Lunokhod 1

Lunokhod 1

Lunokhod 1 (moon walker in Russian) was the first of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of its Lunokhod program. In 1970, it became the first remote-controlled robot “rover” to freely move across the surface of an astronomical object beyond the Earth (Lunokhod 0 was launched in February 1969 but failed to reach orbit).

Although only designed for a lifetime of three lunar days, Lunokhod-1 operated on the lunar surface for 321 days between November 17, 1970, and September 14, 1971 (eleven lunar days) and traversed a total distance of 10.54 km (6.55 miles).

Lunokhod 1 used eight rigid rim wire mesh wheels with bicycle-type spokes and metal cleats for traction. Each of the eight wheels was independently powered.

Image courtesy: Serguei Matrossov

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