Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tank on The Moon - Lunokhod

November 17 1970 Russian mission Lunar17 containing Lunokhod landed on the moon. The first lunar rover controlled remotely from the earth was a triumph of Soviet engineering.  

The design team had to meet weight, size, heating, cooling and low level power restrictions as well as overcome the demands of operating in space.  The final unit weighed 840kg approx. and moved at 1.3km per hour.   Onboard were four television cameras, an  x ray telescope, a penetrometer to take soil samples, a cone shaped antenna and a helical antenna.  Eventually it fell into a crater and due to overheating, it still remains on the moon. The Lunokhod rover was programmed to hibernate at night and during the 14 day lunar night .  The rover was designed to operate for 90 days it ran for 11 months and covered 7 miles of the moons surface.   The mission ended 4th October 1971.

Photo Credit:
Lunokhod: Reflections on a Moon Robot 

Lunokhod Designers
Georgi Nikolayevich Babakhin 
Alexandra Kermurdzhian

Science Channel Video
Tank on the Moon - Lunokhod (03.01)

In 1973 lunar 21 lands and delivers Lunokhod 2 on the moon May 9th 1973 the rover travelled 24 miles and transmitted images back to earth.

The Lunaokhod technology once again deployed in Mikehal Milenkhov's Remote STR1 bulldozer, which was designed and deployed to clear Chernobyl debris in 1986

Marsakhod, designed to explore Mars was originally created in 1977.  It sat in a warehouse until 1992 when it became the basis for the Mars Rover (1992/1993) when Alexandra Kermurdzhian worked  with Nasa on the project.

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