Fifty years ago today, on July 30, 1971, Apollo 15 landed on the moon.
It was the fourth manned lunar landing but the very first to include a car. Amazing but true. It was folded-up and attached to a stronger version of the Lunar Module for the trip to the moon. The Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV in NASA-speak, gave the lunar astronauts (David Scott and James Irwin) wheels, greatly improving their mobility and extending their exploration range. I remember that they also had lots of fun driving it around like a dune buggy. They traveled about 17 miles during their stay of almost 3 days on the moon. The battery-powered buggy was a great success, and NASA also included it on Apollo 16 and 17, the two remaining manned moon missions.
The camera on the LRV allowed us to see for the first time the launch of the Ascent Stage of the Lunar Module when the astronauts left the moon on the journey home.
Also for the first time, this mission launched a separate satellite into lunar orbit. The Particles and Fields sub-satellite was spring-launched from the Service Module just before the astronauts left lunar orbit for earth.
Those were the days – Much more info in NASA’s mission summary here: