Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Apollo 17 lands, ending the Apollo era, 40 years ago

Taurus Littrow valley, from an oblique LRO Narrow Angle Camera perspective, a highly reduced original mosaic of the left and right frames of LROC NAC observation M192703697L. On December 11, 1972, Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt descended in the Apollo 17 lunar module, with the terrain at their backs, waiting for the spacecraft to tip forward. Only then could they see the valley rushing up below. For a more detailed view of this spectacular oblique observation from LRO, see Taurus Littrow Oblique, Sept. 29, 2012 [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University]..

A closer, strikingly similar perspective from the Apollo 17 lunar module Challenger during its their final orbital pass over Taurus Littrow before descent and landing. Ron Evans, now alone, pilots the Command Service Module (CSM) America (center). See the much larger original image HERE (AS17-147-22465) [NASA/JSC].
Post landing pan from Jack Schmitt's window, a picture of a landscape untouched except by the descent stage moments before, later assembled into a high-resolution mosaic by Eric Jones for the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. View the original version of frames AS17-147-22469 through 22476 at ALSJ, HERE.
Near Station 6 on their third (and final) EVA, Schmidt put Challenger in some perspective, capturing this black and white image through a 500 mm lens from over 3 kilometers away. Though spacecraft since the Apollo era managed to resolve the patch of the surface disturbed by the thrust of the descent stage, the LRO alone was equipped and designed to photograph great detail of the Apollo landing sites from orbit since 2009 [NASA/JSC/ALSJ].
Related Posts:
Jack Schmitt holds fast to lunar vision (November 18, 2012)
Taurus Littrow Oblique (September 29, 2012)
LRO LAMP sharpens Apollo surface helium data (July 17, 2012)
Toxicity of Lunar Dust (July 2, 2012)
39 Years (and counting) (December 14, 2011)
Just another crater? (December 13, 2011)
Apollo metric camera maps completed (November 21, 2011)
Cernan says China will be first back to the Moon (November 8, 2011)
Cernan saw peace on Earth (March 14, 2011)
Too brief an expedition to a lobate scarp (August 24, 2010)
Moon geologically active, cooling and shrinking (August 19, 2010)
Graphite found in Apollo 17 samples (July 5, 2010)
Return to Moon, Schmitt says, important for protection of liberty (June 17, 2010)
Water found in Apollo samples (March 10, 2010)
Dr. Jack Schmitt salutes LROC's Mark Robinson and the LRO
camera team at Arizona State
(November 10, 2009)
Apollo 17 from 50 kilometers (October 28, 2009)

Iconic picture (AS17-134-20384) of Apollo 17 lunar module pilot and geologist Harrison Schmitt, by Gene Cernan, soon after the beginning of their first EVA, December 11, 1972. Click on image for high resolution view [NASA/ASJ].
"O Say Can You See," The sixth U.S. flag is "still there," confirmed by a distinctive shadow, north of the Apollo 17 landing site, in one of many exceptional LROC high-resolution Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) studies of the Apollo landing sites, and at Taurus Littrow, where the last Apollo crew began their surface expedition 40 years ago, December 11. LROC NAC M165000580R, LRO orbit 9892, August 14, 2011; resolution 42 cm per pixel from 24.74 kilometers LROC Featured Sites [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

No comments: