- Lunokhod 2
Lunokhod 2 was the second of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the
Moonby the Soviet Unionas part of the Lunokhod program.
1973-01-08at 06:55:38 UTC
*On-orbit dry mass: 4850 kg (4.77
Luna 21spacecraft landed on the Moon and deployed the second Soviet lunar rover (Lunokhod 2). The primary objectives of the mission were to collect images of the lunar surface, examine ambient light levels to determine the feasibility of astronomical observations from the Moon, perform laserranging experiments from Earth, observe solar X-rays, measure local magnetic fields, and study mechanical properties of the lunar surface material.
Lunokhod 2 rover and subsystems
The rover stood 135 cm (4 ft 5 in) high and had a mass of 840 kg (1,850 lb). It was about 170 cm (5 ft 7 in) long and 160 cm (4 ft 11 in) wide and had 8 wheels each with an
independent suspension, motor and brake. The rover had two speeds, ~1 km/h and ~2 km/h (0.6 mph and 1.2 mph). Lunokhod 2 was equipped with three television cameras, one mounted high on the rover for navigation, which could return high resolution images at different rates—3.2, 5.7, 10.9 or 21.1 seconds per frame (not frames per second). These images were used by a five-man team of controllers on Earth who sent driving commands to the rover in real time. Power was supplied by a solar panel on the inside of a round hinged lid which covered the instrument bay, which would charge the batteries when opened. A polonium-210 isotopic heat source was used to keep the rover warm during the long lunar nights. There were 4 panoramic cameras mounted on the rover. Scientific instruments included a soil mechanics tester, solar X-ray experiment, an astrophotometer to measure visible and ultravioletlight levels, a magnetometerdeployed in front of the rover on the end of a 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) boom, a radiometer, a photodetector(Rubin-1) for laser detection experiments, and a French-supplied laser corner reflector. The lander and rover together massed 1814 kg.
The SL-12/D-1-e launcher put the spacecraft into Earth parking
orbitfollowed by translunar injection. On January 12 1973, Luna 21 was braked into a 90 by 100 km (approx. 56 by 62 mile) orbit about the Moon. On January 13and January 14, the perilune was lowered to 16 km (10 mi) altitude.
Landing and surface operations
January 15after 40 orbits, the braking rocketwas fired at 16 km (10 mi) altitude, and the craft went into free fall. At an altitude of 750 m (2,460 ft) the main thrusters began firing, slowing the fall until a height of 22 m (72 ft) was reached. At this point the main thrusters shut down and the secondary thrusters ignited, slowing the fall until the lander was 1.5 m (5 ft) above the surface, where the engine was switched off. Landing occurred at 23:35 UT in Le Monnier crater at 25.85 degrees N, 30.45 degrees E. The lander carried a bas reliefof Leninand the Soviet coat of arms.
After landing, the Lunokhod 2 took TV images of the surrounding area, then rolled down a ramp to the surface at 01:14 UT on
January 16and took pictures of the Luna 21 lander and landing site, driving for 30 meters. After a period of charging up its batteries it took more pictures of the site and the lander, and then set off to explore the moon.
The rover would run during the lunar day, stopping occasionally to recharge its batteries via the solar panels. At night the rover would hibernate until the next sunrise, heated by the radioactive source.
January 18, 1973to January 24, 1973: The rover drives 1,260 metres
February 8, 1973to February 23, 1973: The rover drives 9,086 metres further
March 11, 1973to March 23, 1973: The rover drives 16,533 metres further
April 9, 1973to April 22, 1973: The rover drives 8,600 metres further
May 8, 1973to June 3, 1973: The rover drives 880 metres further
End of mission
June 4, 1973it was announced that the program was completed, leading to speculation that the vehicle probably failed in mid-May or could not be revived after the lunar night of May-June.
