Moon Buggy (Space: 1999)

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Moon Buggy
Moon Buggy (Space 1999).jpg
The Moon Buggy as seen in "Breakaway", full-size modified Amphicat version
First appearance "Breakaway"
Affiliation Moonbase Alpha
General characteristics
Maximum speed 15 miles per hour (24 km/h)–
20 miles per hour (32 km/h)
Chassis Wheeled
Power Electric

The Moon Buggy is a fictional vehicle that appears in the 1970s British science-fiction television series Space: 1999. It is Moonbase Alpha's all-purpose land vehicle. Capable of operating in both atmosphere and vacuum, it is used for long-distance travel, and travel to locations that are inaccessible to the Eagle Transporter spacecraft.

The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), deployed in the course of the final three NASA Apollo missions from 1971 to 1972, was popularly known as the "Moon Buggy".

Vehicle operation[edit]

In the series, Moon Buggies are driven with two handles, each controlling one side of the vehicle. Hence, similar to the manner in which tanks are steered, manoeuvres are accomplished by pushing one stick forwards and pulling the other backwards. They are normally driven by two people, although single driver operation is equally possible. Buggies may be deployed from airlocks or the cargo holds of Eagle Transporters, permitting use on Earth-type planets. The dashboard normally houses only an ignition switch, but some Buggies are fitted with additional controls, including airlock switches. The rear section carries specialised mission equipment.

Prior to the events of the first episode, Moon Buggies' everyday functions include transporting workers to and from Moonbase Alpha's Nuclear Disposal Area 2 to check radiation levels. As seen in the episode "The Last Enemy", they can be controlled remotely if required; this is demonstrated when a Buggy packed with explosives concealed inside an empty spacesuit is steered remotely into a hostile alien gunship, whereupon the devices are detonated.

Filming vehicle[edit]

Special effects technicians Brian Johnson (left) and Nick Allder (right) with three Moon Buggy filming models

The full-size Moon Buggy filming vehicle was a modified amphibious vehicle called the Amphicat, which is also featured in the children's TV series Banana Splits. A number of scale models, complete with miniature astronauts, were also used by the Space: 1999 special effects unit; they included motorised and remote-controlled versions.[1]

Although not publicly displayed, the original filming vehicle is currently owned by the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, Cumbria, northern England.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Space: 1999 Catacombs – Reference guide to Moon Buggy filming models