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One innovation for Goodyear, one giant leap for the future of mobility

Goodyear’s innovations have redefined tire performance and driven advances in mobility for the last 125 years. Since its inception in 1898, Goodyear has been at the forefront of technological innovation and has partnered with industry pioneers to shape the future of mobility.

In 1969, that partner was NASA, and the assignment was the Space Race. Goodyear supplied essential products for the Apollo 11 spacecraft, helping to facilitate the first manned mission to the moon. In addition, Goodyear-manufactured brakes helped the missiles move into place on the launchpad and, upon its arrival back to Earth, the capsule was kept upright by Goodyear-made flotation bags.

Goodyear’s space odyssey didn’t end there. For the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, Goodyear and NASA launched the moon tire project, and created two non-pneumatic XLTs (Experimental Lunar Tires) which made history by being the first to leave tire-tracks on the moon - setting the stage for the future of space exploration and mobility. No pressure, then.

Fifty years after first going to the moon, a continued ambition to drive innovation and enhance tire performance saw Goodyear test tire components aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in July 2019. In an agreement with the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, which works in a cooperative agreement with NASA, astronauts on behalf of Goodyear studied the formation of silica particles in the microgravity environment of the ISS. Their aim was to determine whether unique forms of precipitated silica could be used in tires to enhance their performance.

The year 2009 also saw the development of the Spring Tire; engineered to withstand the harshest environments on the moon and the toughest terrain on Earth. Described as “extremely durable and very energy efficient” by Joe Lettieri, Goodyear’s lead researcher on the project, the airless tire with 800 load-bearing springs was designed to carry heavy vehicles over great distances, allowing for broad exploration and potential development of future outposts on the moon, and possibly even allowing vehicles to explore places on earth that current tires would be unable to travel to.

To this day, the company has maintained its focus on lunar vehicle tires and continues this tradition. In 2022, it collaborated with Lockheed Martin to develop a lunar mobility vehicle, with the ultimate goal of being the first to establish extended-use commercial vehicle operations on the Moon. Leveraging its vast expertise in a mission-critical component required to traverse the lunar surface - tires, Goodyear brings an invaluable contribution to the team.

Now with a focus on the future FACES of mobility (Fleets, Autonomous, Connected, Electric Vehicles, and Sustainable), Goodyear continues to pioneer the future of mobility by developing and bringing to the market state-of-the-art tires.

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