The Story
More Background

For Teachers

For Students

For Reference
Internet Links


Future Travel

The Apollo Lunar missions were an important part of man's exploration of space. In the future the Moon may be a very important base for exploration into deep space. Vehicles will be needed to travel on the Moon's surface as well as on the surface of other planets which people will travel to. Look at the picture and read the information below it so you can begin planning a new vehicle for future travelers.

The year is 2050. You have been selected to design the new space vehicle which will be used by astronauts to explore the surface of a planet. You dig out the pictures of the lunar rover. You remember that it was used during the Apollo missions to explore the Moon. The rover was transported inside the lunar modules during the last 3 Apollo missions. It carried two astronauts. It was designed to climb steep slopes, to go over rocks, and to move easily over the Moon's regolith (Moon soil).The lunar rover had to be designed to be light enough to carry into space and sturdy enough to carry astronauts, equipment and samples of soil/rocks over the rough surface. It took a lot of thought to design this vehicle.

First, decide what planet you will design the vehicle to explore.
Study the lunar rover. Think about the things its designers had to consider about the Moon and the factors involved in transporting the rover inside the Lunar Module (also called the LM). Among the things the rover's designers had to consider were the rocky surface of the Moon, getting the lunar rover to the Moon and providing it with power to keep it running while on the Moon.

Use information about the planet you select to help you create your design. Future space travelers may use the Moon as a base of operations, so you might want to design an improved lunar vehicle for lunar visitors.

• Draw and label a diagram of your vehicle or construct a model.
• What special features did you decide to build into your design? Describe them.
• Do you know how the LM was carried to the Moon? Tell how the vehicle will be transported.
• How will it be powered once it is on the planet's surface?
• The lunar rovers were abandoned on the Moon and not reused. What will happen with your vehicle?

Links to help :

    Lunar Rover Includes basic information and specifications. A diagram of the descent stage of the lunar module indicates where the rover was stored during the trip to the Moon.

    Cockpit of the LM shows a drawing of how the astronauts were positioned to fly the LM and gives some reasons for the design of the vehicle.

    Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) This site includes detailed drawings. Click on the small thumbnails to see larger images.

    Unfolding the Lunar Rover How did the Rover travel to the Moon? See this site for more information.

    9 Planets This site will help you find information about the planet you select.

    Other sites that might be helpful:

    Kids 'N Space

    Star Child

    NASA Quest



*Illustration above is part of a mural at the Kennedy Space Center Teacher Resource Center, Florida.