Encyclopedia Astronautica

North American LSSM design.
Bendix LSSM
Credit: via Jean-Christophe Carbonel
American manned lunar rover. Study 1968. The Bendix Local Science Survey Module was a forerunner of the Lunar Rover. The LSSM was a small size vehicle used to support a local manned survey. It was proposed for delivery with an LM Shelter.

The typical, one-man configuration weighed in the order of 450 kg, was battery powered and had a total range capability of 200 km per mission. The crew sat in an open cockpit.

As envisioned in 1968, the single-person battery-powered go-cart would have four individually driven wheels, and be capable of a 14 day mission after 90 days of storage on the surface of the moon (it was expected to be delivered by an unmanned cargo carrier before the manned mission arrived). It had a nominal operating speed of 8 km/hour, an individual sortie duration of three to six hours, an 8 km radius of operation, with a total range of 25 km per sortie or 200 km per mission. The 900 kg operational mass consisted of 450 kg for the basic vehicle, 320 kg of cargo, and 130 kg for one astronaut and his space suit. Bendix built a prototype, but the far lighter and somewhat less capable two-crew Lunar Rover was developed instead.


Crew Size: 1. Crew: 130 kg (280 lb).

AKA: Local Scientific Survey Module.
Gross mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb).
Payload: 320 kg (700 lb).

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • AES Lunar Base American manned lunar base. Cancelled 1968. AES (Apollo Extension Systems) was planned as the first American lunar base. It would involve minimal modification of Apollo hardware. The Apollo CSM would be modified for long duration lunar orbit storage. More...

See also
  • Lunar Rovers Lunar rovers were studied in a dizzying variety of sizes and shapes by NASA in the 1960's - including crawlers, trains, hoppers, and even worms. Two rovers designed for manned use actually traveled the lunar surface in the 1970's - the American two-man Lunar Rover, and the Soviet Lunokhod, which traveled the moon in robotic mode but was originally designed as emergency cosmonaut transportation. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • Bendix American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Bendix, USA. More...

  • Hinners, N W, James, D B, and Schmidt, F N, A Lunar Exploration Program, Bellcomm Technical Memorandum TM-68-1012-1, 5 January 1968..

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