Lunokhod 1 on the Moon
Date: 26 Apr 2010
The Soviet Union's Lunokhod 1 lunar rover in its final parking spot. Part of the Luna 17 mission, this first successful rover operated for 11 lunar days, the equivalent of 322 Earth days. It traveled more than 10 km across the lunar surface, during which it transmitted more than 20,000 TV images and 206 high-resolution panoramas, performed 25 soil analyses with its spectrometer, and used a penetrometer to test the soil's mechanical characteristics at more than 500 locations. It also conducted a French experiment (similar to a U.S. Apollo experiment a year earlier) in which laser pulses from two observatories-one Soviet and one French-were reflected back to Earth, enabling measurement of the Earth-Moon distance to within 30 cm.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University