Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Lunar Rover

I read a story today about the Lunar Roving Vehicle that was used on the moon during the Apollo 16 mission. Two astronauts wheeled around for a few hours collecting rocks from the moon's surface as part of the mission. The story was about a bit of video captured from the ride, and how the size of the moon and the hard line of the horizon made it look like they were constantly about to drive over a cliff. What really interested me in the story is that they said driving on the moon's surface felt like driving through snow, and over the course of the mission they covered 16 miles. Talk about a cowboy-style appetite for risk. If you go skidding into a rut and get stuck 5 miles from your spaceship, it's not like you can call a tow truck to get out. And even if you could it would be prohibitively expensive. I'm glad I wasn't there, I'd go down in history as the guy white knuckling the drive at 5mph and saying over and over that we should turn around.

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