Tuning In Earth

Dave Scott points the umbrella-shaped antenna on the front of the rover toward Earth

Painting Completed 1983
18 x 24 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

This is the first car on the Moon. Dave Scott and Jim Irwin needed it as badly up there as we need our cars here on Earth. The rover is powered by two batteries driving four 1/4 horsepower electric motors, one located at each wheel. It can go about 10 miles per hour over level terrain and would take Dave and Jim over 15 miles during their stay on the Moon. It had no steering wheel, just a small stick grip somewhat like an airplane's: push it left to turn left, push it forward to go forward, and so forth.

Jim is loading equipment from their lunar module aboard the rover for use away from the landing site. Dave is pointing the high gain antenna toward Earth to allow for good communication and color television pictures to be received back on Earth. Apollo was the first exploration in history where those who remained at home could participate in the actual exploration. How different history might have been if everyone could have been along with Marco Polo, or Ferdinand Magellan or Christopher Columbus. Dave said, "The rover is a real ball to drive. It can go faster than we want to go over this bumpy, rocky and cratered ground." Jim added, "Because of the light gravity up here, it rides less like a car and more like a small boat on a rough sea."

The rover is still there today. Just look midway between the left side and the center of the Moon as it rises. Even without an undercoating, it won't rust one bit for the next billion years.

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