Terranaut is a manned, mobile science laboratory, earth?s equivalent of a lunar rover.
``The Terranaut will protect its occupants from the extremes of the world`s environments and, on the other hand, allow you to be part of it.`` François Bancon, General Manager, Motor-Show, Exploratory & Advanced Product Planning, Nissan Motor Limited.
Measuring 4,965mm from stem to stern, the advanced four-wheel drive explorer stands 2,150mm tall and is 2,100mm wide. These impressive external dimensions provide Terranaut with the interior space needed to house its laboratory equipment and scientist.
A creation of London-based Nissan Design Europe, the overriding theme behind the concept is one of function. Project leader Felipe Roo Clefas, Assistant Chief Designer, NDE, says: ``Terranaut has been designed for observation and communication in all four corners of the world.``
Capable of being driven deep into the Outback, to the middle of the desert or to the frozen wastes of the tundra, Terranaut is an observation and communications centre as well as being a mobile science lab. Satellite information systems allow data access and transfer all over the planet.
Built to house three operators - a pilot, co-pilot and lab technician/scientist - Terranaut has enough refrigerated storage space to house food, water and other provisions for stays of upwards of a week out in the field. Lightweight tents, sleeping bags built for extreme conditions and simple cooking facilities are carried in storage compartments in the doors.
The overall exterior design conforms to the expectations of a rugged 4x4, with short overhangs front and rear and the ample ground clearance needed to traverse inhospitable terrain.
To accommodate the laboratory area within the cabin, the co-pilot`s side of the car has just one door, while the other side has a pair of swing doors and no central B-pillar. With both doors open, virtually the entire side of the car becomes an entrance.
Inside the vehicle, the spherical science laboratory dominates the entire cabin area behind the two front seats. A single revolving seat with an integrated computer keyboard is situated beneath the glass roof dome and gives the scientist complete 360-degree access to the various workstations found in Terranaut.
Designer Felipe Roo Clefas says: ``Terranaut is very much a statement about how the 4x4 can help us discover more about our world.``
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