Posts Tagged ‘Lunar Rover’

1959 – Lunar Robot Mobot (Concept) – Hughes Aircraft (American)

 1959   Lunar Robot Mobot (Concept)   Hughes Aircraft (American)

MACHINE TO EXPLORE MOON

FIRST EXPLORER of the moon may be a machine. Roaming the crust, it would collect samples of rocks and dust with mechanical fingers, under remote control of spacemen remaining safely within a landed rocket ship. Hughes Aircraft company designers say it could be patterned closely after their Mobot, a mobile mechanical manipulator whose dexterity inspired the idea.

Source: Popular Science July, 1959.


Mobot 1 Hughes concept 6 x640 1959   Lunar Robot Mobot (Concept)   Hughes Aircraft (American)

Another Hughes Mobot concept showing similar arm configuration.


See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar Robots here.


1901-3 – Walking Lunar Vehicle (Science Fiction) – Jerzy Zulawski (Polish)

 1901 3   Walking Lunar Vehicle (Science Fiction)   Jerzy Zulawski (Polish)

Some of these early concepts for lunar exploration had elements of practicality; others were pure whimsy. One of the first, by Polish science-fiction writer Jerzy Zulawski (1874-1915), fell into the first category. His rover design appeared as an illustration in his 1901 tale "Szrebyym Globie" ["On the Silver Globe"] and featured full pressurization, electrical power, and two forms or propulsion: large, spoked wheels that could be interchanged with leg or "claws" mounted on a triangular framework that would be used to climb up mountains or travel over rough terrain. Zulawski's invention, like Boeing's real lunar rover, had a top speed of about 10 miles per hour. He also realised, like those who would follow his footsteps, that combustion engines wouldn't work on the airless Moon, and instead, chose to power his vehicle with an electric motor, and like most later concepts of Lunar Rovers, Zulawski's was a big vehicle with an enclosed cabin. His, he said, could carry a crew of five and a year's worth of supplies.
zulawski 1903  x640 1901 3   Walking Lunar Vehicle (Science Fiction)   Jerzy Zulawski (Polish)
Zulawski's story was originally a serialisation starting in 1901, later published as a book in 1903.
220px Ezustmezok 1901 3   Walking Lunar Vehicle (Science Fiction)   Jerzy Zulawski (Polish)

See all the known Steam Men and early Walking Machines here.


1960 – “Homobile” Lunar Rover – Hugo Gernsback (American)

 1960   Homobile Lunar Rover   Hugo Gernsback (American)

In 1960, the indefatigable Gernsback came out with another lunar rover design. He called it the "Homobile." It had a pressurized cabin mounted on tracks and powered by electricity from fuel cells, with a leg-powered generator as an alternate source of energy. The cabin also had a pair of manipulator arms.

Source:Originally from "1961 Forecast", 1960 pp8-11 by Hugo Gernsback.


See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar Robots here.


2002 – ESA Lunar Rover – (Student concept) – Europe

DATE:25/04/08
SOURCE:Flightglobal.com
ESA to undertake lunar rover study
By Rob Coppinger
 
The European Space Agency is offering €500,000 ($786,500) for a pressurised lunar rover (PLR) phase 0/A study to produce a conceptual design, to evaluate its functional, technical and operational requirements and determine its likely cost and development schedule. 

ESA envisages a rover with a mass from 5,000kg (11,000lb) to 14,000kg that would only be delivered by NASA's Altair lunar lander.

Lunar rover legged 2002 concept 2002   ESA Lunar Rover   (Student concept)   Europe

Above: This walking lunar rover concept is from a 2002 ESA (European Space Agency) student workshop. The use of legs is considered a way of disturbing less Moon dust during locomotion.


1961 – RCA “Dumbo” Moon Walker – (American)

Life62 Moon Rover RCA Dumbo x640 1961   RCA Dumbo Moon Walker   (American)

In the early ‘60s, as part of the preparations for the Apollo manned moon landing mission, the Jet Propulsion Lab planned a follow-on program to its very successful ‘hard’ landing ‘Ranger’ program, which gave the first close-up views of the moon’s surface. The proposed ‘soft’ lander program was called ‘Surveyor’. An initial concept was for it to disgorge a moon surface-traversing vehicle to conduct a neighborhood survey near its landing position. It was to be commanded by a TV – radio control guidance link. This link was to be relayed to and from the moon via the Surveyor’s earth communication system. A lunar rover competition was opened and by end of 1961 there were responses from at least 10 leading space firms including Space-General Corp., Sperry Rand, and RCA.
When it was determined that the Atlas rockets could not lift  the Surveyor with an added payload of a Lunar Rover, the project was discontinued.

Lunar Robots PSMar62 Dumbo x640 1961   RCA Dumbo Moon Walker   (American)

From RCA's Astro-Electronics Division, Defence Electronics Products.

Walker with four legs moves one of them at a time – up, forward, and down. It shifts its centre of gravity beckward before lifting the front legs (the front being where the cameras are, the antennea at the rear), and forward before raising the hing legs. Slow speed, no drawback, aids in remote control.

RCA Lunar Rovers Dumbo model x640 1961   RCA Dumbo Moon Walker   (American)

RCA Dumbo and Porkie Lunar Rovers x640 1961   RCA Dumbo Moon Walker   (American)

RCA Dumbo Lunar Rover x640 1961   RCA Dumbo Moon Walker   (American)

 


Yonezawa Moon Explorer Space toy from the 1960's based on RCA's "Dumbo" Lunar walker.

MoonwalkerToyp1 x640 1961   RCA Dumbo Moon Walker   (American)