NASA Views Landing Site Through Eyes Of Future Moon Crew | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 03.23.15

Airborne 03.24.15

Airborne 03.25.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.27.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 03.23.15

Airborne 03.24.15

Airborne 03.25.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.27.15

Thu, Feb 28, 2008

NASA Views Landing Site Through Eyes Of Future Moon Crew

Detailed Images Show Rockier Terrain Than Anticipated

It's always wise to look before you leap... or launch. NASA has obtained the highest resolution terrain mapping to date of the moon's rugged south polar region, with a resolution to 20 meters (66 feet) per pixel. The images contained a few surprises for the space agency, that could affect a future NASA mission.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA collected data on the area -- considered a candidate landing site for a future manned moon mission -- using the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone Solar System Radar located in California's Mojave Desert.

The mapping data collected indicate that the region of the moon's south pole near Shackleton Crater is much more rugged than previously understood. The imagery generated by the data has been incorporated into animation depicting the descent to the lunar surface of a future human lunar lander and a flyover of Shackleton Crater.

"The south pole of the moon certainly would be a beautiful place to explore," said Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "We now know the south pole has peaks as high as Mt. McKinley and crater floors four times deeper than the Grand Canyon. There are challenges that come with such rugged terrain, and these data will be an invaluable tool for advance planning of lunar missions."

Three times during a six-month period in 2006, scientists targeted the moon's south polar region using Goldstone's 70-meter (230-foot) radar dish. The antenna, three-quarters the size of a football field, sent a 500-kilowatt-strong, 90-minute-long radar stream 373,046 kilometers (231,800 miles) to the moon. The radar bounced off the rough-hewn lunar terrain over an area measuring about 644 kilometers by 402 kilometers (400 miles by 250 miles). Signals were reflected back to two of Goldstone's 34-meter (112-foot) antennas on Earth. The roundtrip time, from the antenna to the moon and back, was about two-and-a-half seconds.

"I have not been to the moon, but this imagery is the next best thing," said Scott Hensley, a scientist at JPL and lead investigator for the study. "With these data we can see terrain features as small as a house without even leaving the office."

Previously, the best resolution of the moon's south pole was generated by the Clementine spacecraft, which could resolve lunar terrain features near the south pole at one kilometer (0.6 miles) per pixel. The new resolution generated by JPL is 50 times more detailed.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will provide the next generation of lunar imaging and data. The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in late 2008. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera will retrieve high-resolution images of the moon's surface and lunar poles with resolutions to 1 meter (3.3 feet).

Funding for the program was provided by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/exploration/mmb/022708.html

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 03.27.15: Cockpit Changes Announced, Maine v UAVs, NBAA v Santa Monica

Also: AirVenture Update, Barnstorming Opines On Media Aero-Reporting, NTSB Update, ERAU Scholarships, Doolittle Raiders, Tecnam P2010 The loss of Germanwings Flight 9525 due to wha>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (03.29.15)

"Rover challenge puts students in the driver's seat of real-world engineering. Students perform research with computer-aided designs, select and fabricate components using mechanic>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.29.15): Comet

Comet A ball of rock and ice, often referred to as a “dirty snowball.” Typically a few kilometers in diameter, comets orbit the Sun in paths that either allow them to p>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.29.15)

Aero Linx: New Jersey Aviation Association NJAA was formed in 2000 to promote, protect and preserve the state's multi billion dollar general aviation industry. Its membership inclu>[...]

NASA Core Flight System Software Available To The Public

NASA Goddard Releases Open Source Application Suite The Innovative Technology Partnerships Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, announced the releas>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC