NASA has just marked another important moment in the history of lunar exploration. IN The newspaper “New York Times noted July 31, 2021 Tags 50th anniversary of the first lunar moving vehicle – and when humans first went to the moon. Apollo 15 astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin took the car for a while to collect samples and explore the lunar surface more efficiently than on foot.
Scott and Irwin eventually rode the rover two more times (for a total of three hours) before returning to Earth. The Apollo 16 and 17 missions had their own LRV. There was also a fourth rover, but it was used for spare parts after the cancellation of Apollo 18 and subsequent missions. All three service models remained on the moon.
Early development was problematic, in no small part due to the lack of real-world testing conditions. After all, they couldn’t do a real test drive. Ultimately, the team settled on a foldable design with steel mesh wheels that could safely cope with the moon’s low gravity, lack of atmosphere, extreme temperatures, and soft soil.
The LRV was modest, with a range of 57 miles, four 0.19 kW engines and an official top speed of 8 mph. In addition, it was expensive: due to overruns of four rovers, the price of four rovers was $ 38 million (about $ 249 million in 2021). However, it was key to improving scientific research in the later stages of the Apollo program, and it was also an early example of a practical electric vehicle – humans were using battery power on the moon decades before the technology became mainstream on Earth. …
We will not rely on humans to fly on the moon anytime soon, although this reflects the progress made since then in 50 years. NASA and other space agencies are now focusing on rover robots that can explore the moon without worrying about the safety of the crew. Those people who actually ride are more likely to use autonomous vehicles. Think of this anniversary as a celebration of the first step towards the technology you see today.
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