Russian Rover Tracks

The LRO spots Lunokhod 1.  Click for larger. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The LRO spots Lunokhod 1. Click for larger. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The LROC imager aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter gives us this excellent view of the Russian rover Lunokhod 1 / Luna 17 and the tracks it left on the moon.

The spacecraft was launched on November 10, 1970 and entered lunar orbit five days later on November 15.

The spacecraft carrying Lunokhod 1 soft-landed in the Sea of Rains region on the Moon on November 17 and the rover descended from the lander shortly after.

Lunokhod 1 proved to be a robust rover, the mission was meant to last three lunar days, which is about the same as three Earth months, it lasted 11 lunar days. The operations of Lunokhod ended October 4, 1971, the anniversary of Sputnik 1. Lunokhod had traveled 10,540 meters, transmitted more than 20,000 TV pictures, more than 200 TV panoramas, and conducted more than 500 lunar soil tests.

It is quite interesting to compare the tracks photographed by the LRO with those from the official Lunokhod 1 page, check it out and you will see why.

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