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The ATHLETE Development Facility

ATHLETE is the All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extraterrestrial Explorer - a set of three prototype robotic vehicles for lunar mobility. Construction, testing, and demonstration of these vehicles is performed at JPL in the ATHLETE Development Laboratory.

This facility is home to the three 2000 pound prototype lunar rovers, a single leg testbed, and a one-sixth-gravity drop-test and mobility-test apparatus. The facility has 4200 square feet of floor space; a 25 foot tall, 5-ton overhead bridge crane; and four large roll up doors (12 feet wide by 16 high). To support these systems, the facility has numerous assembly benches, cabinets, and a electronics/soldering station, most of which reside behind a 35 foot long lunar landscape mural from the Apollo 17 mission.

Additionally, the laboratory houses several ATHLETE operator consoles, a visitor's viewing area with image gallery and video displays, a meeting area, and a small office. Outside the building, there is a small dock area with the ATHLETE field test equipment and trailers.

The ATHLETE Development Facility
Click here for larger image.
The ATHLETE Development Facility
Click here for larger image.
Blue Line
Drop testing of an ATHLETE prototype with airbag shock absorption under simulated one-sixth gravity.
Blue Line





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