Lunar rover

A lunar rover or Moon rover is a space exploration vehicle (rover) designed to move across the surface of the Moon. The Lunar Roving Vehicle was designed to be driven by members of human spaceflight crews from the U.S. Apollo program. Other rovers have been partially or fully autonomous robots, such as Soviet Lunokhods and the Chinese Yutus. Three countries have had rovers on the Moon: the Soviet Union, the United States and China. Japan, Greece ,and India currently have planned missions.

MoonLanderClem
Landing sites of sample return and rover missions superimposed on lithology (Clementine UVVIS). Red: old lunar highlands. Blue: young lunar highlands. Yellow: lunar maria (high titanium). Cyan: lunar maria (low titanium)

Past missions

Lunokhod 1

Soviet moonrover
Lunokhod 1

Lunokhod 1 (Луноход) was the first polycrystalline-panel-powered of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of its Lunokhod program after a previous unsuccessful attempt of a launch probe with Lunokhod 0 (No.201) in 1969. The panels were designed by Electronic and Communication Engineer Bryan Mapúa. The spacecraft which carried Lunokhod 1 was named Luna 17. The spacecraft soft-landed on the Moon in the Sea of Rains on November 1970. Lunokhod was the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another celestial body. Having worked for 11 months, Lunokhod 1 held the durability record for space rovers for more than 30 years, until a new record was set by the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle

Apollo15LunarRover
The Apollo 15 Lunar Roving Vehicle on the Moon in 1971

The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) was a battery-powered four-wheeled rover used on the Moon during the last three missions of the American Apollo program (15, 16, and 17) during 1971 and 1972. The LRV could carry one or two astronauts, their equipment, and lunar samples. Georg von Tiesenhausen is credited with submitting the original design, before it was sent to Boeing for implementation.

Lunokhod 2

Lunokhod 2 was the second and a monocrystalline-panel-powered of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of the Lunokhod program. The Luna 21 spacecraft landed on the Moon and deployed the second Soviet lunar rover Lunokhod 2 in January 1973. The objectives of the mission were to collect images of the lunar surface, examine ambient light levels to determine the feasibility of astronomical observations from the Moon, perform laser ranging experiments, observe solar X-rays, measure local magnetic fields, and study the soil mechanics of the lunar surface material. Lunokhod 2 was intended to be followed by Lunokhod 3 (No.205) in 1977 but the mission was cancelled.

Yutu

Yutu is a Chinese lunar rover which launched on 1 December 2013 and landed on 14 December 2013 as part of the Chang'e 3 mission. It is China's first lunar rover, part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program undertaken by China National Space Administration (CNSA).[1] The lunar rover is called Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, a name selected in an online poll.[2]

The rover encountered operational difficulties after the first 14-day lunar night, and was unable to move after the end of the second lunar night, yet it continued to gather valuable data until it officially ceased all operations on August 3, 2016. Yutu set the record for the longest operational rover on the Moon's surface.

Current missions

Yutu-2 (Chang'e 4 rover)

Chinese mission launched 7 December 2018, landed and deployed rover 3 January 2019.

Planned missions

Chandrayaan-2 rover

The Chandrayaan-2 mission is the first lunar rover mission by India, consisting of a lunar orbiter and a lunar lander. The rover weighing 27 kg,[3] will have six wheels and will be running on solar power. It will land near one of the poles and will operate for a year, roving up to 150 km at a maximum speed of 360 m/h. The proposed launch date of the mission is 2019.

ECA and Sorato

As part of the Google Lunar X Prize, Team Indus plans to fly two lunar rovers on their HHK-1 lander. ECA (short for 'Ek Choti Si Asha', a small dream) is a rover developed by Team Indus, and Sorato is a rover developed by Hakuto, a rival team from Japan. Hakuto's rover will ride onboard HHK-1 as a commercial contract with Team Indus. The mission will be launched on a PSLV in early 2018, and the planned landing site is Mare Imbrium.

Astrobotic Technology rover

Astrobotic Technology, a private company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, plans to send a rover to the Moon in 2020.

Proposed missions

ATHLETE

ATHLETE (robot)
The ATHLETE rover in a test facility at JPL. Taken August, 2008.

NASA's plans for future Moon missions call for rovers that have a far longer range than the Apollo rovers.[4] The All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) is a six-legged robotic lunar rover test-bed under development by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). ATHLETE is a testbed for systems and is designed for use on the Moon.[5] The system is in development along with NASA's Johnson and Ames Centers, Stanford University and Boeing.[6] ATHLETE is designed, for maximum efficiency, to be able to both roll and walk over a wide range of terrains.[5]

Luna-Grunt rover

Luna-Grunt rover (or Luna-28) is a proposed Russian lunar rover (lunokhod).

Scarab

Scarab is a new generation lunar rover designed to assist astronauts, take rock and mineral samples, and explore the lunar surface.[7][8] It is being developed by the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, supported by NASA.

