KENT, Wash. — The City of Kent’s newest lunar rover wouldn’t stand up to the radiation-blasted conditions on the surface of the moon, but it’s designed to endure a testing ground that’s nearly as harsh: a park playground.
A kid-friendly reproduction of the moon buggies that transported astronauts around the lunar surface during the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions of 1971-1972 had its unveiling on Nov. 14 here at the Accesso Showare Center, which more typically plays host to the Seattle Thunderbirds’ hockey games.
Boeing historian and archivist Mike Lombardi says the rover is a slapshot score.
“Two thumbs up,” he told GeekWire. “It’s a wonderful replica.”
That’s high praise, considering that Boeing built and tested the real-life lunar rovers for NASA in Kent. Three of the two-seated contraptions are still sitting on the lunar surface, and won landmark status from King County in July by virtue of their Kent connection. State historical status is due to be sought for the rovers next March.