NASA Tire Assault Vehicle TAV Space Shuttle
Photo credit: DutchSpace]
You’ve seen a Bugatti Chiron race a space shuttle, but did you know the CR-990 NASA Tire Assault Vehicle (TAV) is what engineers used to test its tires? It’s based on a remote-controlled 1:16 scale Tamiya Tiger II tank, which included custom-built sides, hull roof, side skirts, and front armor.


NASA Tire Assault Vehicle TAV Space Shuttle
The tank turret was replaced with a small camera situated next to a DeWalt drill motor equipped with a 3/8-inch bit, both of which were connected to a Black and Decker battery. A video signal was then transmitted to a portable black-and-white TV. When all was said and done, the entire rig cost NASA less than $3,000 to build.

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NASA Tire Assault Vehicle TAV Space Shuttle

This is pretty good. I was stationed at Edwards AFB from 1990-1996. I remember doing a test back then. We used our robot and a battery powered MAKITA drill. The understanding was the procedure would relieve the tire of excess pressure after a shuttled landed with hot braking,” said Robert Sims.