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Documents about first Soviet Lunar rovers declassified

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Documents about first Soviet Lunar rovers declassified


© NASA/Jeff WilliamsRussian Space Systems Corporation has published documents about connection systems’ operation of the interplanetary space station Luna-21 and Lunar rover – 2 at the 45th anniversary of Lunar rover’s launch, according to

Materials include two parts. The first part represents results of work of on-board equipment, the other part represents results of work of surface communications. These systems helped manage the lunar rover, watch the images transmitted from the Moon and define coordinates of the apparatus’ location.

The first failure of remote control systems was spotted at 250th control session. Then the Earth sent Stop signal three times to make the Lunar rover stop. At 306th control session, the information was transmitted through the optical laser communications channel to the Moon and back covering the distance of more than 380 000 km. 503th control session was the last one for the apparatus. Then the temperature inside the apparatus went up immensely.

According to Professor Arnold Selivanov heading the development of TV Lunar systems, the Soviet Union proved at that time that it could create automatic apparatus working effectively on the other space body. He has explained that the second Lunar rover overcame much greater distance than the first one and this record remained unsurmountable until the twenty-first century.

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