NASA Picks Canoo for Launchpad Transport Vehicles

NASA Picks Canoo for Launchpad Transport Vehicles
A rendering showing a customized version of Canoo's LV model, outfitted to transport NASA astronauts and equipment to the launchpad for the Artemis program. (Canoo)

Electric vehicle maker Canoo Inc., which is moving its headquarters to and opening an advanced manufacturing facility in Bentonville, has won a NASA contract valued at $147,855.

The company will build vehicles to shuttle astronauts to the launchpad for missions to the moon and Mars as part of NASA's Artemis program, Bloomberg reports. The contract was announced on the website and officially awarded on March 31.

Canoo plans to launch commercial production from its Bentonville facility in late 2022.

The company said in a statement that it will deliver customized all-electric vehicles based on its LV, or lifestyle vehicle, model to NASA by June 2023. The vehicles will be built to maximize cabin space and utility to carry fully suited astronauts, flight support staff and equipment.

Canoo has marketed the LV as a "loft on wheels." According to Tech Times, the version made for NASA will need to have a range of at least 50 miles and the capacity to carry eight people.

"As a high-tech mobility company, we are inspired by NASA's pioneering and trailblazing spirit," CEO Tony Aquila said in a statement. "Our customized vehicles are modular and upgradable throughout their lifecycle with a high level of recyclability at end of life. Canoo's Made in America electric vehicles embody our nation's ingenuity and bold determination to reclaim global technology leadership for America and its allied nations.

"We are proud to be a partner to NASA in one of the world's greatest endeavors."