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McDONNELL DOUGLAS TO TEST RUSSIAN PLANETARY ROVER

 HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- This week McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) is conducting a series of tests here to evaluate a Russian-built planetary rover.
 In an effort to develop closer ties with leading space organizations of the former Soviet Union, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace is hosting a team of Russian engineers and scientists. The Russian team, which is working on robotic planetary rover vehicles, brought a prototype rover to the United States for testing in Huntington Beach.
 "Through these tests we hope to identify how Western avionics technology can be merged with Russian mobility systems to improve rover performance," said John Garvey, McDonnell Douglas project manager.
 "We believe the Russians' operational experience, as well as their vehicle design and technology, could be applied to future exploration missions. Furthermore while the upcoming efforts will focus on rovers, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace intends to investigate other possible areas of future collaboration."
 The Russian team will consist of representatives from the Russian Academy of Science's Space Research Institute (IKI), the Babakin Center (the primary supplier of interplanetary spacecraft for the former Soviet Union) and the Mobile Vehicle Engineering Institute (VNIITransmash). This team developed and operated two unmanned "Lunakhod" rovers that successfully explored the moon's surface in the 1970s, and is now preparing a "Marsokhod" vehicle for the upcoming Russian Mars '96 mission.
 The six-wheeled prototype being tested in Huntington Beach is already familiar to some Western aerospace experts. The Planetary Society, a non-profit space research organization, introduced the prototype to America during a series of performance demonstrations in the Mojave Desert and a rover exposition in Washington D.C. The Society is also participating in this month's evaluations.
 -0- 1/28/93
 /CONTACT: Anne C. McCauley or Sheila Carter-Hart of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 714-896-6211 or 714-896-1302
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas ST: California IN: ARO SU:

JL -- LA019 -- 0228 01/28/93 11:51 EST
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Date:Jan 28, 1993
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