One set of Goodyear tires, one big leap for the future of mobility: almost fifty years ago, the non-pneumatic XLTs (Expertimental Lunar Tires) from Goodyear were the first to ever leave a tire trail on the moon. Since the fifties and sixties, the tire manufacturer has been working intensively with space pioneers to meet the biggest mobility challenges and to stimulate innovation. 50 years after the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon, the tire manufacturer is again a partner of a space mission.
Goodyear is working together with the ISS US National Laboratory on an experiment. The tire brand is doing research into the binding of silica particles. The effect of the particles is tested in a micro gravity environment. Silica is increasingly being used in tires to further improve its performance. The researchers of the tire makers want to use this experiment to determine whether new applications of silica can be used for even better tires.
Expiriment in micro gravity environment
Astronauts aboard the ISS will conduct the experiment in a micro gravity environment. That happens while the researchers experiment in their own laboratories on earth. When the space mission returns to Earth, Goodyear and the ISS US National Laboratory will compare the results.
Goodyear partner with Apollo 11 moon mission
Goodyear has been on space missions for decades. A milestone is the collaboration with NASA on the iconic moon landing on July 20, 1969. For example, the launch installation was equipped with Goodyear brakes. In addition, a special Goodyear system helped the engine circulate nitrogen, acid and hydrogen. The command module window frame and the panel on which the landing instruments were mounted also came from the Goodyear tube. Apollo 11 landed in the ocean on advanced floating elements. This allowed the crew to safely exit the aircraft.
Apollo 14 explored the moon on Goodyear tires
Another milestone is the participation of the tire manufacturer in the Apollo 14 space mission. In 1969, the tire brand started a partnership with NASA to develop special non-pneumatic tires for the vehicle that made the first meters on the moon two years later. The Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET), a two-wheeled trolley, was used to transport equipment and samples collected by the Apollo 14 astronauts. In order to be able to pull the MET through the soft monthly soil and over the rocks as easily as possible, the Goodyear tires were made of extra soft rubber. The tires were also fitted with special tubes filled with nitrogen.