NASA will host a media teleconference at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to reveal new images of three Apollo landing sites taken from the agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. Teleconference participants are:
— Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington
— Mark Robinson, principal investigator, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, Arizona State University, Tempe
— Richard Vondrak, LRO project scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
To participate in the teleconference, reporters must email Nancy Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, media affiliation and work telephone number by 10 a.m. on Sept. 6.
Supporting information and visuals for the briefing will be posted at 11:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 6 at: http://www.nasa.gov/lro Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on the Web at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio
An odd-looking impact feature raises an intriguing, Apollo-era trivia question (3.02°S, 119.15°E). NAC image number M141485413; incidence angle 12°; Sun is from the east; north is up; image is ~600 meters across [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Lunar Orbiter 2 was an unmanned imaging spacecraft used in November and early December 1966 to aid with Apollo and Surveyor landing site selection. The spacecraft became famous in 1967 with the public release of an oblique image of Copernicus crater (one of only four obliques collected), which was hailed as the “Picture of the Century” by the news media of the day. According to the 2007 International Atlas of Lunar Exploration, the Lunar Orbiter 2 spacecraft was commanded to crash into the lunar farside surface on October 11, 1967.
The coordinates of the Lunar Orbiter 2 impact are given as 119.1° east longitude and 3.0° north latitude, which match those of the feature in the NAC image (measured at 119.149° east longitude, and 3.020° north latitude). However, the published Lunar Orbiter 2 numbers are given as a rough estimate because the impact occurred on the farside of the Moon, out of direct radio contact. So the match with the NAC coordinates could be a coincidence.
The impact appears much too large (~85 m in diameter) to be the result of an impact from a spacecraft only a few meters tall, but with a solar incidence angle of only 12 degrees, it is difficult to see the crater rim and find out the true diameter. Perhaps the ejecta pattern extends far beyond the immediate impact. The truth is that we are not sure what caused this impact feature. We are currently re-targeting the area under a higher incidence angle to help with crater rim measurements. Stay tuned! More
NASA has declared full mission success for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). LRO changed our view of the entire moon and brought it into sharper focus with unprecedented detail. NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) operated the LRO spacecraft and its instruments during the one-year mission phase. Now that the final data from the instruments have been added to the agency’s Planetary Data System, the mission has completed the full success requirements. The data system, which is publicly available, archives data from past and present planetary missions as well as astronomical observations and laboratory data.
The NASA Planetary Data System is pleased to announce a new delivery of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) data for the following instruments: CRaTER, DLRE, LAMP, LEND, LOLA, LROC and Mini-RF. Radio Science Tracking data will be released shortly. SPICE data will be released later this summer.
In general, LRO Release 6 includes data collected between December 15, 2010 and March 14, 2011.
To access the above data, please visit the following link: http://pds.nasa.gov/subscription_service/SS-20110615.html
PDS offers two services for searching the LRO archives:
1. The Planetary Image Atlas at the Imaging Node allows selection of LRO data by specific search criteria: http://pds-imaging.jpl.nasa.gov/search/lro/
2. The Lunar Orbital Data Explorer at the Geosciences Node allows searching and downloading of LRO data and other lunar orbital data sets (Clementine and Lunar Prospector): http://ode.rsl.wustl.edu/moon/
LRO SPICE ancillary data may be obtained at: http://naif.jpl.nasa.gov/naif/data_archived.html
Written on the Moon’s weary face are the damages it has endured for the past 4.5 billion years. From impact craters to the dark plains of maria left behind by volcanic eruptions, the scars are all that remain to tell the tale of what happened to the Moon. But they only hint at the processes that once acted — and act today — to shape the surface. To get more insight into those processes, Meg Rosenburg and her colleagues at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. put together the first comprehensive set of maps revealing the slopes and roughness of the Moon’s surface. These maps are based on detailed data collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. LOLA and LRO were built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.More
Baruch Blumberg Passes Away, David Morrison, SETI Institute “I was privileged to have lunch with Barry the day he died. He was attending a conference at Ames discussing exploration planning and its relationships with science and education. He presented a paper on the value of citizen science, where thousands of ordinary people can contribute significantly to science while also enjoying themselves in working with real spacecraft data, such as the high-resolution images now being received from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.” Baruch Samuel Blumberg 1925-2011, earlier post
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) team released Tuesday the final set of data from the mission’s exploration phase along with the first measurements from its new life as a science satellite. With this fifth release of data, striking new images and maps have been added to the already comprehensive collection of raw lunar data and high-level products, including mosaic images, that LRO has made possible. The spacecraft’s seven instruments delivered more than 192 terabytes of data with an unprecedented level of detail. It would take approximately 41,000 typical DVDs to hold the new LRO data set.
