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Lunar Spacecraft Images, A place for moon panoramas, mosaics etc.
Phil Stooke
post Apr 8 2016, 05:18 PM
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I can say that the results I have seen are stunning. One ongoing problem is the lack of proper metadata. I hope raw data can be released without (or prior to the preparation of) PDS-standard metadata.

Remember LOIRP? The recovery of Lunar Orbiter digital data from original tapes. It was largely successful, but the results are still only partially accessible, unless I am missing something.

Phil


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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Phil Stooke
post Apr 15 2016, 09:46 PM
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I spent a few enjoyable days in Flagstaff last month, poking around in the archives with the help of David Portree. Here is something I found which has never been seen since the committees involved considered it. Part of this story is told in Don Wlihelms' To a Rocky Moon and my International Atlas of Lunar Exploration, but the full story revealed here has not been published anywhere.

In June 1969 it was still not certain that Apollo 11 would land successfully, or which site it would land at (it was targeted for Apollo Site 2 in Mare Tranquillitatis, but a launch delay could have moved it to Site 3 in Sinus Medii or Site 5 in Oceanus Procellarum). Nevertheless, Apollo planners were thinking ahead to the second landing, and its goal was a pinpoint landing (within walking distance of a specific target point). Therefore, a list of suitable target points was needed. Before the Apollo Site Selection Board settled on Surveyor 3 as the pinpoint target, small fresh craters in the pre-defined landing ellipses were favoured. Newell Trask of USGS Menlo Park was given the job of selecting the points.

On 19 June 1969 he responded with a memo to James Sasser of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center (now JSC). He provided coordinates for 8 points in Site 2, 8 points in Site 3 and 9 points in Site 5. But they were not latitude and longitude, they were measurements in centimeters on individual framelets of specific Lunar Orbiter images. I have now mapped those points and have posted the map here. One point at Site 5 did become the backup landing target for Apollo 12. At Site 2 the map also shows the locations of two areas which were modelled at Cinder Lake, near Flagstaff, by setting off explosives to create craters. Google Earth shows those craters still, with the Flagstaff landfill between them.

The Wilhelms version of this story only refers to Site 5 and does not specify the locations. My earlier book included a map for Site 5 based on a list from another memo by Farouk El Baz, taken from Trask's memo, but I had never seen the full list until last month.

Phil

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Phil Stooke
post Apr 15 2016, 10:04 PM
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Another goody I had not seen before. Planned EVAs at Tsiolkovsky crater on the far side, from the plan for the final Apollo landing promoted by Jack Schmitt. This is from a study of the communication relay satellite that would be needed for that mission.

Phil

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antipode
post Apr 15 2016, 10:52 PM
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Wow - I had no idea about that Tsiolkovsky mission! That's a very interesting area for all sorts of geological reasons (apart from being visually spectacular). What a shame that never happened.

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