Picture: Canoo

The electric truck company Canoo has begun testing the Crew Transport Vehicles it is developing for NASA’s upcoming Artemis Moon mission. The American startup won a $147,855 contract in April, to provide vehicles to the program, which requires that they be delivered by June 2023. 

Canoo recently took three vans, painted red, white and blue, to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for some initial evaluations. 

The contract calls for street legal vehicles with the capacity for one driver, four suited-up flight crew members, and three additional staff, plus six equipment bags, cooling units, and two cubic feet per passenger for miscellany. At least two large doors for entry/egress and emergency exit are needed, and it has to use a zero-emissions powertrain. 

Canoo is working on several consumer and commercial models it plans to begin producing at its Oklahoma factory next year. 

To see how they might fight inside the vans, technicians from NASA’s exploration Ground Systems wore flight suits. Not many modifications had to be made.  

The vehicle will have a starting price of $34,750 and a range of 250 miles per charge. 

NASA is officially targeting a 2025 date for a manned landing on the Moon, but NASA Inspector General Paul Martin indicated in March that it will likely slip to 2026. 

Canoo, in their first quarter, noted that it was doubting its ability to “continue as a going concern” due to low cash reserves, however NASA believes that the delivery date of 2023 will be no issue and we will see these vehicles in time for Artemis II.