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Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Earth & Moon > Lunar Exploration > LRO & LCROSS
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Zvezdichko
I know it may be too early for such a thread, but an announcement has to be made.

The official website of the LROC camera is:

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

A brief description plus status is available here:

http://www.msss.com/lro/lroc/index.html
Greg Hullender
At the moment, they're saying not to expect images until early July (which is just a week away). That makes some sense, I guess, since they have commissioning to do.

--Greg
AndyG
Curious as to the soon-to-be demonstrated LROC resolution, I've brewed up a "50cm/pixel" image of the Apollo 15 landing site, taken from the ascent 16mm film.



It's going to be fascinating to see what state the descent stages and tracks are now in, after ~ 500 cycles of -150C to 100C. (Descent stages were never manned - does that make it ok for UMSF, Doug? ;-))
jabe
Looks like LOI-2 was successful.....
see here
jb
Greg Hullender
QUOTE (AndyG @ Jun 24 2009, 02:20 AM) *
Descent stages were never manned - does that make it ok for UMSF, Doug? ;-)

Using the yardstick that UMSF is about amateurs producing cool images from raw data from unmanned space probes, I'm hoping this will be fine. These are historical sites now, and that's a big part of what makes the images "cool". Digging through the raw data looking for these things (whether we process them or not) is a cool way to participate.

If people want to get into a discussion about what Apollo did, what value it had, whether it really happened(!), etc., then, yeah, I'd expect someone to pull the plug ASAP. But I can't imagine there'd be a problem just looking for the images of the landing sites. If nothing else, I think it's something 99% of us are eagerly looking forward to seeing!

Of course it ultimately comes down to whatever Doug says, but I think he likes a good rationale. :-)

--Greg
MahFL
I look forward to the LRO images of the human hardware on our Moon.........

I still chuckle at Buzz punching that reporter smile.gif....not that I condone physical violence of course......
ilbasso
I'm very much looking forward to those photos, too. Don't hold your breath that any unbelievers will be swayed...they'll just claim that these photos were doctored. The rest of us will cherish the opportunity to see not only the Apollo but also the unmanned lander sites. This is a thrilling time!!
djellison
The admin call is yeah - it's good to talk about the Apollo hardware. It's a history subject rather than a manned spaceflight subject smile.gif

But we can knock the conspiracy stuff on the head. No data is going to convince them otherwise. VERY pointless even giving them a passing thought.
AndyG
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 24 2009, 04:18 PM) *
The admin call is yeah - it's good to talk about the Apollo hardware. It's a history subject rather than a manned spaceflight subject smile.gif


I think it's also going to be valuable science with practical applications - with a forty-year view over a number of sites spread across the Moon, it'll be interesting to see how the (presumably swept-clean during ascent) lander stages have fared, and how quickly lunar gardening subsumes tracks.

Andy
Zvezdichko
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 24 2009, 03:18 PM) *
The admin call is yeah - it's good to talk about the Apollo hardware. It's a history subject rather than a manned spaceflight subject smile.gif

But we can knock the conspiracy stuff on the head. No data is going to convince them otherwise. VERY pointless even giving them a passing thought.


Well, if anybody is interested of talking with me and others on the subject, I have created two threads:


http://www.bautforum.com/conspiracy-theori...coming-end.html

http://apollohoax.proboards.com/index.cgi?...amp;thread=2418

I hope this is not considered an ad here.

And yes, I do believe that some of the naysayers may be convinced
SFJCody
I would like to get a look at the ALSEP packages. The Apollo 12 ALSEP holds the longevity record for continuous operation on the surface of another world, longer even than Viking 1! The Apollo 14 ALSEP was also in operation for longer than Viking 1.
brellis
I already can't wait for a surface visit to these historic sites, and I really can't wait for Google Moon to get the LRO pics! smile.gif

belleraphon1
Speaking historically,

hope LRO can tell how close the APOLLO 14 astronauts actually got to the rim of Cone Crater. Perhaps they scuffed up the regolith enough for LRO to detect the tracks they made. Though that is a long shot.

Craig
dvandorn
Actually the A14 EVA-2 track is quite well worked out, based on the pics the crew took on the surface during the EVA. What I'm more interested in seeing is if the MET tracks are visible. LRV tracks will likely be easier to spot in LRO images than the MET tracks, since the open-mesh LRV tires disturbed the soil more and spun up rooster tails. The MET had actual rubber tires, which left smooth tracks. I'll be mighty interested in seeing if MET tracks are visible (or are as visible as LRV tracks).

