The Lunar Rover Helped Apollo Astronauts Get Around on the Moon
by Elim Eyobed, age 9
The Lunar Rover is a vehicle which was designed to help the astronauts from the Apollo Space program explore the Moon. It has no oxygen so the astronauts could only travel a half mile from their spacecraft. But the Lunar Rover allowed them to travel farther and collect samples of rocks and moon dust. It is large enough to hold two astronauts, their equipment, and rocks.
But the Rover had to be lightweight because it needed to travel in the rocket with the astronauts. On earth the Lunar Rover weighed 210 kg (462 lb) but on the Moon it weighed just 35 kg (77 lb). It had two big wheels on each side made out of wire to make them lighter. They had to be big so, when they rolled over rocks and pebbles, they would not crack or be damaged.
The Lunar Rover ran on electric batteries. The engineers could not design a gasoline engine because oxygen is needed to burn gasoline, and there is no oxygen on the Moon. The rover’s top speed was seven miles per hour, which helped it conserve energy.
The astronauts needed help to explore many places on the Moon so the Lunar Rover really assisted their work. The Lunar Rover proves that humans can make vehicles that are not only suitable for Earth but can be suitable on the Moon or even another planet. What do you think humans will design next for space exploration?
[Sources: Science for Kids; BPS Science Department]