The man-operated Moon-buggy is the car we’ve driven farthest from home. Officially, its geek-name is Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV, but if you were a child of the 1970s, you know it as the Moon-buggy. There is no shortage of weird facts about our exploration of the Moon. For example, Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, stops on the last rung of the ladder to pee before stepping down. But this is car site, so here are seven things you didn’t know about the Moon-buggy.
1) The initial plan was for a huge, and much more complicated LRV. Werner Von Braun, former Nazi, and the guy behind most of the US’ rocket design program, initially imagined a tractor trailer sized rover. That plan then morphed into a pressurized cabin style vehicle that would be lifted to the Moon on its own payload-only Saturn V before budget and other considerations brought us to the design we now know.
2) The Moon-buggy was a one hp vehicle in total. Each of the four wheels had a 0.25 electric motor made by Delco.
3) There were three moon-buggies that drove on the Moon during Apollo 15, 16 and 17. One extra was built for parts.
4) The moon-buggies and the test models were built by Boeing at a cost of $38,000,000. In today’s dollars that equates to roughly $285 million.
5) The total distance travelled by all three LRVs was about 56 miles. In theory, each could have gone that far on the battery power on-board.
6) A redneck-repair to a fender was made to a moon-buggy during Apollo 17. Astronauts Cernan and Schmidt used duct tape to fix it. This was caught on video. The repair did not work and fell apart after an hour. A second duct tape repair with a clamp was made.
7) In true redneck fashion when we were done with the Moon-buggies we simply left them where they were last parked.