September 4, 2009
Over the next year or so, NASA’s LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) will be systematically photographing the Apollo landing sites from orbit. Here’s the most recent view, showing the Apollo 12 landing site where Pete Conrad and Alan Bean came down in Nobember 1969, near the same spot where the Surveyor 3 spacecraft had landed two years earlier (click on the photo to see it larger).
Visible in the LRO scene are the descent stage, or bottom half, of the Apollo 12 lunar module Intrepid, and the smaller Surveyor spacecraft. (The photo at right shows how the area looked to Conrad and Bean.) In the new orbital photo you can see the dark tracks made by the astronauts as they roamed the area, and the ALSEP experiment package they left behind.
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