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17 November 1970 - Lunokhod 1 Becomes The First Lunar Rover

After a failed launch of a first rover,  Lunokhod 1 was launched on the Luna 17 spacecraft on 10 November 1970 from Baikonur, Kazachstan.

After a couple of days in orbit, Luna 17 set course to the Moon surface on the morning of 17 November 1970. It landed and rolled out a ramp to release the Lunokhod 1 rover.

On that day, it became the first lunar rover and the first remote controlled rover on any celestial body.

Its goal was to provide close up pictures of the Moon's surface and also analyze lunar soil samples.

The Lunokhod 1 was equipped with solar panels to power up during the day an a polonium-210 radioisotope heater to keep the equipment at operating temperature at night.

The rover was operational until 4 September 1971, when communication was lost.


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