Friday, January 28, 2011

The Challenger Crater Group of Apollo Basin

The Challenger Crater Group in Apollo Basin, on the Moon's farside (36°S, 209°E); LROC Wide Angle Camera monochrome (643nm) mosaic from a series of passes stitched around M118491411ME, gathered over the course of three orbits January 18, 2010. The crater group is named for the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger killed when America's second orbiter was destroyed by an external tank explosion 73 seconds after launch from Kennedy Space Center, January 28, 1986. Craters elsewhere in the basin were also officially designated to memorialize the crew of Apollo 1 and Columbia [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Mark Robinson
Principal Investigator
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera
Arizona State University

Apollo is a 524 km-diameter impact basin located within the center of the the giant South Pole-Aitken basin. Apollo is also a Constellation Project Region of Interest, identified by NASA as a notional area for future human lunar exploration. The Constellation ROI is located in the southwest corner of the mare deposit that fills this basin-within-a-basin.

After the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger these seven craters on the eastern rim of Apollo were named after Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnik, Dick Scobee and Mike Smith.

View the WAC mosaic of the entire Apollo basin and surroundings.

Visit NASA's Day of Remembrance webpage, HERE.

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