Monday, July 20, 2009

40 Year Lunar Landing Anniversary

On July 20, 1969, the human race accomplished its (to date) greatest technological achievement when a human first set foot on another celestial body. Neil Armstrong took “One Small Step” into history.

The pictures of Earth from this and other Apollo missions sparked the modern environmental movement.

Two years and 11 days after that historic landing, another Apollo mission landed on the Moon. This time they brought something with them, a Lunar Rover. Previously the astronauts were restricted to the short distances they could walk in bulky space suits. Harrison Schmitt of Apollo 17 said, "...the Lunar Rover proved to be the reliable, safe and flexible lunar exploration vehicle we expected it to be. Without it, the major scientific discoveries of Apollo 15, 16, and 17 would not have been possible and our current understanding of lunar evolution would not have been possible."

Yes, it was a fantastic achievement, but what-on-earth does it have to do with this blog? The Lunar Rover was an EV. Each wheel had its own electric drive, a DC motor capable of 10,000 RPM. These were powered by two 36-volt silver-zinc potassium hydroxide non-rechargeable batteries.

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