AKRON, Ohio -- NASA has begun testing an airless tire developed by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for use in lunar exploration.
The Akron-based tire maker said Monday the Spring Tire has 800 load-bearing springs meant to carry heavier vehicles over greater distances. Wire-mesh tires were previously used on the NASA's Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle.
The Spring Tire was installed on NASA's Lunar Electric Rover test vehicle and was tested on a lunar-style landscape at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The company says the moon's very hot and cold temperatures and unfiltered solar radiation would pose extra risks to traditional air-filled rubber tires.
Goodyear announced the collaboration with the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in 2007.