Festival of Speed to explore travel on Earth, and beyond

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Lunar rover designed to explore the moon | ispace illustration

England’s acclaimed Goodwood Festival of Speed will feature a high-performance vehicle of a different sort this summer. Yes, the usual array of historic and modern automobiles will be on display in both static and at-speed showcases. But joining them will be a four-wheeled vehicle of a different sort: the ispace lunar exploration rover.

Not only will the space explorer be on display, visitors to the show will be able to control the vehicle using a computer tablet at the festival’s Future Lab exhibit, which will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily from July 12-15.

Rover in flight | ispace illustration

Goodwood’s Future Lab focuses on future technologies and this year that focus includes not only the rover but architectural designs for proposed habitation on Mars and, just for fun, a robot bartender.

The lunar rover has been developed in Japan by ispace and is to be deployed during a moon landing in 2021. The rover was one of five finalists in the Google Lunar Xprize competition. It weighs 8.3 pounds.

“The ispace rover is one of the most exciting new developments in making space exploration more accessible for researchers; a result of learning from automotive innovation as much as it is drawing on expertise from aerospace,” Future Lab curator Lucy Johnston is quoted in the Goodwood news release.

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“The FOS Future Lab is not only about celebrating the technology concepts of the future, it’s about actually experiencing it and we can’t wait for visitors to get their hands on the controls of this amazing piece of technology.”

Takeshi Hakamada, the ispace founder, added that the vehicle is being showcased not only to demonstrate current capabilities, “but also to inspire future generations of engineers and space explorers.”

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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