Thursday, April 12, 2012

Selenokhod GLXP rover ready by summer

Team activity - The implementation of such a large-scale project is impossible without cooperation of various specialists. In team discussions we find powerful incentive to progress it’s extremely exciting and useful for professional development [Selenokhod].
The Team Selenokhod GLXP lunar rover prototype will be finished by summer, developers said on Thursday. Selenokhod is the only Russian entrant among the 26 teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize.

Selenokhod will move on flats instead of wheels, a design developed for the 4.5-kg Prop-M rovers that traveled on-board the identical Mars 2 and Mars 3 missions. After Mars 2 crashed on the martian surface, Mars 3 achieved the first soft landing there, December 2, 1971. But, for reasons still unknown, all contact was lost with Mars 3 after only 14.5 seconds.

RIA Novosti has posted a video showing
the Selenokhod lunar rover in action
Though neither Prop-M rover was successfully deployed on Mars, the Russians are apparently working hard to live up to an inherited legacy of having landed and operated the only robotic rovers on the Moon, in 1970 and 1973.

The team is planning to deliver its 5-kg Selenokhod to the moon on-board Luna-Glob, though that mission was recently delayed until sometime after 2015, past the present X-Prize deadline, and the team reports that contest organizers have not yet indicated whether using a government-funded platform is acceptable.

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