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A Roving Speck On The Moon… April 28, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in ideas, inventions, sense of wonder, space, weird news, writing.

…but found with a laser.

I love stories of determination and eventual triumph. A physicist from UC San Diego has been looking for the 40 yr old Lunokhod 1 for years. The Soviets dumped the riding-mower sized robotic explorer on the Moon in ‘71, it worked for a year and then it stopped talking. Great achievement, not unexpected that the batteries would die or something fail after such a long jaunt. But Murphy wanted to locate it. The area was a few square miles but he narrowed it down to a football field size (which is the footprint of the laser on the Moon).

From Apache Point down in southern NM he popped out the beam and, voila! Lunokhod 1 is found once more. The laser return pinpointed it.

What is lost can be found again.

Here’s a story for you. Not quite an old timey hard rock miner with a mule but a guy who finds things like this on the Moon, realigns the antenna to communicate with Earth for more data collection, only the probe he finds isn’t…ours. Eat your carbon based life form heart out, Stephen Hawking.

The ideas are everywhere.

And I’m hunting for a short story I did a while back on rocket racing. More when I locate it.



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