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Author Topic:   Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicles on display
mensax
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From: Virginia
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posted 01-08-2005 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody know how many lunar rovers are still here on Earth? And, where they are located? And, if any can be viewed folded up?

dtemple
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From: Longview, Texas, USA
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posted 01-08-2005 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's an interesting question. I saw a trainer at the KSC Saturn V Center. I also had the opportunity to ask Jerry Carr, Bill Pogue, and Richard Gordon about the rovers for canceled Apollo missions; they were not certain if those rovers were built before the flights were canceled.

AlanLawrie
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From: hitchin, herts, UK
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posted 01-08-2005 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AlanLawrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Four lunar rovers were built, one each for Apollos 15, 16, and 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 practise 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 Salmon library at the University of Alabama at Huntsville holds the best collection on the LRV.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-08-2005 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There used to be (back in 1982 or there abouts) a rover at RAF Cosford, England. I seem to recall it was a developmental example but judging by the photos I took on the day, it looks pretty complete. It may well have been one of the 1/6th G models as the rover was supported by its subframe and was not resting on its mesh tyres.

NASA Videographer
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posted 01-08-2005 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NASA Videographer   Click Here to Email NASA Videographer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a rover on display at the Marshall Space Flight Center, here in Huntsville, Alabama. I am not sure of it's origin, but it has the metal wheels and a stuffed "astronaut" driving it wearing Story Musgrave's Apollo suit!

thump
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posted 01-10-2005 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC has one, I believe the vibration test unit.

mdmyer
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posted 01-10-2005 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson has one also but I don't know anything about its history.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-10-2005 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The LRV on display in the Apollo To The Moon exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum is identified as a "Qualification Test Unit".
This lunar roving vehicle qualification testing unit is almost identical to the lunar rovers actually used by American astronauts during the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions to the moon. It was used during development to determine that flight units could stand up to temperatures, vacuum, and vibrations expected during actual missions.
According to the museum, it is one of eight test vehicles built by the Boeing Company before they built the three flight vehicles.

The Smithsonian loaned another of the test vehicles to Disney for their Mission: Space pavilion at EPCOT in Florida.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 01-10-2005 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anyone see the Discovery Canada TV piece on December 19th, with yours truly?

The one in that piece was built out here by us in 1986 and used by Rockwell Int., Downey for PR and parades and the like.

We copied the ground test rovers ("Grovers") that are in New Mexico and in Houston that were used for training by USGS.

It also was copied for Tom Hanks' HBO "From The Earth To the Moon" miniseries. The "Earth to Moon" rover was purchased by China for us in a traveling space exhibit - to get the Chinese people excited about Shenzhou program.

The Kansas rover was used for the IMAX "Magnificent Desolation" feature.

mensax
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posted 01-11-2005 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I gather from all this that there is no single source listing where each of the rovers is located?

It is interesting how I've never seen a rover "spare part" come up for sale...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-11-2005 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lot 1149 in Superior Galleries' final space auction (prior to being acquired by Regency Stamps in October 2001) was identified as a Prototype Lunar Rover Tire, sourced from a storage room at Vandenberg AFB.

mensax
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From: Virginia
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posted 01-11-2005 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What was the selling price of that?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-11-2005 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
$2760 (includes the 15% commission).

barnstormer
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From: Niceville FL USA
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posted 01-11-2005 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barnstormer   Click Here to Email barnstormer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a piece that I mistakenly believed was part of a LM door latch, for some time. I recently visited The Cradle of Aviation Museum in NY and it was double checked and confirmed that it is a "Lunar Rover Deployment Mechanism" by curator Josh Stoff. It has numerous LM part # on various surfaces of the item. It is an amazing piece of machine work with most of it being cut and milled from a single piece of titanium with all sorts of thin extended ears and channels etc. Among other part numbers, main one in stamped red ink is LDW280M1786 and MRR106498. It is 12" long and approx 7" wide. It came directly form Art Romeo, the head of the Grumman restoration Team, who prepared/restored many major museum exhibits, including LMs at Cradle and Smithsonian, for years for Grumman.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-11-2005 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The LRV fender that Cernan sold on Astro-Auction was from the Apollo 17 backup LRV at the Kansas Cosmosphere.

scout706
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From: Phoenix, AZ USA
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posted 01-11-2005 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for scout706   Click Here to Email scout706     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is an LRV at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM. I believe it was a Boeing Test Article. It does have the wire mesh tires and is supported by blocks. An interesting place, it has several unusual Apollo artifacts. A PLSS backpack, an Apollo guidance computer, a LM ascent engine as well as several unique displays regarding the testing done at White Sands.

DavidH
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posted 01-12-2005 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the plaque beside the one at Marshall referenced earlier, that vehicle is an "engineering model" built using "actual flight hardware" and used for testing.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-12-2005 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct me if I am wrong but isn't there a rover on display in the new space ride that opened at Epcot in fall 2003? I recall reading somewhere that the item is on loan from NASA...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-12-2005 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rick, as mentioned in my reply above, you are correct. A (presumed) ground test LRV is on display as part of the queue to the EPCOT pavilion/ride Mission: Space.

A photograph of that particular LRV can be seen in our article, Mission: Space - Choose to go!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-13-2005 03:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the link to the Epcot ride; I had missed that, sorry.

