Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
LRO Snaps low res images of Apollo landing sites.
Better res to come as orbit gets refined and equipment fine-tuned.
Originally Posted by Space.com
New Photos Reveal Apollo 11 at First Moon Landing Site
By SPACE.com staff
posted: 17 July 2009
12:44 pm ET
For stubborn folks who still believe the Apollo astronauts never landed on the moon, NASA has new images - definitive proof - that clearly show the Apollo 11 lander that carried the first astronauts to the lunar surface 40 years ago.
The images, taken by NASA's first lunar scout in more than a decade, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), show the Eagle lunar lander at Tranquility Base, where Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on July 20, 1969. They were snapped between July 11 and 15 of this month and released by NASA today.
The image does not reveal whether the U.S. flag planted there is still standing or not.
Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle.
Image width: 282 meters (about 925 ft.)
The Apollo 11 landing site wasn't the only one that the LRO camera (dubbed LROC) photographed: It also snapped pictures of the landing sites of the other five Apollo landings. (The remaining site, for Apollo 12, is expected to be photographed in the coming weeks.) The lunar modules for all of these sites imaged are visible as small dots; their shadows can also be seen. A few more details can be seen in the image of the Apollo 14 landing site, including scientific instruments and astronaut footprints.
"The LROC team anxiously awaited each image," said LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson of Arizona State University. "We were very interested in getting our first peek at the lunar module descent stages just for the thrill -- and to see how well the cameras had come into focus. Indeed, the images are fantastic and so is the focus."
As LRO gradually descends to a lower orbit, the images will improve and provide closer looks at the lunar landing sites.
... continues ...
See all the Apollo sites at this LRO page
All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.