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40 Year Old Russian Rover Says Привет (Hello!)

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posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 03:48 PM
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Lost Soviet rover is back in business!



In November 1970, the Soviets landed a remote-controlled robot on the Moon. It's not much to look at...reminds me of some steampunk incarnation of my great, great grandmother...



This fine looking machine is the Lunokhod 1 and doesn't look a whole lot better in colour.

It was delivered to the Moon by Luna/Lunik 17 and trundled it's way into the world of 'fail' when contact was lost. The Soviet controllers gave it up for good on October 4, 1971. The space race was already lost...




“Three hours after reaching the Moon aboard the latest unmanned Russian Moon probe, Luna 17, Lunokhod I (literally “moonwalker”) lumbered down one of two ramps extended by the mother ship and moved forward … thus taking the first giant step for robotkind on another celestial body.”

The remote-controlled rover traveled almost 7 miles during its 11 month lunar tour, relaying thousands of TV images and hundreds of high-resolution panoramas of the Moon back to Earth. It also sampled and analyzed lunar soil at 500 locations.
Old Moon Rover Beams Surprising Laser Flashes to Earth

Robots never die...



In April, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the 2.5 metre example of H.G. Wells-looking machinery and flagged it to scientists on Earth. Lunokhod 1 featured the same retroreflectors the Apollo missions left up there. These lunar laser reflectors are accurately positioned to enable scientists on Earth to fire lasers at them. The time it takes for the light to return is used to measure the distance between Earth and the Moon.

Corner cube reflectors


Surprise, surprise! As soon as the location was known, we shot some lasers at the Lunokhod reflectors to see what would happen...

The great surprise is that after 40 years the reflectors are sending back better results than the other reflectors on the Moon. So good, it's possible to get returns in broad daylight!


Murphy’s initial reaction was disbelief: “The signal was so strong, my first thought was that our detector was acting up! I expected the rover’s reflector to be degraded and dull after all this time, so I thought, ‘this couldn’t possibly be it.’ But it was.” “This reflector is even strong enough to let us get measurements in lunar daylight – a first for this experiment!” Silverberg continues: “The fact that Lunokhod 1’s reflection is now stronger than that of its twin is a mystery. This may yield important clues as to why all of the reflectors are weaker than in the first decade after landing.”
Space Rover

Maybe some aliens have given the reflectors a damn good polish and realigned them? Who's to say? The article suggests this newly rediscovered resource can play a part in proving/disproving Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

I love the idea that this ancient-looking beast has been up there in the silence, cold and loneliness for 40 years....waiting...





posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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Wow, who would have thought after all this time in those conditions that this baby would still be gleaming away.

Unbelievable.

S&F.

g


[edit on 7-6-2010 by grantbeed]



posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 04:04 PM
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Great post!

Not only do i find the whole story intriguing, i thought the last sentance was heartwarming in some odd sort of way.

S/F


~meathead



posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 09:25 PM
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Ah, the original rovers. Good ol' Soviet hardware; Built to last!

I find it very odd that they put the laser reflectors on a mobile platform, though. If you lose the rover you lose the experiment, as is what happened.


jra

posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 10:20 PM
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Nice post Kandinsky.

I don't have much to add, but I thought I'd contribute by adding a link to panoramic imagery from both Lunokhod's 1 and 2.

www.planetology.ru...



posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 10:23 PM
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Your picture at the end was the icing on the cake!
Great thread!!



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 07:15 AM
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Interresting indeed.

wonder what made it "better"



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 07:26 AM
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Or maybe they are the only actual reflectors on the moon, and the apollo moon landing was an hoax ?



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 07:32 AM
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Originally posted by Dynamitrios
Interresting indeed.

wonder what made it "better"


Very interesting thread, however nothing really made it "better" they just simply "found" it again.

Dorian Soran



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by ickylevel
Or maybe they are the only actual reflectors on the moon, and the apollo moon landing was an hoax ?


So what, pray have they been bouncing lasers off for the past 50-odd years, moon dust?


God knows how this little Russian space champ has stayed so clean though. Maybe the aliens have those guys that wait at the traffic lights to clean your windscreen too? Space Bums!


Maybe, just maybe, the Soviets just made their's better in the first place...

[edit on 8-6-2010 by nik1halo]



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by ickylevel
Or maybe they are the only actual reflectors on the moon, and the apollo moon landing was an hoax ?


Well who knows? Maybe that white thing in the sky is not our moon at all. Seriously.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 08:13 AM
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It's great to know that all the hard work that went into building this thing 40 years ago, with limited technology, is still useful today.

Many experiments, such as the one which constantly measures the distance of the Moon from the Earth using Apollo's reflectors, will benefit from this greatly.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 08:14 AM
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I love the idea that this ancient-looking beast has been up there in the silence, cold and loneliness for 40 years....waiting...


Hehehe - or maybe to that thing it was only a night and a day...

What a great thread!

THANK YOU!

peace



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 08:15 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


maybe its the same phenomenon that cleans the mars rovers' solar panels



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 

Nicely done...S&F for a stylish. informative, update on the pioneering years.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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Lunokhod 1 was a monster in terms of size and clumsiness.

Glad to know it's not just a ghost in a shell.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 08:47 AM
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A wonderful find. Both ways.

An excellent example of why things should be built to last. I have a very hard time believing that anything built by a NASA sub sub contractor will be of use forty years from now.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 09:23 AM
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probably theirs use prisms and ours use mirrors
in cameras prism finders eat mirrored finders for lunch



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 09:26 AM
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Why are you so surprised that it was clean? NASA says (and we must believe nasa right?
) there is no atmosphere on the moon, no wind. We have no other source of information so we stick to the official story. This is nothing like the rovers on Mars where they are covered with dust from the winds
Even the footprints of the first astronauts must be preserved for milenia.
So if it's not hit by an meteor (or nearby) it must be clean.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by jra
Nice post Kandinsky.

I don't have much to add, but I thought I'd contribute by adding a link to panoramic imagery from both Lunokhod's 1 and 2.

www.planetology.ru...


WOW!!! Great link!! I have never seen ANY of those images!! And they're big panoramas too. I've followed John Lear and Richard C Hoagland's work since I was a kid and I have never seen any of these images, or even this mission analyzed for "anomalies". I think "anomaly finders" are going to have a field day with these images.

I mean really?.....Has this mission ever been mentioned here? It looks to have TONS of interesting imagery. I'm going to start going through a bunch of the images myself. I've NEVER seen these. I'm pretty excited, I don't even know why. This whole situation smells like it's going to lead to something big.



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