Monday, July 07, 2008

Big, Heavy Russian Space Vehicle on eBay

Big and heavy are not typically used to describe spacecraft. To be fair, this is not an actual space explorer but a toe stubbingly heavy and awkward toy from Russia.

From eBay auction:

You can decorate your home, cafe ...etc by this unusual vehicle. Many years ago previous owner worked at Space museum at Zhitomir city, he got it there. The body was made of metal, also I want to say - it have many small engines, gears, lamps... I can't test it - I don't know how I can turn ON / control it. Cosmetic condition is good, if you want - you can repaint it.

Given the spacesuits, it appears the passenger compartment is not pressurized. Should have made it a convertible!

Not surprisingly, the Mars Explorer does not seem to work. With that diminutive motor and complex gearing, I would be surprised if the Explorer worked when it was brand new.

Ok, it is not fair to judge the entire CCCP space program by a single children's toy but, my goodness, that is a shoddy looking drive assembly. The gear teeth appear to be stamped into the wheel - a cost savings technique I don't believe I have ever seen. Hundreds, if not a thousand, individual parts that come together in a package that is completely hopeless.

Makes you reevaluate the nuclear threat of the Cold War. In retrospect, the Russians may have been under greater peril than the rest of the world.

eBay Auction for CCCP Mars Explorer
(Thanks, Andy!)