back to article Game developer's lost electric buggy FOUND ON MOON

A lost, broken-down solar/nuclear robot rover left on the Moon by the Soviet space programme - and nowadays owned by a wealthy computer game developer and space tourist - has been precisely located by NASA's new moon-mapping satellite. NASA LRO imagery showing tracks and final resting place of Lunokhod-2 NASA: Lunar lost …


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  1. Andus McCoatover

    Had to look at the banner.. make sure I wasn't accidentally reading the Sunday Sport. "Crater Freddie ate my buggy" might have done it.

    Incidentally, why isn't the banner green on this day-of-all-days (for the Irish, at least)? Only has taken up on it.

  2. alanbg

    Earth months?

    Five *earth* months? As opposed to, er, lunar months? Which are, hmmm, months.

    1. Eddie Edwards

      Lunar month = 29.53059 days

      Five Earth months = 1.03 lunar months. That's 3% difference, man!

      With 3% difference in trajectory, they probably wouldn't have fallen into that crater.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Your observation

        Is not pedantry, it is accuracy. Choose another icon

        1. Andus McCoatover

          Missed something.

          Didn't get the Five - to One bit.

          Sorry, but I'm retraining to be an Elf And Softy inspecta. Gotta dumb down, else I'll fail the interview, for being overqualified/intelligent/came with my brain.

          Practicing being as thick as pigshit will forward my career no end.

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Carreer oppertoonitees

            "Practicing being as thick as pigshit will forward my career no end."

            Isn't that how one gets promoted into management?

  3. Rob


    Now he has found it he can fund a private mission to the moon to get it repaired, I'd like to see a private investor do a better job than the space agencies of the world. Get private enterprise into space exploration and zero-g manufacturering and prehaps, maybe, Peter F Hamilton can die a happy man :)

    1. Steen Hive

      Private enterprise in space

      You gotta be kidding me:

      The moon's orbit would be a trade secret, the trajectory calculations patented and distributing pictures of the moon could get your internet connection cut off.

      And all the parts of your rockets would probably run on different voltages with incompatible plugs.

      Need a half-joking icon.

      1. Rob

        Stop being silly

        There wouldn't be such a thing as the moon, it would be carved up and sold off at the earlist opportunity and each individual would need a license to look at the sky ;)

  4. Myopic Aardvark


    Shame he seems to want to buy stuff in space and go into space, rather than keeping his games afloat.

    I miss Tabula Rasa :(

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Classic stuff

    There was that fantastic story on the BBC Planets series.

    The Russians sent up a probe and it malfunctioned, they read the telemetry data and it had all gone horribly wrong and they all knew someone would be spending the next 20 year working in a salt-mine in sub-zero temperatures. One scientist yells out "We've landed in something!", to which one of the Soviet Generals standing in the control room shouts back, "Yes, the shit!"!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did he check the conditions of sale?

    Did he purchase the item outright, or just the license to use it on the moon?

    If he (or one of his decendents) recovers it and intalls it on another planetry body will he have to pay again?

    on a more curious note, in the 2300 great moon clear up?

    will he be liaible for the nuclear clean up costs that his old rover will incur as the Chinese Moon Corporation rezones that part of hte moon for residential settlement?

  7. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    But where

    is the WW2 bomber?

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      and also ...

      The USS Eldridge!

      1. Uncle Slacky

        A neat trick...

        ...seeing as how it was sold to the Greeks, then scrapped 11 years ago:

  8. John70

    Apollo 11

    Will they be releasing photos of the Apollo 11 landing site?

    1. Is it Friday yet?
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Apollo 11

      Google already covered this on Google Maps...Nevada Desert somewhere

    2. Andrew Newstead

      Already done...

      This was one of the first things done when LRO went into orbit around the Moon, see;

  9. Wize

    Was is sold on ebay?

    Buyer must collect.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    A while back someone was flogging off real-estate on the moon. Somehow doubt the legality, but Lord British may own the buggy but not the property it's located on.

    1. Paul RND*1000

      Oi you!

      Get your bloody radioactive buggy off my lawn you hoodie waster! It's making my prize geraniums mutate!

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re:Game developer's lost electric buggy FOUND ON MOON


      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        HyperRadioProActive amfM Translation .....

        "wtf?" ... Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 17th March 2010 14:37 GMT

        In a small sentence, the whole essence of Monsieur Bonnet's missive is, AC, ... In the Beginning, was there always Imagination to Create with IT, the Universe and Worlds Full of Plants and Animals Alien to Beings Ignorant in Arrogance?

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          I thought Lucien was saying,

          "Is it cause I is black?"

          1. Anonymous Coward

            @ Robert Carnegie

            You, sir... etc, etc.

            Well done. Anon because I AM, in fact, a coward and wish to remain a living/breathing one.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Selling is forbidden

        The comment in question has been picked up and nixed and the user's account zapped. But er, just so you know, you don't get to demand comments are removed. It's up to us. Cheers.

  12. M7S
    Big Brother

    Now that they've got it on camera

    and the law was recently changed so they dont have to put the ticket ON the allegedly offending vehicle, he'll get a letter. For no SORN if nothing else.

    And for "using a motor vehicle elsewhere than on a road", that's £60.

  13. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    In a way I'm pleased that the "Bad Astronomy" blog doesn't have this yet

    Because if I went -there- and posted, "Sirius B, Dude, Where's My Car", they would sneer. Or politely correct me. I don't know which is worse. Well, I suppose the sneering.

    1. robert cooke
      Thumb Up

      they must be tossers then.

      That's hilarious, get's my vote and luckily i've just cleaned my cofffe cup for tomorrow, or it'd have been all over my keyboard.

  14. Stevie


    Stupid Russians.

    All they had to do was to mount a small fan in front of the radiator so they could blow the dirt off as is accumulated.

    I thought all these blokes had ПхДs?

    So much for a university education.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Fans move air

      Just remind me again how much air there is on the moon?

      1. Oninoshiko

        not enough

        to hear the joke zooming over?

    2. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      You seem to be missing a joke icon there

      I mean, you can't actually be serious about using a fan on a planetary body (if you count Luna as such) that has no atmosphere for it to blow around?

      1. SynnerCal

        Moon fan

        Just a thought - maybe when "Stevie" suggested putting a fan on the nuke-toting commie kart, maybe he wasn't referring to an "air movement device" but rather an exiled "dissident" with spacesuit and a brush. So that's "fan" in the lunatic sense of the word (someone who really, really likes the Moon).

        This is what I've seen referred to as "Chinese engineering" - using cheap manpower to save having to design some fiendish device.

    3. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      in space, no one can hear you fart

      that is all.

    4. Marcus Aurelius

      Have you seen?

      How much dust accumulates in the fan of your average PC?

      Fans attract dust, not dispel it!

    5. Etrien Dautre

      To Bite The Duster... Or Not To Bite.

      ПХД is impossible without a properly installed прапорщик. They're mostly colonels and generals who were running the moonbuggy, so why surprise there was noone to wipe the surface with a simple duster. + из разработчиков, наверное, в армейке никто не был. So the success of the operation is great (in much, for the Soviet propaganda) and the fail is epic.

  15. Blake St. Claire

    Storage Fees

    It may be his, but it's been sitting on my property. If he wants it he'll have to pay the storage fees.

  16. Seanmon
    Thumb Up


    Most satisfying pointless boffinry.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Amazing picture

    Totally photshopped. We all know that landing on the moon is faked

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Return to your cave, troll

      Or to your delusions, whichever applies.

  18. Paul RND*1000

    Begs the question

    How stupidly wealthy (or indeed, wealthy and stupid) do you have to be to buy a robotic rover that's broken. And lost. On another planetary body entirely.

    Wonder if he'd be interested in purchasing a Beagle, too?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Oh come now... the evening soirée draws to a close and the gentlemen enjoy a drink and try to out-do each other, I think "I own a 'slightly damanged' nuclear-powered buggy on the moon, no seriously, I got it from the Ruskies at an auction" is going to be a show-stopper. And *now* he can even tell them where it is!

  19. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Ah, days gone by...

    Lord British and Ultima - that brings me back to my youth!

    As a fan of this game series, I know Garriott has not only visited but has also taken possession of his Russian moon rover. It is very obvious to me, as it should also be to anyone else who has played these games.

    Garriott stepped into a moongate and emerged on the Moon as Lord British. Duh.

  20. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet

    It's been clamped and it's gonna be towed any day now.

  22. Malc


    Anyone know the surface distance travelled/final displacement of the Mars rovers?

    In the standard El Reg unit of course.

    1. Mike Richards

      Mars Rovers

      7.8km for Spirit, 19.3km (ongoing) for Opportunity.

      It's worth remembering that Lunokhod was not an autonomous vehicle. With the exception of some tilt sensors, it was driven remotely from a control centre in the Crimea - the 2 second delay was just about bearable for its drivers.

      One of the purposes of the Lunokhods was to place accurate laser reflectors on the Moon that would be used to measure changes in the distance to the Moon as its orbit continues to spiral outwards. Lunokhod 1's reflector apparently worked for a while but hasn't been seen for a very long time. If anyone is interested, Number 1 lasted 11 months, but only went 10km.

