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  Lunokhod moon rover found in Russia

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Author Topic:   Lunokhod moon rover found in Russia
Philip
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Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 03-17-2010 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While the Lunokhod 2 rover was located on the Moon in LRO images, another was found in Russia.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-17-2010 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chatting with Kerrie Dougherty, curator for space technology at the Powerhouse Museum in Syndey, Australia, it would appear that this Lunokhod is a replica.
The way the paint is peeling off the body of the rover in the picture and the fact that the body of the Lunokhod seems to be sitting on a support framework above one of the wheels suggests it is a replica rather than a piece of real flight hardware or an engineering test model.

When our replica was shipped to Australia the body of the model was mounted on a similar support frame before being mated to the actual wheel assembly for display. Also, the original Soviet photos of the Lunokhods show them as having shiny metallic bodies, not painted hulls like ours or the one in the photo.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-17-2010 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Emily Lakdawalla with The Planetary Society has more details:
The text on the blog seemed to indicate that this rover had been "found in a container on the courtyard of the Institute for Space Studies," or IKI, among a pile of other containers, of which the contents were unknown.

While reading this I happened to see Misha Ivanov walk by, so I grabbed him and pointed him to the original Russian text. He grabbed Sasha, and they both conversed and shook their heads and then Sasha told me to send him the link and he'd get a real answer as to what this was. A couple of days later, Sasha wrote to tell me that "Lev Zelenyi, Director of IKI, says that they brought these things a month ago from the Exhibition Center of the Russian Academy and now are working on placing them in the IKI Exhibition Center. So situation is not as tragic as one could think and obviously going to the best." And a couple of days later, he forwarded more information from Sasha Zakharov of IKI: "As I know Vystavochnyi center RAN delivered to IKI in the last week some models of spacecraft (including model of Lunokhod) for the IKI exhibition. The IKI workshop is working now to renew these models for the exhibition."

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