50 years in the past this week, the Apollo 15 spacecraft launched from Kennedy House Middle in Florida. The Apollo 15 mission is important for quite a few causes. It was the ninth crewed Apollo mission, the fourth to land on the Moon, and maybe most significantly, the primary to make use of the lunar roving automobile (LRV). Whereas rovers appear commonplace right this moment, it was a shocking achievement for NASA in 1971. To rejoice Apollo’s first LRV, we needed to share a set of pictures highlighting the event, deployment and use of NASA’s well-known ‘moon buggy.’
The LRV was manufactured by Boeing and Common Motors and featured 4 0.25-horsepower series-wound DC motors in its drivetrain. Whereas electrical autos are a daily sight lately, the rover was forward of its time. The automobile, powered by a pair of silver-oxide batteries, had a 92km (57 mi) vary. The moon buggy had a curb weight of 210kg (460 lbs) on Earth however weighed solely 34kg (76 lbs) on the lunar floor.
Regardless of its acknowledged high velocity of 13 km/h (8 mph), on its closing mission, Apollo 17, the rover topped out at a blistering 18 km/h (11.2 mph). The automobile might carry a payload of 490 kg (1,080 lbs), together with a pair of astronauts, numerous tools and lunar samples to return to Earth. There have been three LRVs taken to the Moon, the place all of them at present reside.
On Apollo 15, the LRV was pushed by commander David Scott and pilot James Irwin. The third astronaut, command module pilot Alfred Worden, remained in orbit across the Moon. Scott and Irwin drove about 28km (17 mi) through the mission earlier than parking the LRV a brief distance from the lunar module. The LRV features a plaque, which reads ‘Man’s First Wheels on the Moon, Delivered by Falcon, July 30, 1971.’