Ever wanted to drive on the Moon?
Apollo 15, the fourth crewed mission to land on the Moon, was the first Apollo mission to utilize a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).  

The LRV allowed astronauts to travel much farther from the lunar module than in previous missions. Using the LRV, Apollo 15 astronauts explored the Hadley-Apennine region, where they surveyed and sampled material and surface features in a preselected area of the region. They also setup and activated surface experiments, and conducted inflight experiments and photographic tasks from lunar orbit. 

Learn more about science in orbit

Meet the Astronauts

Left to right: Jim Irwin, David Scott, and Al Worden pose with mockups of a lunar module (LM) and a lunar roving vehicle (LRV). (NASA)

The Hadley-Apennine Region 

26.13222° N latitude, 3.63386° E longitude 

Hadley Rille/Apennines

The Apennine escarpment—highest on the Moon—is higher above the flatlands than the east face of the Sierra Nevadas in California and the Himalayan front rising above the plains of India and Nepal. The landing site had been selected to allow the astronauts to drive from the Lunar Module (LM) to the Apennine front during two of the Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs). 

Hadley Rille is a V-shaped gorge paralleling the Apennines along the eastern edge of Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains). The rille meanders down from an elongated depression in the mountains and across the Palus Putredinis (Swamp of Decay), merging with a second rille about 62 miles (100 kilometers) to the north. Geologists were curious about the origin of the Moon's curved rilles, and some scientists believe the rilles were caused by some sort of fluid flow mechanism—possible volcanic. 

Diagram based on Apollo 15 Traverses Lunar Photomap Edition 2, Sheet 41B4S4[25]NASA. Hi-res base photograph NASA AS15-9377[P].
Object Highlight Lunar Roving Vehicle

The Lunar Roving Vehicle carried two astronauts along with their life-support systems, scientific equipment, and lunar samples on the airless, low gravity surface of the Moon. Astronauts would operate the LRV using the controls on the Instrument Panel. It had a range of about 92 kilometers (57 miles), allowing astronauts to place instruments and collect samples away from the immediate area of the lunar module. The vehicle had power for up to 78 hours of operation. 

This particular unit was a non-operable, full-scale mock-up built for display purposes from mostly surplus parts. It was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1975. 

View lunar rover

More from Apollo 15 in the Collection

Command Module, Apollo 15 Object Helmet, EV, Irwin, Apollo 15 Object Sunglasses, Survival Kit, Apollo 15 Object Inertial Measurement Unit, SC112, Apollo 15 Object

More Stories from Apollo 15

The Apollo 15 Command Module "Endeavour", with Astronauts David R. Scott, Alfred M. Worden and James B. Irwin aboard, nears a safe touchdown in the mid-Pacific Ocean to end lunar landing mission. 


Splashdown! During the re-entry and descent of the Apollo 15 Command Module, one of its three parachutes failed to open fully. As a result, the descent velocity was faster than expected. Luckily, the crew was unharmed. 

Watch the 'splashdown'

Sample 15016 in the lab. The Museum’s rock is a piece cut from this larger rock. (NASA Photo)

This rock has a mischievous history. Every rock can tell us a story, once we know how to read it. We can learn the history of how it formed and when, what it is made of, and how it has weathered the eons. But this particular Moon rock also has another story, a story of how two visitors from another world happened to collect it.

About the rock

Apollo 15 Soar Together @ Air and Space

Explore these fun and educational activities from our Apollo 15 themed Soar Together @ Air and Space. 

View educational resources