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The Apollo Lunar Rover is an intermediate challenge Metal Earth model. It consists of 49 pieces on two sheets of metal. The last three Apollo missions carried moon buggies.
Each Metal Earth model is laser etched in meticulous detail on 11 cm (4.33") metal sheets. Pop out the pieces by hand (or use wire cutters to get especially crisp lines), bend the tabs using needle-nose pliers, and fit them together as shown in the simple pictorial instructions. For maximum dramatic effect, display your model on the LED Display Base or the Solar Spinner (sold separately, see the Related Products below).
Please note that Metal Earth models have sharp edges and are not suitable for children under 14.
Are you curious...?
The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) was originally conceived by Wernher von Braun, who in a 1952-54 series of Collier's Weekly articles described a six-week stay on the moon featuring 10-ton tractor-trailers to move supplies. As the Apollo program took shape in the 1960s, so did the design for the lunar rover. Early concepts called for two Saturn V launches per mission -- the first would carry the crew and their lunar habitation module, while the second would send a large, heavy truck carrying all of the supplies astronauts would need on the surface.
Saturn V launches were expensive, though, so the idea of a pressurized vehicle that could support two astronauts for trips lasting up to two weeks was reluctantly shelved when Congress limited NASA to one launch per mission. Now the lunar rover had to fit within the landing module. Various configurations finally led to the familiar moon buggy's approval in 1969, shortly before Apollo 11 made the first successful landing. The final vehicle weighed only 460 pounds (210 kg).
Two years and $38 million later, Boeing delivered four rovers for Apollos 15, 16, 17, and the ultimately canceled 18. Various test models were also built. Finally, Apollo 15 brought the first rover to the moon in July 1971, greatly expanding the area that astronauts could travel. Safety concerns forbade the crew from driving farther than walking distance from the LEM, though, so even though it covered 17.25 miles (27.76 km), it never strayed more than 3.1 miles (5 km) from the lander. The rovers were designed to top out at 8 mph (13 kph), although Gene Cernan set a speed record of 11.2 mph (18 kph).