Celebrating 50 years of moon exploration
- With the landing on the moon on July 20, 1969 mankind pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible
- Starting the moon tire project with NASA in 1969, two Goodyear non-pneumatic XLTs (Experimental Lunar Tires) were the first to drive on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.
One pair of tires for Goodyear, one giant leap for the future of mobility: almost 50 years ago, Goodyear’s non-pneumatic XLTs were the first to ever leave a tire track on the moon. The 1950s and 60s were a period of intense innovation for Goodyear as it actively worked with pioneers to drive change and discovery. To this day, Goodyear has never seized reinventing both itself and mobility by creating and presenting state-of-the-art tires.
Since 1898 – back when its first products included carriage tires and horseshoe pads –Goodyear has been a company of technology driven firsts that partners with pioneers to shape the future of mobility. In 1969, that partner was NASA as Goodyear was chosen to create with non-pneumatic tires to equip a cart that astronauts could use to transport rock samples two years later.
The Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET), a two-wheeled unpowered cart used to carry equipment and samples collected by the astronauts on Apollo 14. The MET was about 75 kg when loaded, and was pulled at speeds up to 4 km/hr. Its wheels were made of smooth rubber and were supported by nitrogen filled inner-tubes. To make it easier to pull the cart through soft lunar soil and over rocks, the MET wheels were designed to be fairly compliant.
It’s a milestone that highlighted the extraordinary period of intense innovation for Goodyear. In 1965, its tires equipped Craig Breedlove’s jet-powered car, the Spirit of America, on its way to a new land speed record. In 1977, Goodyear changed the perception of consumers by offering them the choice to keep the same set of tires all year round with the iconic Tiempo: the world’s first all-season tire.
Goodyear’s innovations have been redefining tire performance, enriching people’s driving experience and pushing mobility boundaries for over 120 years. Goodyear proves it still is indispensable in today’s changing FACE of mobility – with a focus on Fleets, Autonomous, Connected and Electric vehicles – by annually showcasing futuristic concept tires like the Eagle 360, Oxygene and AERO at the Geneva International Motor Show.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 74,000 people and manufactures its products in 57 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.