I was just surfing the web and found out that, in addition to several astronauts, the inaugural parade will include NASA's new Lunar Electric Rover (LER...you all know that NASA stands for National Association of Silly Acronyms I assume). The LER is not exactly your father's lunar rover. The original little rovers could cover a few miles. This rover is about the size of a pickup trick and is designed to support two astronauts on 14 day treks across the lunar surface. The cabin is pressurized so astronauts can wear normal clothes inside or suit up to go out and explore on foot.
Now I know that there are those who question the utility of the space program. Looking up the specs of this guy, they are developing new high capacity batteries for it. These batteries could power a sedan for about 500 miles without recharging. The research being done on this vehicle has a direct, short term practical application here on Earth.
I sure look forward to seeing this guy driving down the street for the inaugural parade tomorrow!
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.