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back to article Missing Soviet nuclear electrocar FOUND ON MOON

A long-lost Soviet solar/nuclear robot buggy - mislaid in the early 1970s - has been found on the moon by a NASA survey satellite. Soviet design pic of a Lunokhod rover packaged aboard its lander. Credit: NASA Old school. The vehicle in question is the Lunokhod 1 rover, which landed in the Mare Imbrium aboard the Luna 17 …

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call me pedantic but...

...Apollo 14 didn't have a lunar rover, just a handcart to carry their tools in. Apollo 15 was the first mission to have a lunar rover (or moon buggy if you prefer).

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Anonymous Coward

having a bit of trouble following this

Is the good thing that they've found the SovRover or that having found it they can bunce their lasers off it.

Presumeably, if

1) we could get useful machinery to the moon

2) build some sort of living spaces there

3) get regular flights to the moon and back

you could bung a plaque on the ground next to it, and charge people to see it.

Space tourism WITH day-trips

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Anonymous Coward

More fun would a resort around the Apollo 11 site

as seen on Futurama. Everybody sing along now: "We’re sailors on the moon, we carry a harpoon, but thar ain’t no whales so we tell tall tails and sing this whalein’ toon!!"

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Coat

Not all the time

You couldn't allow unfettered access to the moon - there are days when you'd try to book tickets and be told that there were none "because the moon is full right now".

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Coat

Moon buggies

Apollo 14 didn't have one. Just the three J missions starting with Apollo 15.

Mine's the one with the copy of Jane's Spacecraft in the pocket.

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@Moon buggies

So you've got a rocket in your pocket?

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Joke

Aww, man

and I thought he was just pleased to see me!

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FAIL

units?

im guessing the first reading should be to with in a kilometer?

"Using the 3.5m telescope at Apache Point in New Mexico, Murphy and his colleagues were able at last to get a laser reflection back from the missing moon-prowler, getting its range to within a centimetre. A second reading less than 30 minutes later gave another line of position and pinned the machine down to within 10 metres. In time, Murphy believes he can refine this down to within a centimetre."

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Bronze badge

Range/location

The way I understood this was that the laser reflection gave a range of distance to the reflector on the buggy from the detector (of known location) accurate to within 1cm.

OK, so we know how far away it is, now what's it's geographical position? Bounce another laser off it, factor in rotation of earth/known motion of the moon, we now have pinned it's geographical location, from a possible resolution of 100m (mentioned in the article) to ten times that, down to within 10m of an exact fix. More measurements would mean greater resolution still, down to knowing the geographical position of the lander to within 1cm of accuracy, i.e within the diameter of the thing itself.

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Pint

ahh...the old Polonium-210 radioisotope powered heater.

i had one of these in my student flat.....gave off one hell of a glow...

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We could go to the Moon.

Or we could go to Florida; old cars in the front yard and engine blocks hanging from the trees.

Hey, Florida has trees!

(Plus, come on guys, Florida has Disney World and no Moon is going to compete with that.)

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Hmm

Are you sure that isn't a bus in the photo?

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Re: Hmm

Nope, if it was a bus there'd be two more not far away.

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Ah, memories

Always remember that probe from a space book I had as a child (in the seventies). For some reason, at the age of seven or eight, I thought it was something left over from a Victorian space mission :) Something Jules Verne would have designed...

Then again, looking at it, it does seem vaguely steampunk'ish...

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re: Ah, memories

If you ask _me_, pretty much _every_ spacecraft the Russians have built looks steampunk. Their craft were steampunk before steampunk was cool.

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Anonymous Coward

Ummmmm

"Using the 3.5m telescope at Apache Point in New Mexico, Murphy and his colleagues were able at last to get a laser reflection back from the missing moon-prowler, getting its range to within a centimetre. "

OK - now we have the range to 1cm

"A second reading less than 30 minutes later gave another line of position and pinned the machine down to within 10 metres."

A second reading is now LESS accurate?

" In time, Murphy believes he can refine this down to within a centimetre."

It reads like he had that on the first go.

Or am I a bit dim

[Not for publication - just a bug report as such!]

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Headmaster

Three dimensions

As someone mentioned earlier, the first pulse got them the range to the target which is only how far away it is. In theory it could be *anywhere* on the surface of a sphere of that radius, in practice it would be somewhere within the area illuminated by the laser, which is a spot several miles wide.

So one pulse only (to be said in a Sean Connery voice) gives you a very accurate distance, but no information about how far north/south or east/west it is. A second pulse a bit later gives you a second very accurate range, and a bit of basic triangulation turns your two ranges into an approximate position and reduces the east/west error a lot (due to the rotation of the earth) and the north/south error rather less. That's where the 10m figure comes from.

Ideally they now want results from an observatory in the southern hemisphere to reduce the north/south error as well.

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Boffin

um

the Register is English and thus not compelled to make everything easily understood on a first read. The earlier post covered the apparent discrepancy well enough, though you might have missed it due to moderation delay. don't look now, merely consider the terms "range" and "position", and that, as per usual the article is correct as written.

"am i a bit dim? " - not really, inattentive maybe... What state are you from?

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Is...

the "NFP" tag just a very clever way to guarantee getting past the Mod'trix?

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distance != position

""" "Using the 3.5m telescope at Apache Point in New Mexico, Murphy and his colleagues were able at last to get a laser reflection back from the missing moon-prowler, getting its range to within a centimetre. "

OK - now we have the range to 1cm

"A second reading less than 30 minutes later gave another line of position and pinned the machine down to within 10 metres."

A second reading is now LESS accurate?"""

The first reading was _distance_, the second _distance_ reading (also presumably accurate to 1cm) narrowed down the _position_ to within 10 meters. Can nobody tell the difference between the _distance_ between two points and a relative _position_ in multiple dimensions?

"""Or am I a bit dim"""

Clearly you're no rocket scientist.

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Actually.

They use a corner reflector.

So one pulse should do it.

(And OK, why couldn't we just Paint The Damn Moon in one night? What is wrong here?)

Thought just hit me like a three pound sledge in the forehead.

Do we have some kind of LASER police operating?

WTF just happened?

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Laser Police

Depending on where the laser is located, they have to liaise with air traffic control to make sure there's nothing flying overhead at the wrong moment. Plus it takes time to recharge the flux capacitors.

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Do you think

Now they've found this they could look for my keys? i know i put them down somewhere.

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Bronze badge
Headmaster

Football field?

“We could only search one football-field-sized region at a time."

Is that Football or Soccer? Perhaps it was a 5-a-side pitch...

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title

What we call football you call soccer, what you call football we call pointless.

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reliant robin.

are you sure the reliant robin space shuttle was not more successful than we were led to believe?

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Alien

Shadows?

I'm no conspiracy theorist but how come the rovers shadow is on the opposite side of all the other shadows?

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FAIL

shadows

The shadows are correct. Craters (depressions) have shadows on the side closest to the sun. Projections above the surface (hills and missing landers) have shadows on the side furthest from the sun.

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FAIL

Shadows...

Possibly because all the "other" shadows you're seeing are INSIDE craters, while the shadow given off by the rover is on the OUTSIDE of the rover...

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Headmaster

Lumps and holes

Because everything else is a crater, or hole in the ground, so has it's shadow cast by the sunward rim. The rover is a lump and is casting its own shadow.

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Re: Shadows

The shadows are consistent.

The light source (Sun) is in roughly the 4 o'clock position in relation to the photograph, thus the lander, being higher than the surrounding area, casts a shadow points towards the 10 o'clock position. Most of the other shadows are being created by craters, which are LOWER than the surrounding area, so their shadows are being created by the crater rims and are cast in the same direction as the lunar lander's.

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Re: Shadows

I think the other objects are craters which go beneath the surface, whilst the buggy is above the surface, hence the shadow is on the other side.

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Anonymous Coward

no consipracy

the buggy sticks out from the surface the craters go in.

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Not if the mountain is a crater

If the sunlight is coming from the right-bottom corner of the photo, and the mountains are craters instead, then indeed the shadows are correct?

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The Geometry of Shadows

All the other features are craters (going down), so the shadow of the rim in inside the lower right. The lander sticks up, so the shadow is cast to the upper left.

Badly explained but the shadows are fine.

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Black Helicopters

Thank God!

Looks like we have the shadows explained off to a tee.

We did go to the moon after all!!!!!!

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Driver gender

Must have been a woman driver to leave it in that position!

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Unhappy

Everywhere....

Everywhere humans go we leave our trash behind. That is all.

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Stop

I know, right?

Next thing you know, we'll be destroying the Moon's ecology!

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Alien

Moomins

The Moomins will have pushed it somewhere else or camouflaged it by tomorrow.

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Happy

Dropped a clanger?

... Err, I think you mean Clangers...!

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Alert

Lasering moon beings?

Given the amount of fuss our pilots kick up about having lasers shone at them, I'm not sure dazzling our soon-to-be lunar overlords is a very wise move?

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Troll

Photo..

...shopped.

Put the adobe software down. We all know it's impossible to get to the moon/it's a global lizard people conspiracy et al.

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Black Helicopters

Quite right Sir...

... and what's more, they forgot to add in the tracks in the dust.

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FAIL

Rover ???

Now dear Register,

tell me how the thing you have in the photo is supposed to "rove" ? No wheels, not tracks. Can't be a "lunar Harrier" as the atomsphere is rather dense up there :-)

Some googleing says THIS is the Lunkohod 1:

http://lexikon.astronomie.info/php/image.php?image=http://lexikon.astronomie.info/mond/img/lunukhod1.jpg

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GMC
Alien

Rover

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/image/spacecraft/lunokhod-mission.jpg

The lower half is the landing stage. The rover sits on top, and drives off on ramps after landing

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Er...

"able to prowl about"

On what? Surely those little angled discs at the bottom aren't the wheels?

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Thumb Up

So...

http://www.ebay.com/users/Gagarin/MoonBuggy.html (Customer pick-up of course)

(No, I'm *not* sticking in the Joke Alert icon and if someone at Ebay could inform me how many people actually followed that link, I'd be most appreciative).

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No, going on with this.

Why can't we paint the Moon with lasers.

Where is the (can't get funding the clown will get me.)

PROBLEM.

It is a f**king G**am LASER, where in the h*ll did you people fall down?

Where in the hell did you f*cres fall down?

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Alert

Lunokhod image clarification

The image TheReg so kindly posted was actually the lander with the rover on board...

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