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Polaris Builds a Working Replica of an Apollo Lunar Rover

by Paul Strauss
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There have been lots of cool things going on to celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing, but this might just be the coolest. Off-road vehicle maker Polaris Industries created a virtually perfect replica of the original NASA Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV), which first appeared on the moon in 1971.

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Polaris teamed up with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama to recreate not only the vehicle’s familiar looks but made a version that can actually drive. It can accelerate, brake, and has four-wheel Ackerman steering, just like the original vehicles that are still sitting up there on the lunar surface today.

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To build the replica LRV, they first created a custom chassis, then scavenged parts from a variety of Polaris vehicles, including snowmobiles, motorcycles, Slingshots, ATVs, side-by-sides, electric GEM’s and military vehicles. In order to complete the look, they even got their hands on the molds that were used to cast the fenders on the original LRVs.

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Polaris hasn’t shared any video of their LRV in action, but it would be pretty awesome to take a ride on this amazing custom-built vehicle (while wearing a spacesuit, of course). The replica made its public debut at the USSRC Apollo Celebration Car Show last week in Huntsville, and is expected to appear at at a few more events throughout the year, including a lap around the Talladega Speedway this October.

[Photos by Raeley Stevenson]



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