Lunokhod deployment

Each Lunokhod was taken to the Moon by a Luna spacecraft; after landing it was sent down a ramp to the surface.

Lunokhod 1 and 2 were two automated lunar rovers, launched by the former Soviet Union as part of the Luna program to explore the Moon. The eight-wheeled vehicles carried TV cameras and instruments to analyze the Moon's soil, and were guided over the lunar surface by remote control from Earth.


Lunokhod 1 was delivered to the Sea of Rains aboard Luna 17 in November 1970 and had covered over 10 kilometers by the end of its mission 11 months later. Lunokhod 2, an improved version with twice the top speed, landed aboard Luna 21 in January 1973 in the partially ruined crater Le Monnier on the edge of the Sea of Serenity, and covered a total of 37 kilometers in its five-month lifetime. It operated near the landing site of Apollo 17.


Lunokhod 2 and its mothership Luna 21 were sold in 1993 for $68,500 at a Sotheby's auction – even though both spacecraft are now lifeless on the Moon's surface!