Friday, May 27, 2011
Lunokhod I Lives Again!
This Soviet achievement in 1969 was completely overshadowed by the American achievement of putting astronauts on the moon. The Soviet moon rover was, however, quite a technical feat in its own right.
Clearly, though, the Soviets needed a dose of design talent. Lunokhod's “washtub look” would have made Stalin quite happy.
While Lunokhod's electronics failed a long time ago, the device itself was recently located by imagery satellites in lunar orbit, and a scientist has now succeeded in bouncing light off the retro-reflectors mounted on Lunokhod's back. With its location now precisely known, Lunokhod's retro-reflectors have now become an important part of a modern science effort. Not bad for a 42 year old piece of space junk!
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The design isn't all that bad. All it really needs is some wide racing stripes and a spoiler on the back. Yes, I know that a spoiler isn't very effective at improving aerodynamics where there isn't any actual...air but it will LOOK fast. And that's all that really matters. If it looks fast, with a little marketing, you can sell a ton of these. :)ReplyDelete