Challenger Astronauts Memorialized on the Moon


Shortly after the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, seven craters on the eastern rim of the Apollo basin were named after the crew: Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Dick Scobee, Michael Smith. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera recently took this image of the region. Below is a video from the Kaguya spacecraft flying over the area.

According to OnOrbit, the crater “Onizuka” is incorrectly identified in this video. Rather, “Onizuka” is the crater next and to the right of the one labeled in the video as “The Onizuka”.

The Apollo Basin is not where I would have guessed — the area around the Moon’s equator on the near side where all the Apollo landings took place — but instead is a 524 km-diameter impact basin located within the center of the the giant South Pole-Aitken basin, (36°S, 209°E).

See more about the image and explore the entire region with LROC’s “zoomify” feature at the LRO website.

3 Replies to “Challenger Astronauts Memorialized on the Moon”

  1. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but is it wise to name things after people who died in an explosion with things that were formed in one?

  2. I remember the exact moment I heard the news…. RIP Challenger crew, we’ll always remember you.

Comments are closed.