Friday, May 27, 2011

Lunokhod I Lives Again!

Well, sort of.

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!

1 comment:

  1. 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. :)