Lunokhod 1

February 11, 2013 at 11:10

Lunokhod 1

When I was a kid, I spent most of the time building different stuff with Lego®. I remember devouring books about satellites and space rovers to reproduce them with Lego bricks. One of my favorite ones was the Lunokhod 1 (as I was completely fascinated about soviet techonology) and it seems I’m not the only one that was interested in reproducing the Lunokhod using Lego (see below):

I am not the only one building soviet rovers in Lego :)

I am not the only one building soviet rovers in Lego 🙂

By chance, today I’ve read that in 2010 the lost Lunokhod 1 was found again! A NASA team pointed a laser beam to the Lunokhod 1 and they had a strong signal back: “We got about 2,000 photons from Lunokhod 1 on our first try. After almost 40 years of silence, this rover has a lot to say,”. Lunokhod 1  was the first remote controlled robot to land on another celestial object and, after a successful mission, scientists have found a new way of using Lunokhod’s reflector to measure Earth-Moon system.

Below, I paste a little snippet from Wikipedia’s entry about the end of mission and results:

Controllers finished the last communications session with Lunokhod 1 at 13:05 UT on September 14, 1971. Attempts to re-establish contact were finally discontinued and the operations of Lunokhod 1 officially ceased on October 4, 1971, the anniversary of Sputnik 1. During its 322 Earth days of operations, Lunokhod travelled 10,540 metres (6.55 miles) and returned more than 20,000 TV images and 206 high-resolution panoramas. In addition, it performed 25 lunar soil analyses with its RIFMA x-ray fluorescence spectrometer and used its penetrometer at 500 different locations.