In 1973, the Soviet Union despatched the Lunokhod-2 rover to the moon. It was a Solar/Nuclear powered robotic rover which explored the surface of the moon and took a number of scientific readings. It was primarily powered by fold-out solar panels, and was kept from freezing during the 14 day long Lunar Night by a Polonium-210 radioisotope heater. Having travelled thirty seven kilometres, it was finally bogged down when it’s earth-bound controllers accidentally drove it into a small crater, which did not show up on the maps available at the time. In their attempts to free Lunokhod-2, they managed to throw lunar dirt up onto the rover, covering up the radiators which resulted in overheating, and the eventual death of the rover.
Earlier this week, Dr Phil Stooke from the University of Western Ontario found the rover while poring over the most recently released set of images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). As you can see on the image to the left, the rover’s tracks stand out clearly, making the rover very easy to find. The black arrow points to a churned up region where the rover turned around and backtracked, which Dr Stooke originally misidentified as the Rover itself, and the large white arrow points to the actual rover.
For more information, read this in-depth article at Universe Today