If there is an adage which signifies what all teams are attempting to do, it is, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. As engineers, we do not intend to reinvent the wheel, but actually stand on the shoulders of these huge giants, who’ve been there, done that! Now that’s our actual design philosophy, top secret! 😉
Talking of giants, there’s no better way to start than with the first ones. They literally translate into moon walkers, and we are sure that they would have given Michael Jackson some competition on the lunar surface 😛 When Luna 17 landed at the Sea of Rains or Mare Imbrium, and rolled down the ramp a peculiar bucket-shaped 750-kg Lunokhod 1, it heralded a new era of space exploration via telerobotics. Weighing in at a massive 750 kg, Lunokhod was a rugged-design-SUV of sorts, with half a metre wheels and a decent obstacle capacity (maximum height/depth of obstacle rover is able to cross) of 40 cm. A metallic wire mesh tire rim and titanium grousers gave it more than enough traction, and the huge body weight and that tire size, the motors had to be pretty heavy duty for overcoming frictional torque. Lunokhod 1 clocked 10,540 m while conducting TV camera surveys and lunar soil tests, before it was lost to comm. failure.