Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lunar Rovers on Earth

I'm finishing up a big puzzle in the Lunar Rover section. It has been a little difficult to identify some of the rovers on display. According to NASA, "four lunar rovers were built, one each for Apollos 15, 16, qnd 17, and one that was used for spare parts after the cancellation of further Apollo missions. There were other LRV models built: a static model to assist with human factors design, an engineering model to design and integrate the subsystems, two 1/6 gravity models for testing the deployment mechanism, a 1-gravity trainer to give the astronauts instruction in the operation of the rover and allow them to practice driving it, a mass model to test the effect of the rover on the LM structure, balance and handling, a vibration test unit to study the LRV's durability and handling of launch stresses, and a qualification test unit to study integration of all LRV subsystems." The Air & Space Museum lists four LRVs in it's collection. So here is what I've puzzled out:
Model: Location:
Static ?
Engineering ?
1/6 gravity 1 ?
1/6 gravity 2 ?
Mass ?
Qualification NASM, DC

A couple still to puzzle out: Epcot's Mission: Space (said to be on loan from the Smithsonian, although all four on their manifest are accounted for) and at the Museum of Flight (from Boeing). I don't believe they are 1/6 gravity models, but could be one of the static, engineering or mass models. More postings as new data is uncovered!

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