Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: NASA
American manned lunar rover. Study 1989. MOSAP (MObile Surface APplication traverse vehicle) was the pressurized lunar rover that was the key to NASA's 90-Day-Study moon base concept of 1989. It would greatly extend the range of manned lunar expeditions.

MOSAP had a maximum range of 3000 km with a nominal speed of 10 kph.

The complete system consisted of four modules to allow flexibility in mission planning -- a Primary Control Research Vehicle (PCRV), a habitation unit, an auxiliary power cart, and an experiment and sample trailer. Each unit could be individually operated or connected in a train configuration. This vehicle would expand research operations to a range of hundreds of kilometers from the outpost. MOSAP would provide a shirtsleeve environment for missions lasting up to two weeks. The robotic manipulators could be used for collecting soil samples. An unpressurized lunar hangar would be used for assembling and maintaining equipment and vehicles such as MOSAP and LOTRAN.

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  • 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...

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