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New book commemorates the 40th anniversary of the last drive on the moon

Lunar Rover Manual 1971-1972 (Apollo 15-17; LRV1-3 & 1G Trainer)
11 December 2012
Christopher Riley, David Woods & Philip Dolling
Out Now

December 14th marks the anniversary of the final Lunar Rover journey on the moon, and this new Haynes book reveals the details of their final moments

To arrange an interview with Dr Christopher Riley, co-author of the Lunar Rover Manual about the significance of the anniversary contact Spirit PR

December 14th marks the anniversary of the final Lunar Rover journey on the moon, and this new Haynes book reveals the details of their final moments

For exactly 40 years the three most expensive cars in history have sat immobile on the surface of the moon.

Costing $38m, or $450m today, the operational Lunar Rovers were left by departing astronauts ‘ready for the next guy’.

The distinctive double lines left by the Rovers’ wheels are still clearly visible by orbiting satellites and will probably persist for many thousands of years.

The -200°C chill of hundreds of lunar nights and the blasting heat of each lunar noon has probably long ago wrecked the LRV batteries. The plastics used in the thermal blankets may have perished by now, but otherwise, the Rovers are very much as the crews left them.

Each astronaut remembers their final moments with their Rover, Captain David Scott placed a Bible on the T-handle of LRV-1, Gene Cernan believes he may have left a camera behind on LRV-3 and Young and Duke gave LRV-2’s radiator panels and the display console a good dusting before they left just in case ‘anyone comes back’.

The first man to drive on the moon, Apollo 15 Commander David R Scott, has written the foreword for the Lunar Rover Manual. He believes the book “will become a classical reference for explorers, historians, researchers, engineers, scholars, and students for decades to come. And it will most likely become the basis for both the design and the operations of a human planetary-exploration wheeled vehicle.”

The Rover was part-spacecraft and part-car, credited with re-firing the public's imagination about space travel. It provided the means for astronauts to explore further afield on the Moon, doubling both the amount of time available for exploration and the total weight of lunar samples that could be collected.

The three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRVs) that were taken to the Moon would between them carry six men a total of almost 90km (56 miles) across the lunar surface. And they would permit sites to be reached and samples to be gathered that underpin our current understanding of our planet’s formation.

The Lunar Rover Manual includes first-hand accounts from the Lunar Rover crews, taken from transcripts of their reactions. It also features numerous original technical drawings and stunning photographic images from the NASA archive, including unique panoramic images of the lunar landscape.

The Authors

Dr Christopher Riley is a writer, broadcaster and film-maker, specializing in science and history. He has made over 30 films and TV documentaries about Apollo. David Woods curates NASA’s Apollo Flight Journal and writes extensively on Apollo. Phillip Dolling is a multi-award winning BBC executive producer, and written books and articles on the science and technology of the 20th century

The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing, please credit accordingly if you intend to use it. For more information or to request a review copy please contact Spirit PR on 0117 944 1415 or email Haynes PR

Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ. Telephone: 01963 440635 Fax: 01963 440001 E-mail: