They’re actually semi-entitled to do so – because the automaker was actually part of the Lunar Rover development team back in the 1960s. And yes, believe it or not, on July 20, 1969 the first human steps were taken on another world.
The world – 48 years ago, still drenched in the Cold War – stood united in front of the TV to watch merican astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin take those famous steps on the Moon. And by the way, there was a second important mission to the moon – also in July – more precisely July 30, 1971, when the Apollo 15 mission marks the moment when a human car first landed on another world. It’s not a car per se – it’s the Lunar Rover, which assisted astronauts to the moon for the “J” extended-stay missions of Apollo 15, 16, and 17.
With the Apollo 11 anniversary being the best known, Chevrolet decided to celebrate its contribution back then to the LR development team, as it worked on the LR’s electric drive motor system. “When our team began engineering for the Lunar Rover, there were so many unknowns, including varied terrain, extreme temperatures, and the effect of reduced gravity,” says Ferenec Pavlics, the NASA chief engineer for the rover, who previously worked for GM. “We pushed the boundaries of automotive technology and worked hand in hand with the astronauts on the vehicle’s design.” Of course Chevy doesn’t let this go unnoticed and decided to offer us a nerdy comparison between the first extra-terrestrial electric car and their very Earthly five-door hatchback.