November 17, 2004

Today in Automotive History 1970

Today in Automotive History

1970 First Wheeled-Vehicle On The Moon

An unmanned Soviet lunar probe, Luna 17, soft-landed in the Sea of Rains on the surface of the moon on this day. Hours later, Lunokhod 1, a self-propelled vehicle controlled by Soviet mission control on earth, rolled out of the Luna landing probe, and became the first wheeled vehicle to travel on the surface of the moon. Lunokhod, which explored the Mare Imbrium region of the Sea of Rains, sent back television images and took soil samples. Despite this notable space first, the Soviet space program was trailing considerably behind the U.S. program which, in 1969, had succeeded in putting an American on the moon with the Apollo 11 lunar mission. In August of 1971, during the fourth manned lunar landing, the United States achieved another first: astronauts David R. Scott and James B. Irwin drove the Lunar Rover--the first manned lunar automobile--on the surface of the moon.

Posted by Quality Weenie at November 17, 2004 08:02 AM