Found: Soviet moon rover


28 Responses to “Found: Soviet moon rover”

  1. Alex_M says:

    Yay! Lunokhod! I had that exact picture in one of my many space books I had as a kid. I always thought it was real awesome-looking. So sci-fi. Much cooler, somehow, than the stuff NASA sent up there :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    So where are the photos then?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe how steampunk the thing looks!

  4. jaejae says:

    That is the most awesome espresso machine ever~

  5. urbanspaceman says:

    Sure that’s a moon rover and not a moon *creature*?

  6. sapere_aude says:

    In Soviet Russia, rover moons you.

  7. robulus says:

    Yeah, its hilarious! All they did was build two robots for remote lunar exploration in the sixties! Its not like its a masterpiece of engineering that was decades ahead of its time or anything.

    Stoopid Soviets.

    • VagabondAstronomer says:

      To be honest, the Soviets did one even better. They designed a later lander for sample return; certainly cheaper than landing a cosmonaut; they actually accomplished three in the early 1970′s, about the same time our Apollo program was winding down. The descent stage was virtually identical to the ones used for the rovers.
      While the Apollo missions were chock full of “gee whiz” cloaked with a healthy dose of patriotism, the Soviet approach was far more pragmatic and perhaps even more honest in its scientific goals.
      Derek Meddings’ jokes aside.

      • robulus says:

        If I recall correctly, the US didn’t manage to get a robotic rover off the planet until Sojourner in the late 90′s? And that looked a lot like this.

        • VagabondAstronomer says:

          Yup, and at Sojourner’s heart was a Tandy Model 100. Well, actually, its mother board was based on the same 8-bit chip that the Tandy Model 100 used. It was also teensy tiny compared to that beast.

  8. Drew from Zhrodague says:

    This looks like a poignant brewing apparatus.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The retroreflector on the Soviet rover is very similar to a land surveyor’s reflector prism that reflects the infrared light pulses from a total station to measure distance. So, the scientific principle is actually pretty ordinary. Whereas a surveyor’s instruments can measure several miles in one shot, the LRO team used this method to measure the distance to the moon. Astounding.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the soviets were playing robot wars on the moon long before us “lol”

    Behemoth vs Lunokhod

  11. wgmleslie says:

    NPR Story on ownership

    Keep your grubby hands off of his rover!

  12. Anonymous says:

    in soviet russia, rover moons you, lol. i literally fell off the sofa when i read that. best comment ever.

  13. Art says:

    I saw this thing at Burning Man.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Are you sure this isn’t from an episode of Big Bang Theory?

  15. Lobster says:

    I’d be careful about shooting anything at that thing. It looks like it can fire back.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think the Soviet scientists were watching way too many 1950′s American Sci-Fi movies.

  17. sergeirichard says:

    What I wonder is, how come Soviet space stuff always looks like props out of 1930s science fiction films? It’s like the Americans are going “It’s engineering, so it looks like engineering” while the Russians are going “Fuck that shit, it’s gonna look like the movies!

    • allium says:

      Many (if not all) Soviet probes had their electronics and instruments sealed inside a pressurized vessel – hence the bulky apperance. I guess they weren’t confident about their reliability in vacuum.

    • Trent Hawkins says:

      “What I wonder is, how come Soviet space stuff always looks like props out of 1930s science fiction films?”

      Well this one looks more like 1960s/50s sci-fi (none of the smooth bulbs) in which case it’s the other way round and most sci-fi films were imitating design specks from the leaders of the industry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Huhauhauhauha… oh man, almost cried laughing at your comment. Good stuff. Cheers.

    • Anonymous says:

      What I wonder is, how come Soviet space stuff always looks like props out of 1930s science fiction films?

      I would imagine budget constraints. This is what Sojourner would look like if you had to build him in your kitchen.

  18. Stefan Jones says:

    Dang. The thing really does look like a bathtub.

    Interesting. At far left center is what appears to be a high-tech box-of-chocolates with a snap-open lid.


  19. Brother Provisional says:

    After reading Victor Pelevin’s “Omon Ra,” looking at this picture gives my legs sympathy cramps.

  20. Crispy Critter says:

    It looks like the result of a collision between a samovar and an Erector set.

  21. VagabondAstronomer says:

    We all know that the Soviet rovers were actually filmed at Pinewood Studios using the effects crew from “Thunderbirds”, with Derek Meddings leading the team. Quite inmpressive work, really…

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