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Unmanned landing sites from LRO, Surveyors, Lunas, Lunakhods and impact craters from hardware impacts
Phil Stooke
post Oct 16 2013, 02:09 AM
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This is the Surveyor 1 site imaged by LROC - the image number is in the file name if you save it. I have indicated the Surveyor itself. Northwest of it is a small dark spot, which by analogy with the similar feature at Surveyor 3 I think might be the retro-rocket impact site. At Surveyor 3 there was a pre-landing Lunar Orbiter image to confirm that the spot was a new feature. Here there is not - Surveyor 1 landed before Lunar Orbiter 1 was launched. So I can't be certain, but it's a reasonable match to what I would expect.

Phil

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kenny
post Jan 29 2014, 10:09 AM
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I've just noticed this interesting post. This suspected motor is displaced northwards of the landing site, just like the Surveyor 3 suspected one, albeit Surveyor 1's has a big westward component.
(Assuming north is up, which I think it is.) I recall that we searched the Apollo 12 surface photos looking out in that direction, with no result. Alan Bean confirmed to me that they never went up to that area,
and had no opinion on that being the descent motor. I'm trying to find out if there was any expected consistency in the displacement of these motors from the lander after release.
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Paolo
post Jan 29 2014, 09:05 PM
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not a landing site but... LRO has imaged LADEE zooming by!
http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/index.php?/a...unter!.html


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Tom Dahl
post Jan 30 2014, 03:07 PM
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RE: LRO imaging LADEE -- amazing! Reading the article linked by Paolo reminds me how clever and how capable are the folks who create these spacecraft and operate them.
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Hungry4info
post Jan 30 2014, 07:35 PM
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That's immensely impressive that they were able to resolve structures on LADEE. blink.gif


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charborob
post Mar 4 2014, 06:18 PM
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New LROC images of Chang-e 3's landing site.
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Phil Stooke
post Mar 4 2014, 07:31 PM
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Excellent! Looking carefully at a blow-up of the GIF sequence, it looks like there might have been a very small movement backwards on day 3. Still trying to decide iif it's real or an effect of the different lighting. EDIT - no, there's no movement at all when perfectly registered...

Phil


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Phil Stooke
post Jul 24 2015, 10:49 PM
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Here are two LROC images of lunar hardware... possible identifications of the retrorockets of Surveyors 5 and 6.

Each Surveyor was slowed during its approach to the surface by a rocket mounted underneath the lander. It and its fuel tank were ejected a little way above the surface and fell to the surface at relatively low velocity. The lander continued to the surface supported by three small 'vernier' thrusters (except Surveyor 4 which failed at the point of rocket separation... Surveyor 2 failed much earlier in its flight).

Can the retro-rockets be identified in LRO images? I previously put up an image of Surveyor 3's retrorocket, which is not in doubt as a correct identification because we have pre-landing Lunar Orbiter images, and a dark spot in LRO images is not present in the old images.

A few posts up in the thread I suggested a possible candidate for Surveyor 1's retrorocket. It's not certain but it's possible. Here I show images for Surveyors 5 and 6. I use the highest sun image to look for dark spots. In each case there is only one good candidate. And each one has a short trail of dark spots leading to (or from) it as if the tank rolled or bounced a bit. I don't know if the dark spot is the impact point or the hardware itself, i.e. I don't know which way the object moved along that possible trail of spots. Surveyor 3's candidate has the same trail of spots. Therefore, I think these are very promising identifications.

Surveyor 7 is never seen with sun near the zenith and I have not yet found a candidate rocket. Surveyor 1 doesn't have a very good high sun image either, and I'm not so convinced that my suggestion is correct.

Phil

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dvandorn
post Jul 25 2015, 12:50 AM
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Looks like Surveyor V's retro-rocket (if you have it correctly identified, and I think you do, Phil) might have rolled a distance before it came to rest. They weren't coming in fast enough to dig deep craters, so I guess it doesn't surprise me that one might roll a bit.

Since at these high-sun conditions the topography becomes completely washed out, it's hard to tell if maybe V's retro might not have rolled down into a shallow crater. As it's darned near impossible to get the original TIFFs from the LROC website anymore, I don't have the best way to go looking for lower-sun images of the site to check for such a shallow crater. Could you take a look and see if my theory holds any water, here, Phil?

Oh -- I looked upthread, all the way to where I began the thread more than five years ago, and I didn't see any posts of the likely Surveyor III retro's final resting place, even though I know I've looked myself and have suspected a suspicious object to the north of the landing site. Could you point me to where you posted your identification? I'd like to look at it myself (assuming I haven't already -- age plus the heavy painkillers for so many months before and after these darned surgeries have not done good things for my memory, it seems).

-the other Doug


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Phil Stooke
post Jul 25 2015, 02:04 AM
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It was in the Apollo sites thread:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...6111&st=285

Phil


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dvandorn
post Jul 25 2015, 03:07 AM
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Thanks, Phil! Yeah, that was the thing I saw in the early LROC images of the Surveyor III site that I thought might be the retro. Somehow, I don't recall seeing that thread -- and that's unusual for me. Again, I plead painkillers... wink.gif

I agree that it's going to be way easier to find hardware on the Moon in the LROC images taken at very high sun angles than the low sun angle images, and I must say you've been having great success at it. It's great to see every new little bit of hardware we've left up there, and you more than most have been the best at finding things. It's a privilege to watch.

But in some cases, after finding the stuff, it also seems to me that it can inform the "dark blob" images if you know if there are, say, local slopes or other landforms that act to modify the piece of hardware's "look," and that aren't very obvious under a high sun. The kind of stuff you would see much better at lower sun angles. So, just sort of thinking, if after finding things, do you also look at them at lower sun angles, too? Are they usually available at the same resolution at lower sun angles?

Or is it something of a crapshoot, even now?

-the other Doug


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Phil Stooke
post Jul 25 2015, 05:30 AM
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Doug, usually there is very little to see in the low sun views at those locations.

The site you crave with every fibre of your being is this one:

http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/featured_sites

For this purpose you can go to the Surveyor link, and for each Surveyor you can view individual images, and flip-books which let you scan from morning to evening illumination. And there are lots of other sites to look at as well.

I've looked at pretty much every one of these images now.

Phil



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