Sunday, February 12, 2006

Successful Russian Moon Rovers 35 Years Ago!

Did you know that thirty-five years ago the Russian space program successfully deployed an un-manned Moon Rover? Actually two!

On July 13, 1969 Russia launched a Moon Lander which safely landed on the moon whereupon it deployed ramps and relased the Lunokhod 1 moon rover. The Lunokhod 1 looked like an eight-wheeled washtub but it worked beautifully. It has solar panels, many television cameras, an x-ray spectrometer, and many other sophisticated instruments.

After operating for 11 months the Lunokhod traveled 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers), transmitted more than 20,000 television pictures, and conducted more than 500 lunar soil tests. Two years later, a larger and faster Lunokhod 2 rover successfully landed set a still-unbroken record for extraterrestrial driving distance of 23 miles.

Both the Lunokhod 1 and Lunokhood 2 were controlled via a joystick on earth. It's not possible to do this with the NASA Mars Rovers as radio delays can be 5 to 40 minutes depending on the distance between the Earth and Mars. For this reason it took until recently for computer technology to allow the current generation of rovers to have enough on-board intelligence to move about on their own with only "input" from Earth.

Here is an excellent article on this fascinating subject.

4 Comments:

Blogger S9 Blaster Master Officer said...

check science channel this week. they are showing a documentary about this.

just awesome!

8:15 PM  
Blogger marketing said...

Thankyou for leaving this story, even though I am an American I admire the Russians more what they do, their space agency even today is far more advanced than the Americans and they will do Mars first, they have the money and the technology to do so and they are a global superpower again setting the record straight. Even as American as I am the US needs competition and the Russians can.

12:06 AM  
Blogger marketing said...

Thankyou for leaving this story, even though I am an American I admire the Russians more, their space agency even today is far more advanced than the Americans and they will go to Mars first, they have the money and the technology to do so and they are a global superpower again setting the record straight. Even as American as I am the US needs competition and the Russians can.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Puppet Master said...

I agree with you. Now the Obama administration is decapitating NASA when
he took the decision to kill the space program's manned moon missions plus other programs/projects as well. This is not good for NASA and the russians and the chinese are going to take advantage of it. What about the H3 that we were supposed to collect???

It is shameful... My $.02 cents.

2:43 AM  

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