Feeds

Game developer's lost electric buggy FOUND ON MOON

Vintage 1973 vehicle discovered by NASA orbiter

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

'Ivan, you fool, we're in a crater! Curse these imperialist photo maps!'

But then disaster struck. The Russian ground controllers, who handled the machine across a near-real-time link, accidentally drove it into a crater. As the machine struggled out again, it managed to get its heat radiator covered in Moon dirt. This dirt formed a strong insulator, causing the Lunokhod to suffer runaway overheating and wreck itself. The mission was abandoned.

How the Soviet Lunokhod rovers deployed. Credit: NASA.

Glorious solar/nuclear moon-car technology of the 1970s.

The Moon not being mapped with great precision at that time, the exact final location of Lunokhod-2 has never been known. (The Lunokhod ground controllers actually had to use NASA Apollo-orbiter overhead photographs, cadged from America, to navigate.) The broken-down rover carries a laser-ranging reflector which can be picked out by precision ranging stations on Earth, but as this NASA pdf from 2002 tells us, laser ranging can't be used to pin the lost machine down on a Moon map:

The uneven distribution of accurate control points causes the accuracy of the network to vary strongly with lunar position. Future missions to the Moon could improve the accuracy ... Future lunar orbital missions should accurately map all of the Apollo sites plus the two Lunokhod sites plus any new lander locations.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.