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  LRO at the Moon: Viewing, questions, comments (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   LRO at the Moon: Viewing, questions, comments
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-23-2004 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LRO at the Moon: mission viewing, questions, comments
This thread is intended for comments and questions regarding the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the updates published under the topic: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is an unmanned mission to create a comprehensive atlas of the moon's features and resources to aid in the design of future crewed lunar missions.

LRO follows in the footsteps of Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor as predecessors to the Apollo missions that searched for the best possible landing sites.

LRO focuses on the selection of safe landing sites, identification of lunar resources, and studies of how the lunar radiation environment will affect humans.

mensax
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posted 12-23-2004 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We will definitely be able to spot the LM descent stages and Rovers
This is tremendous! I can't wait!

Spacepsycho
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posted 12-23-2004 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't wait to see the first photos of the descent modules and lunar rovers left behind.

NC Apollo Fan
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posted 12-23-2004 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NC Apollo Fan   Click Here to Email NC Apollo Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if they might image the intentionally crashed ascent modules (and if there would be anything at all left to see).

micropooz
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posted 12-23-2004 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And to add to the post above, some of the SIVB stages were crashed into the moon in order to produce seismic waves for the seismometers that were left on previous missions. Imaging the craters they left (doubtful that any discernable hardware left) could tell the geologists some information on crater size vs. energy and density of the impacting object.

tegwilym
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posted 06-19-2009 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought it was interesting how slowly it looks like this thing climbed off he pad. Compared with the shuttle it looks like it took it's time accelerating. The shuttle doesn't mess around, it just gets up and goes!

DChudwin
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posted 06-21-2009 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An excellent blog with status reports and other information about LRO:
This blog follows the progress of the LRO mission through Integration and Testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and launch site processing at KSC\Astrotech. Its purpose is to enable communication to the entire LRO Team about the status of ongoing activities.

LRO was launched June 18th, 2009 at 5:32pm EDT from KSC. This BLOG will follow the progress of the mission as LRO travels to the moon and establishes orbit around it.

Lasv3
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posted 06-24-2009 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just for the sake of clarity - can somebody tell me where are the names stored? Is it LCROSS or is it LRO? I'm asking as my grandson and myself are onboard and I'd like to know what and when we have to expect - are we going to crash the South Pole in October with LCROSS or do we stay longer with the LRO?

Lunar rock nut
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posted 06-24-2009 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The names are on the LRO.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-24-2009 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More specifically, the 1.6 million names are held on a microchip encased in a radiation hardened container and attached to the back of LRO's propulsion module access panel.


Photo credit: NASA

rodpyle
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posted 07-02-2009 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rodpyle   Click Here to Email rodpyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are some stunning photos. And my favorite time of "day" as well!

Are there plans to snap the Apollo sites? Do you know which ones? And what level of magnification?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-02-2009 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rodpyle:
Are there plans to snap the Apollo sites? Do you know which ones? And what level of magnification?
There are plans, though which site will be first and when it and the others are imaged will rely on several factors.
"We are evaluating the possibility of obtaining images of the Apollo sites before we reach our primary 50-kilometer mapping orbit. The ability to image Apollo sites depends on the satellite ground track and lighting conditions. If conditions are favorable and an image is made, it will promptly be released to the public."

ejectr
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posted 07-02-2009 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These images show cratered regions near the moon's Mare Nubium region, as photographed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's LROC instrument. Each image shows a region 1,400 meters (0.87 miles) wide. the bottoms of both images face lunar north.
WOW!!! I remember sitting in front of my parents' B&W TV watching the first Ranger photos come in.

Needless to say, we've come a long way, baby!

medaris
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posted 07-02-2009 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for medaris   Click Here to Email medaris     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are stunning pictures. It's great to see more photos from the moon. I'll be excited to see Apollo site photos - but I'll be even more excited to see where we haven't been. I'm looking forward to the next lunar landings

tegwilym
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posted 07-06-2009 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone seen when we might see the Apollo sites? I haven't noticed anything other than it should be "soon". I'm pretty excited to see that stuff!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-06-2009 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding is that there will be no pre-announcement; "soon" is the best they can provide. If the opportunity presents itself, they will image one or more of the Apollo sites as they fly over during this commissioning phase and release the images as they are received. Otherwise, they will wait until LRO drops into its lower orbit.

