Alexander Kemurdzhian

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Alexander Leonovich Kemurdzhian (4 October 1921, Vladikavkaz - 25 February 2003, St Petersburg)[1][2][3] was a pioneering scientist, of Armenian heritage, in the space flight program of the Soviet Union. As chief designer at the VNIITransMash, he designed the first rovers to explore another world, the Soviet Lunokhod rovers. After the Chernobyl disaster, Kemurdzhian was tapped by Soviet officials as a special advisor with regard to remote vehicles doing exploration and other work in unsafe areas.

Before his death, Kemurdzhian traveled to the United States to visit with engineers from JPL and compare ideas on unmanned planetary rovers.

The Lunokhod programme, and specifically Kemurdzhian's work on it, was the subject of the documentary film "Tank on the Moon"[4] by French film maker Jean Afanassieff. The documentary premiered in the United States on the Science Channel on February 12, 2008.


"Everyone is capable of doing extraordinary things, each in his own way. Some are perfectly happy doing simple things in good spirits; others, however, concentrate on details. We are all different, and it really doesn’t matter if you focus on space travel or work in the fields. What is important is to do what you really want."

— Alexander Kemurdzhian

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