New Space and Tech

40th Anniversary of Lunar Rover on Moon

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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What: On April 1, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville will host a 40th anniversary celebration of the first use of the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the moon. The gala event honors the men and women who designed, tested, built and piloted the original lunar rovers — many of whom are expected to take part in the celebration. Members of the news media are invited to attend.
The Lunar Roving Vehicle celebration will coincide with the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race, set for April 1-2 at the Space & Rocket Center. Student participants in the annual competition — which challenges them to think like NASA engineers and overcome many of the same issues faced by the lunar rover developers — will have the opportunity to mingle with and ask questions of many of those veteran engineers and designers. Marshall Center team members also are invited to participate in the celebration.

The lunar rover was designed and tested at Marshall from 1969-1971. The first rover made its inaugural excursion on the surface of the moon July 31, 1971, driven by Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin. Two more rovers followed in 1972, enabling still greater scientific exploration during the Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 missions.

Who: Participants in the celebration include lunar rover astronauts Charles Duke and Harrison Schmitt, who took part in the Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 missions, respectively. Veteran NASA, Marshall Center, Boeing, Northrup Grumman and General Motors engineers who worked on the lunar rover program also have been invited.

When: Media availability with program veterans — 6:30-6:45 p.m. CDT, April 1 LRV anniversary celebration — 7-9:30 p.m.

Where: Saturn V Hall, Davidson Center for Space Exploration U.S. Space & Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville

To attend: News media interested in covering the events should contact the Marshall Public & Employee Communications Office at 256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. March 31.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.