If images do come during the commissioning phase, we may still need to wait until the mapping orbit to make out the finer details of the landing sites.

spaced out
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posted 07-07-2009 01:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I understand it the resolution on the high flyby would be 100cm/pixel versus 50cm/pixel in the final low orbit.

In the low orbit that would mean an LM descent stage would show up about 9 pixels across (excluding landing gear) and a lunar rover would be about 6 pixels long. At that resolution it's certain that some other equipment will be large enough to show up.

Otherwise it will be the disturbed surface that will show up around the sites, including the tracks of the astronauts, the LRVs and the Apollo 14 MET.

Of course a low sun will mean items on the surface casting long and very easy-to-spot shadows so I think some of the most striking images will be taken in those conditions. That means waiting for a good combination of fly-over and sun cycle at each site. The first images from each site - even in low orbit - won't necessarily be the best.

One detail that should be interesting - if the material of any of the flags is intact the shadow from this might well be visible at 50cm/pixel.

ilbasso
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posted 07-16-2009 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
Has anyone seen when we might see the Apollo sites?
NASA release
NASA Briefs Media on New Images of Apollo Lunar Landing Sites

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has sent back its first images of Apollo lunar landing sites. The agency will release the images Friday, July 17, at noon and hold a teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss the photos and future plans for the LRO mission.

Participating in the teleconference are:

  • Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Richard Vondrak, project scientist, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
  • Mark Robinson, principal investigator, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, Arizona State University
To listen to the event online, visit: nasa.gov/newsaudio

spaced out
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posted 07-17-2009 04:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Should be interesting. Remember that these images will be at about half the resolution we can expect when the orbiter reaches its final altitude.

At 100cm/px you can expect the LM descent stage body to be about 4 or 5 pixels across, and an LRV to be maybe 3 pixels long.

Not enormous, but low angle sunlight could throw out long shadows that would make objects stand out very clearly, even at that resolution.

Then there's the disturbed surface soil around the sites which could show up quite distinctly over a large area depending on lighting conditions.

Anyway, I'll stop speculating now and wait to see the actual images...

Scott
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posted 07-17-2009 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is so cool. I know I'm not the only one who has hoped for this moment for years.

ilbasso
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posted 07-17-2009 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos of every landing site except Apollo 12. You can even see the MET tracks for Apollo 14!

MrSpace86
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posted 07-17-2009 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are really nice. I tried looking for the HQ versions of these photos on their website and could not find them. Will they be posted soon?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-17-2009 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe these are the highest resolution available; they appear to be crops (if not also enlargements) from photos taken of the larger surrounding areas on the Moon.

On edit: You can zoom in on these images via the LRO Camera (LROC) website.

mmmoo
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posted 07-17-2009 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mmmoo   Click Here to Email mmmoo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! The Apollo 14 shot is fantastic!

I may be wrong but I think the Apollo 14 shot shows Doublet Craters at the top left, and Triplet Craters at the bottom right.

I have laid the image over the Apollo 14 Traverse map, and it matches the craters, the LM, and the ALSEP.

FFrench
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posted 07-17-2009 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting to compare the Apollo 15 one with this 1971 photo which NASA lists as taken during the Apollo 15 mission from Endeavour about four hours after Falcon landed on the surface.

ilbasso
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posted 07-17-2009 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unmannedspaceflight.com has an interesting analysis of the photos from some folks who are experts in interplanetary image processing.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-17-2009 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mmmoo:
I may be wrong but I think the Apollo 14 shot shows Doublet Craters at the top left, and Triplet Craters at the bottom right.
During the press teleconference, Mark Robinson said that Cone Crater was east of Antares, out of view in the image, so it looks like you were correct.

