The Other Moon Landings

The Soviets lost the moon race but won a dram of glory with the first robotic craft to roam another world.

Artist's conception of the Lunokhod rover about to descend ramps from the landing module. (NASA History Office)
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It’s an attitude Dovgan would appreciate. He still looks back on the Lunokhod missions with pride, and is grateful he was a part of them. Whatever worlds rovers might someday explore, his favorite destination is still the one he got to know so intimately three decades ago. “The moon is special,” he says. “She’s such a beauty. I come outside sometimes and look at it. And it seems to me sometimes that it winks at me.” 

About Andrew Chaikin

Andrew Chaikin (andrewchaikin.com) is the author of A Man on the Moon, A Passion for Mars, and other books on space exploration. He has been an adviser to NASA on space policy.

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