Feeds

Game developer's lost electric buggy FOUND ON MOON

Vintage 1973 vehicle discovered by NASA orbiter

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Auctioned, purchased by a space tourist ... now found at last

In June last year, that recommendation was followed when the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Its year-long mission, sweeping along in orbit just 30 miles above the airless lunar surface, will see it scan the entire Moon in unprecedented detail as the Earth's satellite rotates under the orbiter's polar circuit.

NASA released a fresh batch of LRO imagery this week, and Ontario based moon-map boffin Phil Stooke was on it like a rat up a drainpipe looking for the lost Lunokhod. He soon sniffed out the machine's 37-year-old signature.

“The tracks were visible at once,” says Stooke. “Knowing the history of the mission, it’s possible to trace the rover’s activities in fine detail. We can see where it measured the magnetic field, driving back and forth over the same route to improve the data. And we can also see where it drove into a small crater, and accidentally covered its heat radiator with soil as it struggled to get out again. That ultimately caused it to overheat and stop working. And the rover itself shows up as a dark spot right where it stopped.”

Lunokhod-2 is no longer Russian property, having been sold off at auction by Sotheby's in the hard times (for the former Soviet nations) of the early 1990s. The defunct rover was purchased by multimillionaire games developer Richard Garriott (sometimes aka "Lord British") of Ultima fame.

Garriott, the son of a NASA astronaut who served aboard the "Skylab" space station in Earth orbit just months after Lunokhod-2's radiator blew, has continued to pursue his enthusiasm for space in latter years, visiting today's International Space Station as a paying tourist in 2008.

Following this week's LRO imagery, Garriott will now know with some accuracy where his expensive, broken, radioactive Soviet moon-car actually is - even if he remains no closer to being actually able to take possession. Inaccurate Russian charts, according to Stooke, can now be corrected.

There's more on the new LRO imagery from NASA here, and on the Lunokhod find courtesy of the University of Western Ontario here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.