Lot #2201
Lunar Rover Harmonic Drive Unit

Harmonic drive unit designed for the Lunar Rover
This lot has closed

Estimate: $5000+


Harmonic drive unit designed for the Lunar Rover

Harmonic drive unit designed for use on the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), measuring approximately 5″ x 3″ x 3″, with the toothed outer spline ring marked "734L649/B, S/N 8," and bearings on the internal shaft marked "NDH XB:16864 USA 70B 8" and "NDH XB-16864 USA 70B-17." The unit is displayed on a wooden stand with affixed description: "Harmonic Drive, 'Used on the Lunar Rover,' Device functioned as a transmission. One was installed in the hub of each wheel. They were welded to electric motors turning at 10,000 rpms. The gear ratio is 80 to 1, it enabled the vehicle to travel at a top speed of 15 MPH. Cost of each device to NASA was approximately $57K."

Includes several associated materials from the career of an engineer who worked on the project, highlighted by a framed 29.75″ x 22″ display featuring an original embroidered "Lunar Roving Vehicle Team Member" patch; an Apollo 8 medallion containing metals carried on the mission, affixed to its original presentation letter which bears Frank Borman's facsimile signature; a 1970 letter from the USM Corporation's Gear Systems Division presenting the Apollo 8 medallion in recognition of "untiring efforts to the Lunar Vehicle Program and the Apollo 15 mission"; and a photo of Buzz Aldrin, featuring a pre-printed signature. Additional materials include a gold-tone LRV lapel pin; a blank NASA-MSFC Lunar Roving Vehicle log book; two NASA Flight Awareness newsletters from April 1971; a print of an artist's rendering of the rover; a NASA "Critical Space Item" shipping label; a 1976 Kennedy Space Center sticker; a USAF "Offense by Defense" patch; and ink signatures of Apollo 15 moonwalkers Dave Scott and Jim Irwin taped to a glossy 10 x 8 photo of the Lunar Rover trainer. In overall very good to fine condition.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Science & Technology and Space Exploration
  • Dates: #588 - Ended July 16, 2020