Lunar Roving Vehicle

Developed for the J-dass missions of the later Apollo programme, the Lunar Roving Vehicle (or LRV) was built for NASA by Boeing. The design specification put a strict limit of 208kg (457.51b) on the vehicle's weight, while at the same time requiring that it should support a heavy load of two astronauts, their equipment, and rock samples, and that should be capable of many hours of operation at reasonably high speeds. Despite the demanding brief, Boeing delivered the first LRV in just 17 months.

speed indicator

„ high-gain antenna low-gain antenna

16mm data-acquisition camera pack

Lunar Roving Vehicle Deployment

drive hub ^

wire-mesh wheel drive hub ^


3.1m (10ft 2%in)


2.3m (7ft 6in)


209.5kg (462lb)


490kg (1,0781b)


4 x battery-powered

electric motors


18.6kph (11.5mph)


Apollo The Moon

kit car

Apollo 15 Commander David Scott admires the deployment mechanism that would lower the LRV from the side of his Falcon Lunar Module for the first drive on the surface of the Moon.

link to earth

John Young, Commander of Apollo 16, adjusts the high-goin antenna on the LRV. The rover's communications system sent back a ronge of telemetry data while it was moving and could transmit live television pictures bock to Earth when the vehicle was stationary.

pallet support aft chassis pallet lunar grand prix

During the Apollo 16 mission, the astronauts put the LRV through a thorough performance test, pushing it to the limit and reaching a record speed of 18.6kph (11.5mph).

seats of tubular aluminium with nylon covers lunar sample collection storage science and crew equipment storage lunar hand tool carrier

The rear upright section of the LRV was a rack holding various geology tools and sample bags for use on the rover's daily expeditions across the surface.

lunar sample collection storage bog dispenser storage rack for hammer and core tubes

Lunar Lander With RoverLunar Rover StowedLunar Roving Vehicle Stowed PositionLunar Roving Vehicle Stowed Position

deploying the rover

The LRV was stowed for flight on the side of "Quad 1" of the Lunar Module. It was designed to fold inwards for storage, leaving only the underside of the chassis exposed to damage during landing. It was lowered to the ground on a pulley system.

flip open

From the porch, one astronaut released the LRV from its stowed position. His colleague then lowered it on pulleys.

fold down

As the rover opened, the rear wheels rotated and locked into place automatically.

roll off

With the rear wheels down, the front wheels were unfolded, and the front of the LRV was lowered to the ground.

Lunar Roving Vehicle Stowed PositionLunar Roving Vehicle Stowed Position

in the shadow of hadley

The LM pilot Jomes Irwin tends to the sample holders on the LRV during the first Apollo 15 moonwolk. In the background, Möns Hadley Delta rises up, appearing deceptively close.








27 April 1972

Apollo 16 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean near Christmas Island.

16 April 1972

Apollo 16 blasts off from Kennedy Space Center.

19 April 1972

The spacecraft arrives in lunar orbit.

20 April 1972

A fault in the CSM almost forces the mission to abort during the Lunar Module's final descent to the Moon. However, the CM Casper is eventually allowed to continue, making the first landing in the lunar highlands.

21 April 1972

John Young and Charles Duke make the first of three highly successful moonwalks, retrieving the huge rock known as "Big Muley".

24 April 1972

After their third moonwalk, the astronauts return to the LM Orion. A few hours later, an engine burn puts the CSM on its return path to Earth - one day ahead of schedule for safety reasons after the problem with the CSM engines.

27 April 1972

Apollo 16 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean near Christmas Island.

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