The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company have developed an airless tyre to transport large, long-range vehicles across the surface of the moon.

The new “Spring Tyre” with 800 load bearing springs is designed to carry much heavier vehicles over much greater distances than the wire mesh tire previously used on the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV). The new tire will allow for broader exploration and the eventual development and maintenance of a lunar outpost.

The Spring Tyre was installed on NASA’s Lunar Electric Rover test vehicle and put through its paces at the Johnson Space Center’s“Rock Yard” in Houston where it performed successfully.

“This tyre is extremely durable and extremely energy efficient,” noted Jim Benzing, Goodyear’s lead innovator on the project. “The spring design contours to the surface on which it’s driven to provide traction. But all of the energy used to deform the tyre is returned when the springs rebound. It doesn’t generate heat like a normal tire.”

According to Goodyear engineers, development of the original Apollo lunar mission tyres, and the new Spring Tyre were driven by the fact that traditional rubber, pneumatic (air-filled) tires used on Earth have little utility on the moon. This is because rubber properties vary significantly between the extreme cold and hot temperatures experienced in the shaded and directly sunlit areas of the moon. Furthermore, unfiltered solar radiation degrades rubber, and pneumatic tyres pose an unacceptable risk of deflation.

Recently, Goodyear received numerous awards, most notably as one of America’s most trustworthy companies by Audit Integrity Inc. and Forbes magazine; the world’s most admired company in the motor vehicle parts industry by Fortune magazine; the leading shareholder return for the past five years in the automotive category by the Wall Street Journal; ranked among the Top 100 Corporate Citizens selected by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine; and the World’s Best Brands in the Automotive – Tyre category by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation.

Domestically, Goodyear Malaysia was recently recognized as the Most Trusted Brand for the tyre category for Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands award.

About Goodyear

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tyre companies. It employs approximately 70,000 people and manufactures its products in more than 60 facilities in 25 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.

In Malaysia, Goodyear is the leading brand of choice for consumers and OE manufacturers, such as Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Hyundai, Proton, Perodua, Naza, Hino, Daihatsu, Inokom, Malaysian Truck and Bus and Isuzu.

Goodyear Malaysia is the first Goodyear plant to be certified ISO9002 in 1992, QS9000 and ISO14001 in 2002, and ISO/TS16949 certification in 2003.