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50 years later: A glance again at NASA’s unimaginable first Lunar Rover: Digital Images Assessment

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50 years in the past this week, the Apollo 15 spacecraft launched from Kennedy House Heart in Florida. The Apollo 15 mission is important for quite a few causes. It was the ninth crewed Apollo mission, the fourth to land on the Moon, and maybe most significantly, the primary to make use of the lunar roving car (LRV). Whereas rovers appear commonplace as we speak, it was a surprising achievement for NASA in 1971. To have fun Apollo’s first LRV, we needed to share a set of photographs highlighting the event, deployment and use of NASA’s well-known ‘moon buggy.’

The LRV was manufactured by Boeing and Basic Motors and featured 4 0.25-horsepower series-wound DC motors in its drivetrain. Whereas electrical automobiles are an everyday sight lately, the rover was forward of its time. The car, powered by a pair of silver-oxide batteries, had a 92km (57 mi) vary. The moon buggy had a curb weight of 210kg (460 lbs) on Earth however weighed solely 34kg (76 lbs) on the lunar floor.

Regardless of its said high pace of 13 km/h (8 mph), on its closing mission, Apollo 17, the rover topped out at a blistering 18 km/h (11.2 mph). The car may carry a payload of 490 kg (1,080 lbs), together with a pair of astronauts, numerous gear and lunar samples to return to Earth. There have been three LRVs taken to the Moon, the place all of them presently reside.

On Apollo 15, the LRV was pushed by commander David Scott and pilot James Irwin. The third astronaut, command module pilot Alfred Worden, remained in orbit across the Moon. Scott and Irwin drove about 28km (17 mi) in the course of the mission earlier than parking the LRV a brief distance from the lunar module. The LRV features a plaque, which reads ‘Man’s First Wheels on the Moon, Delivered by Falcon, July 30, 1971.’


Picture credit score: All photographs within the following gallery through NASA

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