Sunday, May 16, 2010

Moon Buggy Repair: One of the many uses for duct tape

I've heard jokes before about different things duct tape could be used for, but I didn't know one of those uses was moon buggy repair, and yes, I do mean the kind of moon buggy that astronauts would use on the moon.

Back in 1972, astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt landed on the moon in a mountain-ringed valley named Taurus-Littrow.  At one point during their mission, part of a fender was accidentally torn off when Cernan brushed up against it and a hammer in his shin pocket caught it.  And apparently, a moon buggy with a missing fender can create a big problem when you're driving it on the moon.

According to NASA, here is why:

The reason is moondust. When a rover rolls across the lunar surface, it kicks up a plume of moondust in its wake. (Astronauts called them "rooster tails.") Without a fender, the rover would be showered by a spray of dark, abrasive grit. White spacesuits blackened by dust could turn into dangerous absorbers of the fierce lunar sun with astronauts overheating inside. Sharp-edged dust wiped off visors would scratch the glass, making helmets difficult to see out of. Moondust also had an uncanny way of working itself into hinges, latches and joints, rendering them useless.

The solution? Duct tape!


Read more about it at NASA's website here.

2 comments:

  1. That was a great find--very cool. Do you suppose they taped that up on the lot where they filmed the landing? Hee hee (just teasing ya, Jeff!) I had an older brother that used to drive me nuts. Whenever he said the sky was blue, I debated it was silver. Well, one time to piss him off, I refused to believe we landed on the moon. He would get all red-faced and irate and start this big long lecture about John Wayne, apple pie, the ingenuity of America, the stars and stripes... well, you get the picture of what my brother was like. I would giggle inside as I said asanine things about how it was proven we didn't land there because of the shadows and the way the flag hung... He took it all quite seriously. Just before he died, I told him it was a great joke and he laughed so hard. It was the best laugh we ever shared and we were two who laughed a lot! It made him deliriously happy to know I wasn't a nitwit.

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  2. Well I do enjoy reading a good conspiracy theory, but I've never taken the moon landing hoax conspiracy theory seriously.

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