Caption: The lunar farside as never seen before! LROC WAC orthographic projection centered at 180 degrees longitude, 0 degrees latitude. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University.
Because the moon is tidally locked (meaning the same side always faces Earth), it was not until 1959 that the farside was first imaged by the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft (hence the Russian names for prominent farside features, such as Mare Moscoviense). And what a surprise – unlike the widespread maria on the nearside, basaltic volcanism was restricted to a relatively few, smaller regions on the farside, and the battered highlands crust dominated. A different world from what we saw from Earth.
Click on image for PDF version of poster
Poster presented at the 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference by N. G. Moss, T. M. Harper, M. B. Motta, A. D. Epps “While some candidate craters were observed that appeared in LROC data but not in Lunar Orbiter data, these were all very near the edge of discernable feature size and are almost certainly explained by various differences between the images (e.g. sun angle or viewing geometry). While our initial search did not find any discernable new cratering, we have shown that data from the original analog Lunar Orbiter tapes, as recovered by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery project, possesses the characteristics necessary to discern new craters at reasonably small sizes. If the entire Lunar Orbiter data set was recovered in this manner it may be possible for future researchers to apply automated methods to detect changes with much better chances of success.”
Figure 1: Lunar Orbiter II sub-frame 2070H2 superimposed on LROC NAC image M116154252LE.
N. G. Moss1 and T. M. Harper2, M. B. Motta3, A. Epps4 1LOIRP Project P.O. Box 375 Moffett Field, CA 94035, Neulynm-at-yahoo.com, 2 LOIRP Project P.O. Box 375 Moffett Field, CA 94035, travis.martin.harper-at-gmail.com. 3 LOIRP Project P.O. Box 375 Moffett Field, CA 94035. Mbmotta-at-yahoo.com., 4Skycorp, Building 596, NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, CA 94035, Austin.epps-at-gmail.com
Submitted to 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
Introduction: In 1966 and 1967 NASA sent five Lunar Orbiters to photograph nearly the full surface of the moon. Each orbiter launched took images of different areas of the moons surface, or very high resolution images corresponding to lower resolution images previously taken. Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is one of the several projects using these images for research. We are in possession of 1,478 2″ original analog tapes from 3 Deep Space Network ground stations. We have taken hundreds of those analog tapes and converted them to digital form; with the majority of them being from Lunar Orbiter II which took images with .8 to 1 meter resolution.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, mission is sponsoring a series of workshops for educators of students in grades 6-12. These workshops will focus on lunar science, exploration and how our understanding of the moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has allowed scientists to measure the coldest known place in the solar system, map the surface of the moon in unprecedented detail and accuracy, find evidence of recent lunar geologic activity, characterize the radiation environment around the moon and its potential effects on future lunar explorers and much, much more!
Workshop participants will learn about these and other recent discoveries, reinforce their understanding of lunar science concepts, interact with lunar scientists and engineers, work with real LRO data and learn how to bring these data and information to their students using hands-on activities aligned with local, state and national standards. Laptops are strongly encouraged for those participating in this workshop.
Workshops will take place in the following locations:
— June 20-24, 2011 — Herrett Center for Arts and Science, Twin Falls, Idaho
— June 27-July 1, 2011 — Hinds Community College, Utica Campus, Utica, Miss.
— June 27-July 1, 2011 — McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, N.H.
— July 25-29, 2011 — John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
— Aug. 1-5, 2011 — Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
Applications for three workshops are due April 1, 2011. Applications for other workshops are due at a later date. For more information and to register for the workshops, visit http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html. Questions about these workshops should be directed to Andrea.J.Jones@nasa.gov.