There is video of the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 lunar modules lifting off from the Moon. I recall watching it live for Apollo 17 at least. I know the images were captured by a camera mounted on the lunar rover, and at least in the case of Apollo 17, the camera was remote operated from Earth to tilt up to follow the module's ascent.

My question is: what was the signal path between the rover and Earth? Was there a direct radio link between the rover and Earth ground stations or was it relayed via the LM, CM or some other satellite? What other purpose did that link serve other than video feed from the rover?


1 Answer 1


The Lunar Roving Vehicle had a high-gain antenna on it, and the camera signal was sent to Earth directly from it. There's a lot of information about it on this page.

The antenna was used for both video and data transmission to/from a small navigation computer aboard the LRV. There's a lot of detail in this NASA document, simply titled Lunar Roving Vehicle.

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    $\begingroup$ This way the camera could be used to transmit video during a ride with the LRV, during a stop taking samples and at last during lunar liftoff of the LM. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Feb 18, 2018 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ This page at Gizmodo tells how the three lift-off shots of Apollo 15, 16 and 17 were set up, and how the lift-off video of Apollo 17 was by far the best of the three. $\endgroup$
    – IconDaemon
    Feb 18, 2018 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ This just in: How (the heck) did NASA get the video camera on the Moon to track the LM ascent stage? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 1, 2019 at 0:29

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