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And now, see what it was like to drive on the Moon

When it comes to cool road trips and awesome driving exploits, Apollo astronauts David Scott, John Young, and Eugene Cernan pretty much have us all beat forever, seeing as how they drove on the Moon and all. At least the video up top gives some idea of what it was like to tool around the Moon.


The short version is that lunar driving is silent, barren, and utterly beyond incredible. The video up top was recored by Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke, the second Apollo crew to get to use the Lunar Rover, although only Young as mission commander got to actually drive the thing. The first half of the video was taken by a stationary Duke as Young drove past, providing the more familiar image of the lunar rover in action at close quarters.

But it's the second half of the video that's really spectacular, as the camera is placed right at the front of the lunar rover and shows the lunar landscape flying past — insofar as anything can fly past at a maximum speed of approximately 10 miles per hour — just as Young and Duke would have seen it 41 years ago and 238,000 miles away. For more, check out NASA's Astronomy Photo of the Day website.

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I think about Apollo 17's rover, at their furthest point out, they were 7.6 kilometers from the LEM. It performed great, but imagine just for a second that it had broken down at the 7.6 kilometer mark. Yes, the astronauts probably would have made it back ok on foot, but just for a second put yourself in that suit, listening to your own breathing, starting that 7.6 kilometer walk/jog. That would be the longest walk anybody has every done!