumatic design used on earth does not have the same utility on the moon" due to the moon's unique atmospheric characteristics, says NASA Principal Investigator Vivake Asnani.

"The challenges associated with creating a lunar tire are further complicated by the fact there are no lunar roads. Lunar tires need to be designed to develop traction on sandy, undulated terrain in regions that humans have never even seen up close. Plus the prospect of an immobilizing flat tire would be devastating to the mission."

A one-year timeline has been set for the development of the lunar tire.

Goodyear worked with NASA and General Motors Corp. to develop a tire for the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle used in the 1969 moon landing.

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