Big Wheels Button Tumbleweed Button Rover Publications Button 100 px spacer
Big Wheels

JPL Inflatable Rover Program

JPL's legacy Inflatable Rover Program was focused on two types of inflatable vehicles for transport of instrument payloads on distant planets and moons. One, referred to as "Big Wheels," is a lightweight, motor-controlled vehicle with large balloon tires; the other is a large, wind-blown sphere, referred to as "Tumbleweed."

The use of inflatables to increase speed and range is a possible means to enable robotic outpost development (transporting other rovers to distant sites); transportation of astronauts; and long-distance transfer of heavy equipment or in situ resources, such as water ice from the Martian north pole.

The inflatable rover program was led by Jack Jones who retired from JPL in 2015. For more details click on one of the left NavBar items or one of the above photo buttons.

    Adv_tech home