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Electric vehicle startup Canoo has delivered its first shipment to NASA. This week, a trio of the company’s Crew Transportation Vehicles (CTVs) arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Although they look like they’re made for exploring the surface of the Moon, the vans are designed to carry astronauts to the KSC’s launch pads, starting with NASA’s forthcoming Artemis 2 mission.
According to Canoo, the vans, based on the company’s existing lifestyle vehicle design, can carry fully-suited astronauts, as well as flight support crew and any equipment they may need. “The vehicles have an exclusive interior and exterior design that will provide astronaut and crew comfort and safety while on the nine-mile journey to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center,” the company said, adding it would share interior shots of the vehicles later this year.
The Artemis 2 mission will see NASA launch its first crewed mission to the Moon since the end of the Apollo program in 1972. Four astronauts will travel around the satellite during the 10-day flight. During Artemis 2, NASA plans to conduct additional tests of its Orion capsule and Space Launch System (SLS) super heavy-lift rocket to ensure both spacecraft are safe for future crewed missions to the lunar surface.
As for Canoo, this is a chance for the automaker to drum up interest for its EVs. In May 2022, the company warned investors it was running low on cash. Since then, it announced an agreement with Walmart to provide the retailer with 4,500 EVs. The company also delivered a test vehicle to the US Army. Still, even with those deals in place, it has a long way to go before achieving financial sustainability.