TopGear goes to the Moon
Posted: 20 May 2010
The new car, or Lunar Electric Rover to give it its proper name, is part of ‘Constellation', the missions that will once again put someone - man or woman - on the Moon. Like the later Apollo missions of the 1970s, Constellation is about hard science. After all, once you've beaten the Russians to the Moon and stuck your flag in the soil, you should probably do something useful up there. The last three Apollo flights all had cars so astronauts could collect rock samples from far-flung lunar landscapes, miles from where their spaceship had landed.
That taught us lots about the Moon and proved the value of cars in space. But, in the words of an Apollo 11 engineer, the early moon buggies were "nothing more than fold-up golf karts". That may be a little unfair on the old machines, although it's true they did look a bit like something MacGyver might rustle up with some chewing-gum wrappers and paper clips. The new Rover is much more advanced.