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A CJ-3A On The Moon


On October 4, 1957 the space race began as the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik 1. The public wanted to know more about space exploration so magazines of the period provided a constant flow of related topics. The May 1963 issue of Popular Science published an interesting article about an experiment with a vehicle remote control system that could be used on the moon.

The article "I Drove a Jeep "on the Moon"", by Erik H. Arctander,
began on page 90. He explained how difficult it was to pilot a vehicle by remote control with only a TV screen view. Although the vehicle was actually nearby, there was a built in 2-1/2 second delay between any driver input to visual confirmation of the result on the TV screen. The time delay simulated round trip radio control and video signal propagation to the moon and back.

A CJ-3A was selected as the test bed vehicle, probably due to it's low gearing and 4 wheel drive capability.

To the left is the CJ-3A fully loaded and ready for the moon (simulation). The TV and radio transmitters and receivers overhang the rear and are supported by the Jeep's drawbar. The remainder of the equipment is located within the vehicle.

In the photos on the right a 1962 New York license plate is visible, as is the
hardware for remote control steering.

A turn signal switch is mounted to the steering column. It is very important to signal your intentions while driving on the moon!
I wonder what is written on the oval tag affixed to the left side of the dashboard? The transfer case shift levers have been relocated toward the rear from their original position. The reason is not clear. There must be some type of drive coupling installed between the transmission and transfer case that required the move.

In the lower right photo a Novi engine speed governor has an electronic actuator that took the place of it's normal dashboard T-handle control.

Judging by the characteristics of this Jeep it is probably a 1950 model year CJ-3A.

To view the entire Popular Science article click here.

Thanks to user "Tony103" of The CJ-2A Page Forum  for pointing out this great article.

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