1963 – “TEX” – TUMBLING EXPLORER – David W. Beck (American)
TUMBLING EXPLORER, or TEX, was an early design conceived by Space General. It resembles an oyster shell and is extremely manoeuverable. It could be dropped from an unmanned spacecraft ready for action. A TV camera is contained in each panel and operates on radio command. The three illustrations above illustrate the way in which the TEX moves. On the left TEX is shown with its panels together ready to start moving. In the middle photograph the top panel has swung forward, toppling the device in the direction of travel. In the photograph on the right what was originally the bottom panel has risen, drawn by the drive mechanism. It is about to move down to the closed position to complete a cycle which can then be repeated.
TEX is 150 cm long, 91 cm wide and moves at a speed of 0.6 km/h
** When Video clip located – put here**
Patent number: 3311184
Filing date: Dec 24, 1963
Issue date: Mar 28, 1967
See full patent details here.