Hot answers tagged

33

That's many questions. Lunokhod 2 lasted for nearly 4 months and held the record for longest distance traversed by an off-Earth robot for over 41 years, until MER-B (Opportunity) beat that in mid 2014, so I wouldn't really say that lunar rovers don't last. It eventually scooped up some regolith dust with its open lid that was also its solar panel, and as it ...


18

The Moon has some very serious challenges for rovers. The most serious of these is the fact that the Moon has a 29-day rotation. That means that any spacecraft that will last longer than 14 days must survive a 14-day long night! The temperature swings are incredible in that dark period, from 123 degrees Celsius to -233 degrees Celsius, compared to Mars, ...


12

Each of the Apollo missions delivered two semi-autonomous, crewed, human-powered roving vehicles with sample-return capability to the moon -- astronauts in suits. The later Apollos also added a wheeled "bus stage" to dramatically extend the range of those rovers. This is only half tongue-in-cheek: the function of the expeditions was broadly similar, and ...


9

Emily Lakdawalla was covering this naming process for the Yutu (玉兔) rover in her Planetary Society blog posts for the majority of us Westerners that don't speak Chinese (yours truly included). In one of her posts, she describes it like this: Yesterday the Chinese space agency held a press briefing about the Chang'e 3 lunar lander. They announced that ...


7

That is a good question, and this might be better off as a comment but I will answer anyway. There are obviously many reasons why space agencies choose one mission over another. Missions need to fall in line with the overall objectives of the agency, support science that the overall community is investigating, and get the highest value out of every dollar. ...


6

Like @LocalFluff mentions in the comment, much of what is circulating the western media in the last few days since news broke out that Yutu is in trouble is unsourced information, but those speculations, however substantiated they might or mightn't be, are regarding its fate and possible procedures to mitigate problems that it encountered, not what the rover ...


1

Mars has enough of an atmosphere to 'weather' its surface. The moon doesn't. This means that the individual grains of moon dust are much sharper and more abrasive. The lack of an atmosphere also makes the day/night temperature swings more extreme. Both of these contribute to wear and failure of rovers.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible