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Solar System Exploration
Lunokhod (click to enlarge)

Date: 17 Nov 1970

A precursor to modern robotic rovers, Russia's Lunokhod 1 and 2 made history as the first unmanned wheeled vehicles on another world.

Lunokhod 1 explored the moon for an incredible 322 Earth days before sending its final signal on 14 Sept. 1971. The mission is considered one of the greatest successes of Russia's lunar exploration program.

Lunokhod 2 roved the lunar surface for four months before toppling into a crater. The rover took 80,000 TV pictures and 86 panoramic photos and had performed hundreds of mechanical and chemical surveys of the soil before the mission ended.

The rovers were delivered to the moon by the Soviet Luna 17 and 21 spacecraft.

Credit: NASA

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