Astronauts Take Lunar Rover for First Drive on the Moon
On July 31, 1971, U.S. Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin became the first humans to drive on the Moon.
Though we’d traveled to the Moon in 1969, the astronauts couldn’t move around very fast, so were limited in how many samples they could collect. To make this easier, NASA began work on lunar rovers. They were developed in just 17 months and cost $38 million (for four rovers). The result was like something out of the future. Made out of a variety of lightweight alloys, the 463-pound rovers could carry up 1,080 pounds. They were folded so they could fit in the cargo bay and locked into place as they were removed and opened up. The rovers could reach of top speed of eight miles per hour. Continue reading