More recently, Alexander Basilevsky related an account where on May 9, 1973, the rover's open lid touched a crater wall and became covered with dust. When the lid was closed for the lunar night, this dust (a very good insulator) was dumped on to the radiators, The following lunar day, controllers saw the internal temperature of the Lunokhod climb as it was unable to cool itself, eventually rendering the rover inoperable. [ [http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exploration/other-moon.html "The Other Moon Landings", by Andrew Chaikin, (Air & Space Magazine, February/March 2004, pages 30-37] ] .
Lunokhod 2 operated for about 4 months, covered 37 km (23 miles) of terrain, including hilly upland areas and
rilles, and sent back 86 panoramic images and over 80,000 TV pictures. Many mechanical tests of the surface, laser ranging measurements, and other experiments were completed during this time.
Lunokhod 2 continues to be detected by
lunar laser ranging experiments and its position is known to sub-meter accuracy. [citeweb|title=Lunar Geophysics, Geodesy, and Dynamics|url=http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/williams_lw13.pdf|publisher=ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov|accessdate=2008-02-06]
Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment
* [http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Luna/Luna21.php Zarya - Lunokhod 2 chronology]
* [http://selena.sai.msu.ru/Home/Spacecrafts/Lunokhod2/lunokhod2e.htm Lunar and Planetary Department Moscow University Lunokhod 2 page]
* [http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/tmp/1973-001A.html NSSDC Master Catalog: Spacecraft: Luna 21/Lunokhod 2]
* [http://www.mentallandscape.com/C_CatalogMoon.htm Don P. Mitchell's catalog of Soviet Moon Images] including many from Lunokhod 2
* [http://vsm.host.ru/e_lunhod.htm Lunokhod 2 information and VRML models at the Virtual Space Museum]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Lunokhod 1 — (Луноход, moon walker in Russian) was the first of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of its Lunokhod program. The spacecraft which carried Lunokhod 1 was named Luna 17. Lunokhod was the first roving remote… … Wikipedia
Lunokhod 1 — Photographie du Lunokhod 1. Lunokhod 1 est le premier des deux robots motorisés envoyés sur la Lune par l Union soviétique au cours du programme Lunokhod. Le vaisseau qui a transporté Lunokhod 1 s appelait Luna 17. Lunokhod a été le premier robot … Wikipédia en Français
Lunokhod — Articles connexes : Lunokhod 1 et Lunokhod 2. Schéma de l utilisation de Lunokhod. Lunokhod est le programme scientifique soviétique ayant contribué à envoyer sur la Lune les deux premiers rovers Lunokhod 1 et Lunokhod 2 dans les années 1970 … Wikipédia en Français
Lunokhod 2 — Véhicule robot d exploration de la Lune série Lunokhod. Lunokhod 2 est le deuxième des deux robots motorisés envoyés sur la Lune par l Union soviétique au cours du programme Lunokhod. Le vaisseau qui a transporté Lunokhod 2 s appelait Luna 21.… … Wikipédia en Français
Lunokhod — Los Lunokhod fueron dos coches lunares soviéticos, sin tripulación que alunizaron en 1970 y 1973. Fureon conducidos por mando radiofónico. Sacaron fotografías de la superficie de la Luna … Enciclopedia Universal
lunokhod — noun one of the Soviet robotic lunar rovers … Wiktionary
lunokhod — … Useful english dictionary
Lunokhod programme — Lunokhod (Russian Луноход, Moonwalker ) 1 and 2 were a pair of by the Soviet robotic lunar rovers landed on the Moon in 1970 and 1973, respectively. They were in operation conterminously with the Zond series of flyby missions. The Lunokhod… … Wikipedia
Programme Lunokhod — Lunokhod Schéma de l utilisation de Lunokhod Les Lunokhod 1 et 2 sont les deux premiers robots roulants envoyés sur la Lune par l Union soviétique dans les années 1970. Pour plus de détails sur chacun d entre eux, voir: Lunokhod 1 1970 Lunokhod 2 … Wikipédia en Français
Луноход (космическая программа) — «Луноход» («Проект Е 8») серия советских дистанционно управляемых самоходных аппаратов планетоходов для исследования Луны. Луноход 0 автома … Википедия