Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LOIRP recovers image of Ranger 8 impact

Ranger 8 Impact Trajectory Overlay on LOII-070-H

Good news from Moonviews, this morning. Repeated digital passes over forty-year-old data now offers LCROSS scientists some ground truth, courtesy of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP). What this project has been able to do, looking at what was once analog photographic data, in more than just one way, has really be something to watch. Detail never imagined by Orbiter's original project continues to be teased out, offering hopefully a hint of what's ahead from LRO.

"The Lunar Orbiter II-070-H image (Frame 70, High resolution) has a unique feature that is relevant to the LCROSS mission. This image shows the impact site of the Ranger 8 mission. This location was identified decades ago and is discussed in the NASA SP-168 online address. This location was also photographed during the Apollo 16 mission (NASA SP-315 page 29-46) but at a lower resolution of 3-5 meters. The image was taken from an altitude of 45.81 km. The resolution is about 0.4 meters per pixel. The crater from the Ranger impact is not well defined in the existing film database, especially as it appears at the boundary between two framelets."
Scan the latest from LOIRP (Moonviews) HERE.