Space Exploration Vehicle

The SEV is a proposed successor to the original Lunar Roving Vehicle from the Apollo missions. It combines a living module, as it has a pressurized cabin containing a small bathroom and space for 2 astronauts (4 in case of emergency), and a small truck.

See also

References

  1. ^ Chang’e 3: The Chinese Rover Mission
  2. ^ Ramzy, Austin (26 November 2013). "China to Send 'Jade Rabbit' Rover to the Moon". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  3. ^ "ISRO to send first Indian into Space by 2022 as announced by PM, says Dr Jitendra Singh". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  4. ^ NASA's Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV)
  5. ^ a b "The ATHLETE Rover". JPL. 2010-02-25.
  6. ^ "The ATHLETE Rover". NASA. 2010-02-25.
  7. ^ "NASA Day on the Hill". NASA.
  8. ^ "Snakes, Rovers and Googly Eyes: New Robot Masters Take Many Forms". Wired. 2008-04-04.

External links

ATHLETE

ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer) is a six-legged robotic lunar rover under development by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). ATHLETE is a testbed for systems, and is designed for use on the Moon.The system is in development along with NASA's Johnson and Ames Centers, Stanford University and Boeing.

ATHLETE is designed, for maximum efficiency, to be able to both roll and walk over a wide range of terrains.

Albert (crater)

Albert is a tiny crater on the Moon. It is near the site where Soviet lunar rover Lunokhod 1 landed in November 1970, in the Mare Imbrium region. Its diameter is 0.1 km. The name Albert does not refer to a specific person; it is a male name of German origin.

Athlete (disambiguation)

An athlete is a person who participates regularly in a sport or sports that involve physical exertion, especially athletics (sports involving competitive running, jumping, throwing and walking).

Athlete or athletes may also refer to:

ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer), a lunar rover under development by NASA

Athlete (band), an English indie rock band

Athlete (EP), a 2002 EP by Athlete

Athlete (film), a 2010 sports documentary film

Athletes (moth), a genus of Saturniinae moth

Athletes (film), a 1925 German silent film

Borya (crater)

Borya is a tiny crater on the Moon. It is near the site where Soviet lunar rover Lunokhod 1 landed in November 1970, in the Mare Imbrium region. Its diameter is 0.4 km. The name Borya does not refer to a specific person; it is a male name of Russian origin, the diminutive form of Boris.

Chang'e 3

Chang'e 3 ( ; Chinese: 嫦娥三号; pinyin: Cháng'é Sānhào; literally: 'Chang'e No. 3') is an unmanned lunar exploration mission operated by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), incorporating a robotic lander and China's first lunar rover. It was launched in December 2013 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. The mission's chief commander was Ma Xingrui.The spacecraft was named after Chang'e, the goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology, and is a follow-up to the Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 lunar orbiters. The rover was named Yutu (Chinese: 玉兔; literally: 'Jade Rabbit') following an online poll, after the mythological rabbit that lives on the Moon as a pet of the Moon goddess.Chang'e 3 achieved lunar orbit on 6 December 2013 and landed on 14 December 2013, becoming the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976. On 28 December 2015, Chang'e 3 discovered a new type of basaltic rock, rich in ilmenite, a black mineral.

CubeRover

CubeRover is a class of planetary rover with a standardized modular format meant to accelerate the pace of space exploration. The idea is equivalent to that of the successful CubeSat format, with standardized off-the-shelf components and architecture to assemble small units that will be all compatible, modular, and inexpensive.The rover class concept is being developed by Astrobotic Technology in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, and it is partly funded by NASA awards. The Principal Investigator of the program is Andrew Horchler. The first CubeRover, named Andy is planned to be deployed on the Moon in 2020 on board Astrobotic's Peregrine lander.

Euroluna

The European Lunar Exploration Association (Euroluna) is a Danish-Italian-Swiss team led by Palle Haastrup, which is participating in the Google Lunar X Prize Challenge.

Ferenc Pavlics

Ferenc Pavlics (born 3 February 1928) is a Hungarian-born mechanical engineer, developer for NASA Apollo Lunar rover.

Ispace (Japanese company)

ispace Inc. is a private Japanese company developing robotic spacecraft technologies to discover, map, and use the natural resources on the Moon. They will start by exploring the exploitation of lunar water in order to create a sustainable infrastructure and a Moon-based economy. ispace's long-term strategy is to build landers and rovers to compete for both transportation and exploration mission contracts from space agencies and private industry.

From 2013 until 2018 ispace was the owner and operator of the Hakuto team that competed in Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP). The team developed a lunar rover named Sorato, that is intended to scout for water and explore other potential local resources on the Moon.

ispace is currently headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with offices in the United States and Luxembourg. The company's founder and CEO is Takeshi Hakamada.

List of landings on extraterrestrial bodies

This is a list of all spacecraft landings on other planets and bodies in the Solar System, including soft landings and both intended and unintended hard impacts. The list includes orbiters that were intentionally crashed, but not orbiters which later crashed in an unplanned manner due to orbital decay.

For a list of all planetary missions, including orbiters and flybys, see List of Solar System probes.