Blackarrow
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posted 07-17-2009 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is wonderful! Fittingly, I think the Apollo 11 view is the best, clearly showing (in the full frame shot) West Crater and its boulder field, and the smaller crater which Armstrong visited. It's all there!

The Apollo 16 picture clearly shows the crater which "Orion" nearly landed in. The shadow of the LM crosses the crater shadow.

The Apollo 17 picture shows the shadow of "Challenger" but look to the left (i.e. west of the LM's position) and you can see a shadow of similar size. If you check the pictures taken by the crew looking forwards out of the LM windows, you will see a large boulder, comparable in size to the LM descent stage. But the boulder isn't flat-topped, so its shadow tapers.

It's important to note that all of these images must have been taken as the sun was SETTING so the shadows go from right to left.

ejectr
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posted 07-17-2009 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What amazes me is that the stage hands could get all this work done in time for all these fake photos.

As for the conspiracy theorists...STRIKE THREE!!! YOU'RE OUTTA THERE!

mjanovec
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posted 07-17-2009 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Conspiracy theorists have always asked for these shots as proof that the moon landings occurred... which they could comfortably do as long as the technology didn't exist to permit photos of this resolution to be taken. Now that these photos exist, I suppose we'll see them explained away with more nonsense.

Not like the rest of us needed these photos to know what really happened...

ejectr
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posted 07-17-2009 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Look at the Apollo 16 photo. You can see the shadow of the LM on the edge of the crater to its right!

Mike Z
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posted 07-17-2009 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Z   Click Here to Email Mike Z     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WOW!! These are truly EXCITING images!! It's AMAZING that these sites have not been seen since each crew lifted off of the moon!

burnsnz
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posted 07-17-2009 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for burnsnz   Click Here to Email burnsnz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does this finally signal the end for the conspiracy theorists?

MadSci
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posted 07-17-2009 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MadSci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No way! Men never got there! They just sent those empty lower stages up on the secret 'military' missions on the space shuttle a few years ago! Then they sent some wind-up robots to stomp around in the dust to create the foot prints! Just ask Mulder! Then they...

JPSastro
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posted 07-17-2009 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JPSastro   Click Here to Email JPSastro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, checkout CNN. There is an article about the morons who still insist they are all still a hoax. How does one keep so many people, so silent for so long to keep the hoax alive? Dropped on the head at birth. You will never, ever get them to believe otherwise. From experience, it is not worth the time.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-17-2009 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JPSastro:
...it is not worth the time.
I agree, so let's stop discussing the hoaxers and return to the images themselves.

If memory serves correctly, the exact landing coordinates for Eagle on Apollo 11 were never really known -- but were estimated based on the surface photography. Can we now tell how close those estimates got?

Machodoc
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posted 07-17-2009 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Machodoc   Click Here to Email Machodoc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm just amazed and regard them as a birthday present to the anniversary of Apollo 11. There should now be no doubts....

mjanovec
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posted 07-18-2009 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I agree, so let's stop discussing the hoaxers and return to the images themselves.
Oh, I dunno. It's kind of fun to poke at the hoaxers. After all, who can't resist a quote like this:
"I do know the moon landings were faked," said crusading filmmaker Bart Sibrel, whose aggressive interview tactics once provoked Aldrin to punch him in the face. "I'd bet my life on it."
I suspect a few people would like him to take that bet.

mjanovec
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posted 07-18-2009 12:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there other images of Apollo 15, 16, and 17 that show the extent of the lunar rover tracks? If the tracks left by Apollo 14 astronauts are clearly visible, I would think the rover tracks left by the J series missions should also be visible...at least in places where the rover doubled back on itself. And, of course, it would be nice to see images that include the rovers themselves!

I can't wait to see what the higher resolution pictures on later passes reveal.

spaced out
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posted 07-18-2009 03:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
And, of course, it would be nice to see images that include the rovers themselves!
Post#32 on the UnmannedSpaceflight thread shows the three rovers in the images.


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