Lunar auto repair depends on the sticky stuff


When you’ve got problems with your lunar rover you can’t just “trust the Midas touch”. Every unexpected repair that happens outside of the Earth’s atmosphere is a hack and it seems the common ingredient in each one is Duct tape. If you’ve seen the movie Apollo 13 you know it was used in making a square carbon dioxide filter fit into a round filter socket. [XD] let us know about another hack where NASA used Duct tape to replace a fender on the lunar rover during the Apollo 17 mission.

The rover kicks up a lot of moon dust as it cruises around on its wire tires. When a rear fender started to come loose it was secured with duct tape. We delighted in watching a moon-man tear off chunks of tape for the fix, shown in the video after the break. When the fender finally flew off of the vehicle, the engineers on the ground came up with a way to replace it using laminated maps and more duct tape.

We’ve been critical of the use of duct tape in the past. But when you’re in a bind, accept no substitutes.


  1. monkeyslayer56 says:

    this proves it DUCT TAPE FTW!!!

  2. kirov says:

    why does everyone had such a duct tape fetish, its like superglue: doesn’t stick very well, horribly messy sticks to things you won’t want it to. On top of that it falls apart after a few months and leaves a nasty residue.

  3. Bill Doorley says:

    Actually the lunar surface crews of all three Apollo “J” missions (those were the ones with lunar rovers) managed to break a fiberglass fender, and all three crews solved the problem with a spare map or checklist and some duct tape.

  4. Andy Twiss says:

    If anyone’s interested, this weeks Mythbusters is an entire hour dedicated to the sticky stuff :)

  5. Seth says:

    Moon dust is like super tiny jagged pieces of glass. It gets into equipment and completely destroys it. This was a continual problem on Apollo missions and also for any current projects.

    Moon rocks are cool, but moon dust is a bitch.

  6. Aaron says:

    [sarcasm]This must be fake since we all know that we didn’t land on the moon.[/sarcasm]

  7. sean says:

    how did he rip the duct tape, we all know you need to bite it to rip it lol

  8. addictronics says:

    @Aaron Actually if you look at the pic, there are no tire tracks from the vehicle rolling forward or backward….. hmmmm

  9. emilio says:

    go pro. go gaff tape.

  10. Dan says:

    Where are the tracks in the sand? It seems the buggy has been lowered in place with a crane.

  11. nope says:

    really old news. note the tape was thinned to reduce the weight..

  12. Other parts included in your “Lunar Emergency Kit” are a paper clip, and a stick of chewing gum.

  13. 3ldon says:

    Gaff tape is only superior to crappy off brand duct tape, we use it precisely because doesn’t stick very well to say, carpet, sound stages, microphone cable etc.

    FYI: The tracks are clearly visible, the lunar rover had 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering, the back right tire didn’t move but 1/2 meter.

  14. CodeASM says:

    They posted it… Happy ME ! XD

  15. hairyjuan says:

    There, I fixed it…. ;)

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