Front page - Wheels - Chassis - Assembling - Body - Details - Cameras - Antennas - Laser reflector, instruments - RTG - Lid - Odometer & Penetrometer - Moon base - Completed model
I built the model of the Lunokhod 2 unmanned soviet rover between 2001 and 2005. This section presents all the steps that were necessary to make it including all blueprints. Feel free to use them (as long as you don't sell them) and try to make your own model. Ben Guenther was the first one to use these blueprints and build a 1/24 model of Lunokhod 2, with this model he won the first prize at the US IPMS 2005 National Convention, you can see its work here. The same causes having a tendency to create the same effects I won the first prize at the French IPMS 2005 National Convention.
Luna 17 was launched from an earth parking orbit towards the Moon and entered lunar orbit on November 15, 1970. Luna 17 landed on Moon 17 November 1970 at 03:47:00 GMT, Latitude 38.28 N, Longitude 325.00 E - Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains). The payload, the Lunokhod 1 unmanned rover, rolled down a ramp from the landing stage and began exploring the surface. Lunokhod was intended to operate through three lunar days but actually operated for eleven lunar days (earth months). The operations of Lunokhod officially ceased on October 4, 1971, the anniversary of Sputnik 1. By then it had traveled 10,540 m and had transmitted more than 20,000 TV pictures and more than 200 TV panoramas. It had also conducted more than 500 lunar soil tests. The Lunokhod was not left in a position such that the laser retroreflector could be used, indicating that the failure may have happened suddenly. (quote from Astronautica Encyclopedia) It is worth noting that Lunokhod 1 was the first vehicle to wheel on the moon prior to the Apollo XV flight which saw the first use of the lunar rover by astronaut Dave Scott and James Irwin.
On 12 January 1973, Luna 21 braked into a 90 x 100 km orbit about the Moon. On 13 and 14 January, the perilune was lowered to 16 km altitude. On 15 January after 40 orbits, the braking rocket was fired at 16 km altitude, and the craft went into free fall. At an altitude of 750 meters the main thrusters began firing, slowing the fall until a height of 22 meters was reached. At this point the main thrusters shut down and the secondary thrusters ignited, slowing the fall until the lander was 1.5 meters above the surface, where the engine was cut off. Landing occurred at 23:35 GMT in LeMonnier crater at 25.85 degrees N, 30.45 degrees E. The lander carried a bas relief of Lenin and the Soviet coat-of-arms. After landing, Lunokhod 2 took TV images of the surrounding area, then rolled down a ramp to the surface at 01:14 GMT on 16 January and took pictures of the Luna 21 lander and landing site. It stopped and charged batteries until 18 January, took more images of the lander and landing site, and then set out over the Moon. The rover would run during the lunar day, stopping occasionally to recharge its batteries via the solar panels. At night the rover would hibernate until the next sunrise, heated by the radioactive source. Lunokhod 2 operated for about 4 months, covered 37 km of terrain including hilly upland areas and rilles, and sent back 86 panoramic images and over 80,000 TV pictures. Many mechanical tests of the surface, laser ranging measurements, and other experiments were completed during this time. On June 4 it was announced that the program was completed, leading to speculation that the vehicle probably failed in mid-May or could not be revived after the lunar night of May-June. (quote from Astronautica Encyclopedia)
I have decided to build the Lunokhod 2, I have built in the 70's a lunokhod 2 which unfortunatly does not exist anymore. Other space modelers have also made models of the Lunokhod or are currently building a model using the blueprints and reference pictures on this web site, I have created a special page called "LUNOKHOD by other space modelers", I am sure you will appreciate their work and skill.
By clicking on the chapter title hereunder you will have access to the intricacies of building the various elements of the Lunokhod 2 spacecraft.
Power-Point presentation on building Lunokhod-2