Saturday, April 16, 2022

NASA's Apollo 16 Lands in the Lunar Highlands: 50th Anniversary (1972-2022)

NASA's Apollo 16 Lands in the Lunar Highlands: 50th Anniversary (1972-2022)

Thanks to data provided by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, we are able to visualize the Apollo 16 landing site in the Descartes highlands on the nearside of the Moon, where the astronauts landed in April 1972. The mission was crewed by Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke, and Command Module Pilot Thomas K. Mattingly. This visualization contains audio transmissions from portions of the mission between the astronauts and CapCom James Irwin, and a view of the 3 extravehicular activity (EVA) routes the astronauts took over the course of three days, including their visit to North Ray crater. The experiments conducted and lunar samples collected by the crew are still providing valuable data about our Moon to scientists today.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched in 2009. Its Exploration Mission was focused on supporting the extension of human presence in the solar system. LRO continues to help identify sites close to potential resources with high scientific value, favorable terrain and the environment necessary for safe future robotic and human lunar missions. The LRO mission has been extended to continue lunar science and exploration. 

The orbiter has made a 3-D map of the Moon's surface at 100-meter resolution and 98.2% coverage (excluding polar areas in deep shadow), including 0.5-meter resolution images of Apollo landing sites. In polar shadowed regions, LRO found the coldest spots measured (below 30 K) in the solar system. It discovered significant subsurface hydrogen deposits in regions cold enough for water ice to survive, as well as in additional hydrogen deposits in warmer areas where surface water ice is not thermally stable. 

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)

Data visualization by: Ernie Wright (USRA) 

Produced and Edited by: David Ladd (AIMM)

Music Provided by Universal Production Music: “The Orion Arm” - Christian Telford, David Travis Edwards, Matthew St. Laurent, & Robert Anthony Navarro.

Duration: 1 minute 16 seconds

Release Date: April 15, 2022 

#NASA #Space #Apollo #Moon #Lunar #Highlands #Landing #Astronauts #JohnYoung #CharlesDuke #ThomasMattingly #Apollo16 #EVA #Crater #NorthRay #History #50thAnniversary #Pioneers #LRO #Orbiter #GSFC #UnitedStates #STEM #Education  #Visualization #HD #Video

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