Back in July when the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team released stunning images from several Apollo landing sites, it was not possible at that time to image the Apollo 12 site, the westernmost landing site, due to operational constraints. But now LRO has taken a good look at Oceanus Procellarum and the wait was well worth it. Easily and clearly visible are the Lunar Module descent stage and Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP), along with astronaut tracks, and the Surveyor 3 spacecraft.
“There are only so many locations that can be imaged at one time,” said Mark Robinson, principal investigator of LRO’s Camera, LROC. “Not every target can be imaged every time around. I’m glad we had to wait another month, it was very exciting to see this image a month after the excitement of the first round of Apollo landing sites.”
LRO is slated to orbit the moon for at least another 12 months, which means Robinson and his team have many more imaging opportunities ahead of them. In mid-September the spacecraft’s orbit will be lowered, allowing LROC to acquire even higher resolution images of the Apollo and Surveyor landing sites.
For higher resolution images and more info about about the Apollo 12 site, check out the LRO website.