The first functional exhibited moon vehicle was engineered and constructed by Barris Kustom. After many hours of research and development, George Barris designed and built his first concept of an all terrain moon mobile unit. The Moonscope is a moon crawler that will enable astronauts to maneuver around the moon surface.
Since the moon surface is dusty and soft, craters deep and some hollow, the moon crawler is equipped with special shocks from Carrera to enable it to adapt itself to maneuvering like a spider. Since the moon has no air, gas combustion engines can¹t be used so Cushman engineered and provided a basic electric platform and chassis with General Electric motors. Drive gears are in forward and reverse movement with foot pedals controls and speeds up to 45 mph. The braking foot control has a locking emergency brake pedal. The chassis has six spider type wheels that will function in all direction to compensate for movement over the craters. The vehicle is a 4 wheel drive recticle unit with power to the front and rear wheels. Th U joint slip tubes are mounted on pillar bearings that slide in the drive shaft. Upper control arms are adjustable, spring loaded and the Carrera socks move with the axle and U joints. Air craft spherical rod ends stabilize the bars and assist in guiding the wheels and axles from bending into a contortional situation. The center wheels are used as stability support moving on shocks and bearing surfaces with chrome alloy tubing axles. The body is a monque constructed tube frame, plus twenty gauge special heat treated U.S. steel panels are formed to follow the body configurations. The panels are treated with a special formula to stand maximum fahrenheit at different atmospheres. The body is securely attached to a special unitized frame that housed the complete electrical and suspension system. A front roll bar is attached around the windshield to function in alignment with the rear section roll bar. In the seating area there are body contoured seats with foam padding that fully encases the astronauts figure. There are compartments in the rear behind the astronauts for carrying all the items they might pick up on a moon excursion and take back to the space module.
Behind the storage compartment are extra oxygen bottles with high pressure nozzles provided by MOON Equipment. All lubricants for astronautical maintenance is provided by the STP Corporation. George was contacted by NASA because they were interested in the wheel design. NASA requested detailed background information on the design of the vehicle. Barris gave NASA permission to utilize any of the advanced designs for the Mars missions.