Rick Mulheirn
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From: England
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posted 01-13-2005 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The below is a contact sheet of the photos I took of the rover in the RAF Museum Cosford, England, circa 1981:

NASA Videographer
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posted 01-14-2005 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NASA Videographer   Click Here to Email NASA Videographer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought you all might like to see the rover on disply here at the Marshall Space Flight Center. If you follow this link, you can see some pics that I just took this morning (Jan 14th).

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
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posted 01-15-2005 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the Discovery Channel, the show "Discoveries this Week" shows the LRV that we built in 1986. Over the years my friends and I have done some improvements to make it a little more accurate.

Capcom1
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From: Monroe, WA
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posted 01-20-2005 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Capcom1   Click Here to Email Capcom1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seattle Museum of Flight has one, but I'm not sure of its lineage... Zooming in on the plaque pic I have, it says "The museum would like to thank Boeing for making the restoration of this vehicle possible..."

Restored from what, I wonder.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 06-19-2009 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody know where the rover depicted in the following two images is located? I do not believe it is the trainer currently exhibited at Kennedy Space Center and shown in the third image...

AFGAS
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From: Merritt Island, FL
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posted 08-11-2009 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm finishing up a big puzzle in the Lunar Rover section of the Field Guide. 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 National Air and Space Museum lists four LRVs in its collection. So here is what I've puzzled out (model/location):
  • LRV-1 / Apollo 15, Moon
  • LRV-2 / Apollo 16, Moon
  • LRV-3 / Apollo 17, Moon
  • LRV-4 / Ford Museum, Greenfield, MI
  • Static / ?
  • Engineering / ?
  • 1/6 gravity 1 / ?
  • 1/6 gravity 2 / ?
  • 1-G trainer / Space Center Houston, TX
  • Mass / ?
  • Vibration / US Space and Rocket Center, AL
  • Qualification / National Air and Space Museum, 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!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-11-2009 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AFGAS:
A couple still to puzzle out: Epcot's Mission: Space
It is no longer at Epcot and now back the National Air and Space Museum as part of the Alan Bean exhibit "Painting Apollo".

AFGAS
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From: Merritt Island, FL
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posted 08-11-2009 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't get to Epcot as often as I used to - and the Bean exhibit was just being set up when I was last at the NASM this summer. Still would like to peg down which rover it is.

Plus, I believe the rover pictured in Scott's post above is the 1-G trainer at Space Center Houston. I base my guess on the unique hubs seen in both the images and the Houston LRV. I believe they replaced the 1-G tires for more authentic wire mesh wheels for the display. According to the Apollo Hardware End Item manifest, the 1-G Trainer was displayed at (JSC) Bldg. 2, the old museum area of JSC.. Makes sense it would move with other artifacts to the new Space Center Houston.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 08-11-2009 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The NASM Collections Database indentifies this as the 1G Rover although no 1G tires. Also there are substantive differences between the artifact shown in the NASM image and the LRV in the preceding photograph above (have a close look at the electronics/navigation panels and the equipment bay at the rear).

As a side note, while researching the provenance on the LRV High Gain Antenna in my collection discovered that neither the LRV's at NASM or USSRC include production representative/flight article HGA'a (they are mockup's). The following images show the HGA installed onboard the Qualification LRV displayed NASM's Gallery to the Moon (210); 2nd image is my artifact, 3rd Lunar Surface image of High Gain on Apollo 15 LRV.

AFGAS
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From: Merritt Island, FL
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posted 08-12-2009 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It is no longer at Epcot and now back the National Air and Space Museum as part of the Alan Bean exhibit "Painting Apollo".
Robert is correct. The original display model was returned to the Smithsonian and replaced by a Guard-Lee model last January.

Henk Boshuijer
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posted 08-12-2009 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There used to be a Lunar Rover on display in the Science Museum, London. I took a picture in 1977. Last month I visited the museum again but I couldn't find the rover anymore. Did the Smithsonian get it back? Did they move it somewhere else?

ilbasso
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posted 08-12-2009 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The London Science Museum Rover looks similar to one that we had at the Smithsonian in August 1971, coinciding with the Apollo 15 mission. (My usual schtick is to say that as a teenage tour guide at the NASM, I actually drove a Lunar Rover before I was able to drive a car!!) I haven't been able to locate any photos of the Rover that we used that summer, but it had rubber tires a plywood camera and mockup of the navigation display, and a rudimentary mesh high-gain antenna. It had a functional control stick like the one on the real Rover. I don't believe it had brakes. We couldn't get it going very fast, and we only drove it on level ground.

For those who remember the way the NASM was laid out when it was housed at the Arts and Industries Building, we kept the rover over on the east side near the Hawker Hurricane. Every morning we'd drive it out an east access door, around the south (Independence Avenue) side of the building, up between the A&I Building and the "hangar", and onto the Mall between the A&I building and the Castle.

tegwilym
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posted 08-13-2009 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We have a pretty good full sized rover model here in Seattle at the Museum of Flight. Looking closely at it you can see it's kind of a scratch built thing but otherwise it's pretty good.

AFGAS
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From: Merritt Island, FL
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posted 08-13-2009 09:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
We have a pretty good full sized rover model here in Seattle at the Museum of Flight.
More pictures in the Field Guide here.

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 08-14-2009 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although not much of a complete LRV, the Kansas Cosmosphere has however a flown LRV display, possibly the only one.

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