Last year, NASA released a series of photos documenting the Apollo landing sites that were snapped by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. In making such a press release, NASA was trying to do two things, the primary being to renew interest in the LRO mission and the secondary be to disprove the ‘we never went to the Moon’ conspiracy theorists. While the images were good, some space enthusiasts still wanted more.
Now, just a little over a year after the first batch of images, NASA has released another set, this one having much more details visible as the images were snapped from a mere 15 miles in altitude, about half the height the first round of images were shot from.
As one would expect, getting a little closer has done wonders.
Mark Robinson of the University of Arizona and who also is chief investigator for the LRO camera called the images ‘spectacular,’ adding that it was possible to see details that were invisible in the 2010 images. Examples: one can now differentiate from astronauts’ footprints and the tracks of the lunar rover, see the seats in the rover itself, and even tell which way the wheels were turned. Another big plus: the deep shadows that characterized some of the first images, thus obscuring them to a degree, are gone thanks to more favorable sunlight.
As for the images themselves, space.com has a gallery, along with a short video put together from some of the pictures. Needless to say, the images are very interesting and worth a look.