Skip to comments.Canadian astronomer spots Soviet rover on moon
Posted on 03/17/2010 1:31:32 PM PDT by smokingfrog
An astronomer at the University of Western Ontario has found a Soviet moon rover in recently released images from a NASA satellite.
Phil Stooke combed through data and images of the moon's surface from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that NASA released Monday.
Stooke compared the images to his own recently published reference book on moon geography, The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration, and pinpointed the location of the Soviet rover Lunokhod 2.
"The tracks were visible at once," said Stooke, in a statement.
The location of the rover was already known through laser ranging experiments, but there's no telescope on Earth or in Earth orbit powerful enough to actually see it.
"We knew within a few kilometres where it was. The laser beam spreads out a bit. It's not a pinpoint on the moon," Stooke said in an email.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is taking pictures of the moon from its orbit about 50 kilometres above the surface. Its one-year mission is to produce a comprehensive moon map.
The Soviet Union landed Lunokhod 2 on the moon in January 1973, a month after the last American moonwalk. As the name suggests, it was the second of two solar-powered robotic rovers the Soviets sent to the moon. Record-setting trip on lunar surface
The Lunokhod rovers were the first remote-controlled vehicles to travel on an extraterrestrial body and still hold the record for longest rover trip at 35 kilometres. (The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have travelled 7.7 kilometres and 19.5 kilometres, respectively.)
Lunokhod 2's mission was to collect images from the moon, observe X-rays from the sun, study the moon's soil and measure its magnetic fields.
"The value here is partly the visual identification, but also the tracks, which will allow a detailed route map to be drawn >snip
(Excerpt) Read more at cbc.ca ...
Photo at link.
But no dead cosmonauts?...................
Saw a show on the largely unknown Soviet portion of the moon race. One good segment dealt with this rover and it was truly an amazing achievement.
Wow, from above can’t see the wheels. Wonder if is on cinder block and someone stole the wheels.
That is remarkable!
The space race was amazing and I remember the US sie had its own propoganda going- I grew up thinking John Glenn was the first man in space- not the first man to ORBIT the earth. That little detail was left out and no mention at all that a Russian man was first into space - I didnt leanr that until i was in college
There goes the neighborhood.
Russians built them or Captured German scientists and Engineers?
“Russians built them or Captured German scientists and Engineers?”
As did we. LOL
Anyone remember the old HBO antennas?
Maybe he can find Obama’s Birth Certificate.
Looks sorta like a floater I have in my right eye.
Are there space aliens out there that have joined gangs that steal and fence wheels from Earth-made wheeled vehicle? That would make for a funny cartoon.
“I grew up thinking John Glenn was the first man in space- not the first man to ORBIT the earth.”
The first man to *orbit* the Earth was either Yuri Gagarin or Gherman Titov. Both flew in 1961. Glenn flew in 1962. Gagarin is generally credited as the first man to orbit the Earth, but he landed west of where he launched, making it a fractional orbit. Titov was the second cosmonaut launched, and made 17 orbits, so he did orbit the Earth. So Glenn was only the first *American* to orbit the Earth (or else the first astronaut, as the Soviets had cosmonauts).
Of course, they've had their share of tragedy, as we have. Komarov's (reputed) final words in his fatal parachute malfunction accident were truly heart-rending.