NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter gives us a 3D look at the Apollo 11 landing site
Monday, July 21, 2014, 4:24 PM - Have you ever wanted to get a close-up look at the Apollo 11 landing site? This new video from NASA, using footage shot from their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, is revealing this historic location in unprecedented detail, and even giving us a three-dimensional spin around to show it off from all angles.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is just one mission that NASA has sent up to the moon in recent years, launched just over five years ago to circle the moon in a polar orbit, just 50 kilometres above the lunar surface, to map it out in the highest detail achieved so far. Multiple passes over the various Apollo landing sites have given us some remarkable images of the equipment left behind - landers, rovers, science equipment, flags - and even the tracks made by the astronauts as they walked and drove around. The image below shows the Apollo 11 landing site from above, with annotations pointing out the various objects - the Camera, the Landing Module, the Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP), and the Laser Ranging RetroReflector (LRRR) and its cover.
More images of the lunar landing sites can be seen on NASA's LRO website (click here), but the bonus video below gives the orbiter's view of the Apollo 12, 15 and 17 landing sites, and the LRO scientists' impressions of seeing these sites for the first time.