Posts Tagged ‘“Porkie”’

1961 – RCA “Porky the Pig” 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.

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

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“Porky the Pig” (also “Porkie”) most likely propelled itself forward or backward by raising the two larger inside legs as one, then following up with raising the other 4 legs and moving in the desired direction.  Steering could be effected by using a twisting motion of the inside legs before they are lowered.

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3D kit by Eldon 1966. The “Moon Beetle” is clearly inspired by “Porky”.


See a list of other early Moon Walkers down the bottom here.