NAC image of the Apollo 14 landing site acquired 25 January 2011. Descent stage of lunar module Antares in center, image width is 500 meters.
|Click on image for larger version|
|Close-up showing LM descent stage (right) and ALSEP (arrow),|
note astronaut tracks between the two landmarks
The LROC Narrow Angle Cameras continue to image the Apollo landing sites as the mission progresses. Every time LRO passes overhead, the Sun is at a different position so each image gives a different perspective. Repeat imaging also serves LROC cartographic goals. Since the position of the lunar modules and other pieces of hardware are very accurately known, the LROC team can check the accuracy of the mission-provided ephemeris. Think of the Apollo sites as benchmarks put in place four decades ago for the LROC team.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center built and manages the mission for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera was designed to acquire data for landing site certification and to conduct polar illumination studies and global mapping. Operated by Arizona State University, LROC consists of a pair of narrow-angle cameras (NAC) and a single wide-angle camera (WAC). The mission is expected to return over 70 terabytes of image data.