Headed for the Last Parking Lot

Gene at Rover to Drive to VIP Site

Painting Completed 1982
14 x 20 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

Gene Cernan is saying his last farewell to the lunar roving vehicle. He and Jack Schmitt have just completed offloading all the rock and soil samples and put them inside the lunar module ascent stage for the long trip home. Gene will drive the rover to a point behind the lunar module so that we earthlings can watch the liftoff a few hours hence.

We can see the television with its lens and protective hood. Just under it is the mounting and control assembly which allows the television to be remotely operated from mission control in Houston. This wonderful feature let those of us here on Earth see what we wanted while Gene and Jack went about their work.

Inside the left front wheel, we can see the one-quarter horsepower electric motor that drives that wheel. There is one on each wheel for a total of 1 horsepower. Not bad for a vehicle that can carry 1,000 pounds for a total range of 40 miles.

Someday astronauts will return to this place. My guess is that they will climb aboard the rover and try to get one more ride. Maybe they can if they bring the right set of jumper cables.

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