Encyclopedia Astronautica
Surveyor Lunar Rover

American lunar rover. Cancelled 1965. Follow-on Surveyor unmanned lunar landers were to deploy small nuclear-powered rovers (a carry-over from the cancelled Prospector spacecraft).

As Surveyor experienced greater delays, and budgets tightened, the rover was cancelled.

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Associated Countries
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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • JPL American agency;manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. More...

  • Ertel , Ivan D; Morse , Mary Louise; et al, The Apollo Spacecraft Chronology Vol I - IV NASA SP-4009, NASA, 1966-1974. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Surveyor Lunar Rover Vehicle, Web Address when accessed: here.

Surveyor Lunar Rover Chronology

1965 March 18-25 - .
  • Isotope generator for the Surveyor Apollo lunar roving vehicle - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Surveyor Lunar Rover. The Atomic Energy Commission evaluated proposals by Radio Corporation of America and General Electric (GE) for an isotope generator for the Surveyor lunar roving vehicle, and assigned follow-on work to the latter firm. GE's concept, it was felt, was compatible with the possible requirement that the fuel source might have to be carried separately aboard the LEM. MSC's Propulsion and Power Division reported that the generator's "prospects . . . look(ed) very promising."

1965 July 21 - .
  • Surveyor small rover cancelled - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Surveyor Lunar Rover. Several lunar surface vehicles received national attention:

    • NASA announced that it had dropped plans for developing a small rover to be carried to the moon aboard soft-landing Surveyor spacecraft. This action, the space agency said, stemmed from a desire to concentrate on the development of the spacecraft per se and on its scientific instrumentation.

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