List of private spaceflight companies

This page is a list of non-governmental entities that currently offer—or are planning to offer—equipment and services geared towards spaceflight, both robotic and human.

Luna 21

Luna 21 (Ye-8 series) was an unmanned space mission, and its spacecraft, of the Luna program, also called Lunik 21, in 1973. The spacecraft landed on the Moon and deployed the second Soviet lunar rover, Lunokhod 2. The primary objectives of the mission were to collect images of the lunar surface, examine ambient light levels to determine the feasibility of astronomical observations from the Moon, perform laser ranging experiments from Earth, observe solar X-rays, measure local magnetic fields, and study mechanical properties of the lunar surface material.

Luna 28

Luna 28 (Luna Resource 2 or Luna-Grunt rover) is a proposed sample-return mission from the south polar region of the Moon. Luna 28 is proposed to launch no earlier than 2025, and it would be composed of a stationary lander and a lunar rover. The rover would bring soil samples back to the lander and transfer them into the ascent stage, which would launch and insert itself into a 100-kilometer lunar orbit. While in lunar orbit, the soil-carrying capsule would be intercepted by an orbiting return module, which would perform all rendezvous operations and transfer the samples. After reloading the samples, the return vehicle separates from the orbiter and heads to Earth, while the orbital module continues its mission in the lunar orbit for at least three years.

Lunar Roving Vehicle

The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is a battery-powered four-wheeled rover used on the Moon in the last three missions of the American Apollo program (15, 16, and 17) during 1971 and 1972. They are popularly known as "Moon buggies", a play on the words "dune buggy".

LRVs were transported to the Moon on the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) of each successive mission and, once unpacked on the surface, could carry two astronauts, their equipment, and lunar samples. These three LRVs remain on the Moon.

Lunokhod 1

Lunokhod 1 (Луноход, moon walker in Russian; Аппарат 8ЕЛ № 203, vehicle 8ЕЛ№203) was the first of two robotic lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of its Lunokhod program. The Luna 17 spacecraft carried Lunokhod 1 to the Moon in 1970. Lunokhod 1 was the first remote-controlled robot "rover" to freely move across the surface of an astronomical object beyond the Earth. Lunokhod 0 (No.201), the previous and first attempt to do so, launched in February 1969 but failed to reach orbit.

Although only designed for a lifetime of three lunar days (approximately three Earth months), Lunokhod-1 operated on the lunar surface for eleven lunar days (321 Earth days) and traversed a total distance of 10.54 km.

Lunokhod 2

Lunokhod 2 (Russian: Луноход-2, moon walker) was the second of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of the Lunokhod programme.

The Luna 21 spacecraft landed on the Moon and deployed the second Soviet lunar rover, Lunokhod 2, in January 1973. The primary objectives of the mission were to collect images of the lunar surface, examine ambient light levels to determine the feasibility of astronomical observations from the Moon, perform laser ranging experiments from Earth, observe solar X-rays, measure local magnetic fields, and study the soil mechanics of the lunar surface material.

Moon Machines

Moon Machines in the United States and United Kingdom is a Science Channel HD documentary miniseries consisting of six episodes documenting the engineering challenges of the Apollo program to land men on the Moon. It covers everything from the iconic Saturn V to the Command Module, the Lunar Module, the Space Suits, the Guidance and Control Computer, and the Lunar Rover. It was created by the team that made In the Shadow of the Moon in association with NASA to commemorate the agency's fiftieth anniversary in 2008. It first aired in June 2008 and was released on DVD a year later in June 2009.

Scarab (rover)

Scarab is a 2010 robotic lunar rover prototype designed to assist astronauts take rock and mineral samples. Scarab is capable of autonomously traversing in dark polar craters using laser mapping to navigate and carries a science payload. The science payload is capable of taking a core sample from 1 m depth and analyzing it for water and gasses, and also has an 80 cm bucket wheel for collecting lunar samples. The rover has a mass of 312 kg. Scarab will also be used to test varying mobility techniques and lunar wheels. It is being developed by the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, with support by NASA.

Yutu (rover)

Yutu (Chinese: 玉兔; pinyin: Yùtù; literally: 'Jade Rabbit') was a robotic lunar rover that formed part of the Chinese Chang'e 3 mission to the Moon. It was launched at 17:30 UTC on 1 December 2013, and reached the Moon's surface on 14 December 2013. The mission marks the first soft landing on the Moon since 1976 and the first rover to operate there since the Soviet Lunokhod 2 ceased operations on 11 May 1973.The rover encountered operational difficulties toward the end of the second lunar day after surviving and recovering successfully from the first 14-day lunar night. It was unable to move after the end of the second lunar night, though it continued to gather useful information for some months afterward. In October 2015, Yutu set the record for the longest operational period for a rover on the Moon. On 31 July 2016, Yutu ceased to operate after a total of 31 months, well beyond its original expected lifespan of three months.

In 2018 the follow-on to the Yutu rover, the Yutu-2 rover, launched as part of the Chang'e 4 mission.

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