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July 17, 2009

The LRO Sees the Moon Landers

When the astronauts from the Apollo missions launched off the Moon, the bottom half of the lander was left behind. The bottom half of the lander is only 12 feet across. The really amazing thing is that the LRO will be able to produce pictures two or three times this quality. "Not only do these images reveal the great accomplishments of Apollo, they also show us that lunar exploration continues," said LRO project scientist Richard Vondrak of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "They demonstrate how LRO will be used to identify the best destinations for the next journeys to the moon."

The first image is of the Apollo 11 landing site. This is incredible timing, as Neil Armstrong's historic first steps on the moon were taken 40 years ago almost to the day (July 20). The lander is hard to see if you don't enlarge it. It is right in the center of the frame casting a long shadow.

This second image is of the Apollo 14 landing site. You can actually see the path to astronauts took across the lunar surface! This is incredible.
I can't wait for the higher resolution photos!
For more photos and information - NASA