This week marks the 49th anniversary of Appollo 15 Astronauts using a vehicle to drive on the moon. Of course, we all want to go with them, and through the magic of our imagination, we can. We do have to follow a few rules, and so this list has been developed to keep you from causing a tear in the time continuum. Hop aboard the imagination time thingy, and off we go.
Top Ten Things Not to Do During a Lunar Rover Mission in 1971.
10 If you go, do not ask Dave Scott, the mission commander, if you can take Jim Irwin’s place on the ride. If you do, at best, Dave may not hear you through the sunspot static. At worse, Dave will let you drive. (That was smart, Michael. You have no idea how to work this thing, and you are now headed for that vast crater. Of course, this buggy can be replaced for $10,000,000. You can pay for it out of your book royalties. Hahaha)
9 If you go, do not ignore Tiny the WWF champ when he gives you a direction from mission control. If you do, at best, Tiny will provide you with one more chance. At worst, you think you are safe from Tiny up here on the moon. (Feel that heat, Mark. That is the pre-ignition warm-up of the rocket in your pants. You see, Tiny can put you in orbit. It looks like the countdown has begun.)
8 If you go, do not complain about the 8 MPH speed of the lunar rover. If you do, at best, you won’t get another ride. At worst, the commander will take you out to the furthest point and leave you there. (You now need to know what “walk back limit” means, Mica. It is the furthest point you can go and yet walk back to the lunar lander before your oxygen runs out. I hope you can hold your breath cause you were dropped off outside the walk back limit.)
7 If you go, do not mess with the equipment. If you do, at best you won’t mess up anything. At worst, you will tinker with the Sun shadow device. (That was the one thing not to touch, Moses. It is the navigational device that keeps the lunar rover in contact with the lander using the sun. The purpose is so the rover doesn’t get lost. Good thing there is still a gyro device, or you might get a tour of the dark side of the moon.)
6 If you go, do not plug your phone into the battery system to play tunes. If you do, at best, someone will tell you to knock it off. At worst, playing your music will wear down the batteries. (The only power cells carried on the mission are 36 volt, silver-zinc potassium hydroxide non-rechargeable batteries. They are suitable for a 57-mile range. Sure hope you are not out that far, Marcus.)
5 If you go, do not ask if we are there yet. If you do, at best, Dave Scott will ignore you. At worst, he will finally give up and tell you to walk back to the lander. (Since the maximum distance traveled on the lunar rover during the Apollo mission was 17.25 miles, Miguel it is no wonder Dave wants you out of the vehicle.)
4 If you go, do not ask how far to the next rest area. If you do, at best, Dave Scott will be talking to Mission Control. At worst, he will give you additional instructions on the capabilities of your suit. (You need to relax, Mitchell. There are no rest areas on the moon. Gives new meaning to the term, “hold it.”)
3 If you go, do not tell Dave Scott someone stole the steering wheel. If you do, at best, Dave will think you are joking. At worst, he’ll realize you know nothing about the lunar rover. (The rover is controlled by a T-stick controller, Milo. Push forward and you go ahead. Right or left to go right or left. Pull back, and the brakes are engaged. Press that little button while pulling back, and the rover goes into reverse. Dave is now asking you to get out of the control seat. You blame him?)
2 If you go, do not let Dave Scott know you have AAA in case of a breakdown. If you do, at best, he’ll think you are nuts. At worst, he will call Mission Contro and ask permission to lock you in the lander. (The whole idea of AAA on the moon is laughable, Miles. The fact that you said that out loud gives Dave grave concerns about the mission safety.)
1 If you go, do not offer to play your road trip CD. If you do, at best, you will get a polite decline. At worst, you’ll now have to explain what a CD is. (The CD was first sold in 1982, Marshall. The crew has never heard of it. It is not going to help to turn up the volume on Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.” You have these guys concerned.)