      One correction to the original article. The Soviets used Lunar Orbiter photos for navigation and landing site identification, not Apollo.

      1. Lewis Page 1 (Written by Reg staff)

        God dammit Richards!

        I quote NASA:

        The Soviets later revealed that during a conference on planetary exploration in Moscow, 29 January to 2 February 1973 (that is, after the landing of Luna 21), an American scientist had given photos of the lunar surface around the Luna 21 landing site to a Soviet engineer in charge of the Lunokhod 2 mission. These photos, taken prior to the Apollo 17 landing, were later used by the "driver team" to navigate the new rover on its mission on the Moon.

  23. Stevie


    It will be a bit disturbing if the radiator turns out to be clogged with Clangers, Froglets or bits of Soup Dragon. I mean, there's like a three-second lag between seeing and avoiding with an Earth-Moon telepresence set-up. It must've been like trying to play Mariocart Wii over a dial-up line.

  24. Harvey Trowell

    Apropos Lazarus

    The New Scientist ran a story a couple of weeks ago suggesting that earlier reports of Spirit's death may be exaggerated. Nasa got it moving again and it may yet come out of hibernation in October and trundle on.

    Did the Reg run the story? I can't find it in the Space section, and I do like to get all my non-terrestrial motor vehicle news in the same place, so what gives?

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      Spirit News

      XKCD on the subject:



  25. Michael Necaise

    clean up

    Problem with owning a "expensive, broken, radioactive Soviet moon-car" is that, you're responsible for it. Leaking, radioactive, junker sitting in public view.... City council will tow it then make him pay for the clean up.

  26. Andus McCoatThen

    Come on now... Accuracy!

    Obviously the radiator isn't clogged with dust, that would be too easy. In the ensuing struggle and wheel-spinning effort to dig itself out of the crater, those sharp wheels did the only thing they were originally designed for, before being pressed into lunar service as tires:

    They grated the cheese and covered the heater in that. Once it melted into a mozzarella-thick coating, there was only one thing left to do - Find some pepperoni!

    Mine's the one with the wedge of Lunar-Brie in the pocket.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Careless Lord British

    It belongs to the Guardian now.

  28. David Stever

    other wreckage

    I can hardly wait to have the images of the Ranger and Luna crash sites- they should look like relatively fresh craters. I think that every lunar orbiter also ended in a crash, and they'll be harder to find

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but...

    What's the betting it's been Wheel Clamped?

  30. max allan

    Apollo missions?

    Will we finally be able to see that people really went to the moon and the bits and bobs Apollo missions left behind?

    Of course, if NASA could fake the moon landing videos presumably they can fake some photos of the site from orbit.

    I can just about believe we made it, I can't believe we've never been back.

    "Grr" to space exploration policies.

  31. Jon Robinson

    isn't it on Streetview yet?

    come on, I mean clearly google aren't big enough if they haven't already streetview/mapped the moon as well as the earth, and there's only the one road there anyway (you can see the tracks).

  32. gautam
    Paris Hilton

    What abt US junk?

    I mean the fluttering flag and other debris ? Surely they were there? Does it mean Soviets made it and US faked it?

    Pairs, cos she's no fake.

  33. mandaliet

    Lunar Cod

    Around the time of the Lonokhod mission, the UK telly news was also full of the Icelandic Cod War. So in my tiny eight-year-old brain I began to believe that while the Icelanders were trying to chase our trawlers away, the Soviets had found fish on the moon. What can I say, I had only recently disentangled Houston (we have a problem) from Euston (where the night sleeper to Glasgow goes from).

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imperialist Maps

    It never ceases to amaze me how The Russians had such a lack of resources and technological edges and still got by pretty well. It's a bit like looking at the demo scene where people are still doing amazing things on commodores 64. Yes, there's fancier stuff around, but knowing the hardware it's quite amazing what people can make it do. In that respect, most of our current hardware and software doesn't do half it could do. Which just goes to show how we don't get to go to the moon now and The Russians did, thirty years ago.

  35. Fremma

    How much?

    So how much did he pay for the buggy at auction? Was it a case of he happened to be passing Southeby's at the time and paid out a couple of quid for a lark or did he bankroll an entire ex-Soviet state for the next decade?

  36. Solomon Grundy

    Why are there never any colour photos?

    I just took that comment from the NASA site, which is filled with some of the funniest things I've ever read (well, maybe not ever, but they still make me feel a little smarter).

    If you're bored enough to slog through all of them, it's worth it:

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