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NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter sends detailed moon images

NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter sends detailed moon images - NASA's LRO Spacecraft sends first lunar images to Earth.

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NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photo
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Centre/Arizona State University.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has transmitted its first images since reaching lunar orbit and will eventually take photos of all the Apollo landing sites.

Gizmodo, a gadget and technology website, are reporting NASA have said even though they don't have a timeline for viewing the Apollo sites it will happen, a statement which could have a few conspiracy theorists worried.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter features two cameras - a low resolution Wide Angle Camera and a high resolution Narrow Angle Camera. Collectively known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) they were activated on the 30th June and have returned images of a region a few kilometers east of Hell E crater in the lunar highlands south of Mare Nubium. As the moon rotates beneath the spacecraft NASA hope the cameras will gradually build up photographic maps of the lunar surface.

The LROC consists of two narrow angle camera heads which provide 0.5m-scale panchromatic images over a 5-km swath, a wide angle camera head to provide images at a scale of 100m in seven colour bands, and a common Sequence and Compressor System to sequence images and
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Moon photo
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Centre/Arizona State University.
compress their data before transmission to the spacecraft.

Our first images were taken along the moon's terminator - the dividing line between day and night - making us initially unsure of how they would turn out,” said LROC Principal Investigator Mark Robinson of Arizona State University in Tempe. “Because of the deep shadowing, subtle topography is exaggerated, suggesting a craggy and inhospitable surface. In reality, the area is similar to the region where the Apollo 16 astronauts safely explored in 1972. While these are magnificent in their own right, the main message is that LROC is nearly ready to begin its mission.

LRO will help NASA identify safe landing sites for future explorers, locate potential resources, describe the moon's radiation environment and demonstrate new technologies.

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Comments


javam 9 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2009 11:26AM
Depends if NASA have bought a photoshop license recently or not.

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Kako 8 136
8 Jul 2009 4:16PM
You are right that it has the potential to end the controversy once and for all. Will it though? The Japanese satellite orbiting the Moon
had the optical precision necessary to be able to discern a moon lander but didn't apparently find anything. My money is on NASA discovering a 'fault' in the camera just before it is due to overfly the first site. This fault will likely be a recurring one that forces NASA to switch off the high res camera and forces it to rely on the low res one that "unfortunately" is not capable of resolving the level of detail needed!

I shall be delighted to be proved wrong in this case though!
chensuriashi e2
8 132 17 England
8 Jul 2009 11:29PM
Of course we went to the Moon, these twits who believe otherwise are just daft Clangers....Old Chen.

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