Geek Trivia

Instead Of The Lunar Rover, NASA Considered Using Which Of The Following Instead?

Rocket Boots
Motorized Skis
1980s Cult Classic Film Escape From New York Was Actually Filmed Primarily In?

Answer: Motorcycles

What did astronauts use to get around on the moon? A lunar rover, naturally. We’ve all seen photos of the cool rover that Apollo-era astronauts used to navigate the surface of the moon outside their lunar lander. What could they have used instead? A lunar motorcycle.

Lest you think we’re pulling your leg, we assure you that we are not. As part of the program to develop lunar transportation for the moon expeditions, NASA also developed a lunar motorcycle as a backup plan in case the lunar rover program wasn’t finished in time and the astronauts were unable to take it with them to the moon.

The electric engine lunar motorcycles made it through the development stage and into the testing phase—seen here, undergoing a low-gravity test aboard a NASA KC-135 “vomit comet” test plane—but were ultimately shelved because the lunar rover program completed development in time for deployment with the Apollo missions.

Image courtesy of NASA.