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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 01-19-13, 09:18 PM   #1
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Trailer in Space: the next frontier?

well, who knows, really, whether space is the final frontier? maybe time is the final frontier.

but i digress.

a quote from bicycles in war by martin caidin and jay barbree, 1974, hawthorn books, page 148, on the evolution of bicycles:

"And a pair of bicycle wheels made it to the moon. The mission was Apollo 14, when Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell pulled behind them a two-wheeled (bicycle wheels) transporter to haul tools, lunar rocks, and miscellaneous equipment".

the image is from nasa.

along with it i got this :

Apollo 14
Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET)

The MET was a two-wheeled vehicle with a tubular structure 86 inches long, 39 inches wide and 32 inches high when deployed ready to use on the lunar surface. The MET had a single handle for towing and has two legs to provide four-point stability at rest.

The MET was stowed during flight in the Modularized Equipment Storage Assembly (MESA) in the LM descent stage, and was used during both EVAs. Equipment was mounted on the MET for the geology traverse included the lunar hand tool carrier and the geology tools it carried, the closeup stereo camera, two 70 mm Hasselblad cameras, a 16 mm data acquisition camera, film magazines, a dispenser for sample bags, a trenching tool, work table, sample weigh bags and the Lunar Portable Magnetometer.

The MET tires were 4 inches wide and 16 inches in diameter, and were inflated with 1.5 psi nitrogen preflight. The tires were baked at 250 degrees F for 24 hours preflight to remove most of the antioxidants in the rubber. Operating limits for the MET tires are -70 deg. F to +250 deg. F.

Empty weight of the MET was 26 pounds, and the vehicle had a useful payload of about 140 pounds (Earth weight) including the lunar soil samples to be brought back to the LM from the geology traverse.

Estimated travel rate of a crewman towing the MET, as determined by tests with the 1/6-g centrifuge rig at MSC, was about 3.5 feet per second, with a one pound of pull required on level sand.

From Press Kit, Release No: 71-3K, Project: Apollo 14.

looks like a mormon handcart, mostly. and like a bike trailer; now all it needs is a surly moonlander or whatever model it is that has 'moon' in it. and somewhat reminiscent of a rickshaw since it was hand pulled. a comment elsewhere referred to the met as a portable workbench.
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