It reminds me of Russian author Victor Pelevin's wonderful satirical mini-novel "Omon Ra". The Soviet moon missions carried a heavy secret...
There's a free English translation of Omon Ra available online:
I don't know about the quality of this translation, but I'd absolutely recommend the book to anyone who's interested in post-Soviet Russia... And can stomach Pelevin's sprawling irony, which may be the only appropriate literary tool for approaching contemporary Russia :)
Obviously, the first thing I was thinking about was the similarity of the two wheel/suspensions designs. Next up, I was wondering about the engineering decisions which resulted in the designs being similar. The main question I have is, "What advantages did the multi-wheel designs have?" I think it must have something to do with trade-offs between mobility on the (theoretical) terrain and power consumption, but really, I'm just guessing. Whatever the reasons are for the similarities, learning the engineering and testing behind the two designs would be fascinating.
Not so. It merely has a reflector that bounces earthbound researcher-gnereated laser photons back.
Is that really 1018, or did 10^18 get mangled on its way onto the web?
I like the analog rover, even if it doesn't run Python. What a difference 30 years makes.
Looks like a ancient ancestor of Spirit/Opportunity.
Erm... parachutes work through friction generating air resistance. There is no air on the moon so parachutes don't do anything. They'd be pointless encumbrance.
Much like apollo, the Luna landers used retrorockets (or tried to, anyway, all attempts resulted in surface crashes until Luna 16)
> Looks like a ancient ancestor of Spirit/Opportunity.
Pretty much, and prefiguring Spirit/Opportunity Lunokhod 1's mission was intended to last 3 lunar days (a bit under 3 earth months) and went through 11 instead (the mission clocked in at 322 earth days)
For those who are interested in Space trivia:
According to Wikipedia, Luna 2 intentionally crasheded into the Moon, making it the first human-made object to land on it. Luna 5, 7, 8 failed to soft-land, making Luna 9 the first object to soft-land on the Moon. Luna 10, 11, 12 and 14 were designed to orbit the Moon and crash into it after they failed. Luna 13 successfully landed on the Moon.
Luna 15 was supposed to bring back soil samples, but it crashed into the Moon as well. (More space race trivia: It was supposed to bring back lunar soil samples before Apollo 11 returned to Earth. Armstrong and Aldrin were on the surface of the Moon when Luna 15 impacted.)
Luna 16 was the first unmanned probe to successfully land on the Moon and return a soil sample (which is an event even rarer than manned moon landings).
Luna 17, which carried the Lunokhod 1 roboter mentioned in the artcile landed successfully as well.
Luna 18 (another planned soil return) crashed, Luna 19 successfully orbited the Moon for a year and later crashed into the Moon.
Luna 21 also soft-landed carrying Lunokhod 2, the second roboter mentioned in the article.
Luna 22 and Luna 23 were also soil return probes, but Luna 22 crashed and Luna 23 damaged the return probe on landing (the landing was a soft-landing though).
Luna 20 and 24 both successfully landed on the Moon and returned to Earth with soil samples, making Luna 24 the last man-made object to return from the Moon to Earh.
Not exactly. It incorrectly states that all luna landers (therefore landing attempts) resulted in crashes, not that all luna missions preceding 16 were or contained landers.
Thank you for the correction on 9 and 13, though, I had forgotten about them.
Assuming that rarer isn't the right word, mind clarifying the point you were making? (Genuinely interested rather than being pedantic.)
Event B: Unmanned probe landing on the moon and returing soil samples
Event A is rare and happened 6 times (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17), event B happened 3 times. Thus event B is even rarer(?) than event A.
I am not a native speaker, can you please tell me the correct word to use in place of "rarer"?
Use of such is not incompatible with the use of retrorockets.
You originally said, "Use of such is not incompatible with the use of retrorockets. As a matter of fact, the latter are used first."
Just to provide clarity, I was referring to the EDL (Entry, Descent, Landing) profile of Spirit and Opportunity. Their EDL profiles first deploy the airbags, then fire the retrorockets.
Step 12: Airbags inflate
Step 13: Retrorockets fire