Then I want to see those compared to Lunakhod tracks... smile.gif

-the other Doug
lyford
Well we have an good before and after....
Moonviews Apollo 14
belleraphon1
QUOTE (lyford @ Jun 24 2009, 06:33 PM) *
Well we have an good before and after....


Thanks lyford!!!

The Lunar Orbiter III Frame 133-H2 labeled frame is priceless. Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) wonderful project.

I am also interested in whether the MET tracks are visible. I know that for portions of the trek up the rim of Cone crater they actually had to carry the MET to make progress up the slope.

Craig
ilbasso
In addition to the 400+ heating and cooling cycles, I'm really interested to see if there has been any visible evidence of electrostatically-induced movement of dust. There was speculation that the day/night cycle caused electrostatic transport of dust particles - I don't know how big those dust particles are, but 40 years elapsed time may be enough to result in reduced reflectivity on some of the hardware.
Phil Stooke
Actually we know how close the Apollo 14 crew got to Cone Crater's rim, because we can compare the boulders seen in their surface images at Station C1 with the Lunar Orbiter images of the same boulders. They didn't know at the time, but we know it now. They were about 40 m from the rim but couldn't see over it into the depression. It will still be great to see these places at unprecedented resolution, but it won't change our ideas about the location of C1.

Phil
belleraphon1
QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jun 24 2009, 09:58 PM) *
It will still be great to see these places at unprecedented resolution, but it won't change our ideas about the location of C1.


It will indeed.... I can't wait to see what we can see at C1 and all the rest smile.gif

Thanks Phil

Craig
John Moore
QUOTE (ilbasso @ Jun 25 2009, 02:58 AM) *
I don't know how big those dust particles are, but 40 years elapsed time may be enough to result in reduced reflectivity on some of the hardware.


A research paper of possible, related interest that appeared in Geophysical Research Letters last April might be something to have a look at -- titled "Direct active measurements of movements of lunar dust: Rocket exhausts and natural effects contaminating and cleansing Apollo hardware on the Moon in 1969"

The paper does get quite technical in parts, however, to have a read go HERE, or for a more 'readable' version see this ScienceDaily article.

John
John Moore
QUOTE (John Moore @ Jun 26 2009, 06:00 PM) *
A research paper of possible, related interest that appeared in Geophysical Research Letters last April might be something to have a look at -- titled "Direct active measurements of movements of lunar dust: Rocket exhausts and natural effects contaminating and cleansing Apollo hardware on the Moon in 1969"

The paper does get quite technical in parts, however, to have a read go HERE, or for a more 'readable' version see this ScienceDaily article.

John


ADDENDUM: Sorry Space Angel if you're having problems accessing the first link as I don't want to point you to a subscripe/purchase option -- which it does. I did a check on the availability of it using the link at the end of the ScienceDaily article and I swear I got acces to the complete article after clicking on 'Full Article' in Geophysical Research Letters. But for some reason it doesn't allow me in anymore on a second try. You might try it at your end as it may have only allowed me access it once (I tried it again just now but, darn it, I'm being put into the subscribe'purchase link.

Sorry if it doesn't work...but the ScienceDaily article does work okay.

John
ilbasso
Also potentially pertinent to the appearance of the Apollo lunar surface hardware is the work that is currently underway at the National Air and Space Museum to replace all the Kapton foil on LM-2, which has been sitting in sunlight at least part of every day for the past 33 years. There's a more detailed summary of the restoration work underway at collectspace.com, but what I thought was particularly interesting was this little snippet:

QUOTE
They bagged the Descent Stage with a giant sheet of polyethylene, then hung some sheets of 2 mil Aluminized Kapton which crumbled after 33 years in the sun! Some samples of that are being analyzed, and the rest is trash unfortunately. It just broke apart and was covered in dust and filth!


If the Kapton crumbled after 33 years in a climate-controlled environment, even with partial sun every day, one wonders as to the state of the Kapton that has been sitting in lunar conditions for 40 years, and if any of this deterioration might be visible from LROC.
nprev
Indeed. There's mounting evidence that Kapton isn't really very durable over time, esp. when exposed to extreme heat. I suspect that the material on the descent stages may have long since crumbled away.
mchan
How much of that evidence is at 1 std atm vs near vacuum? Is it just extreme heat or extreme heat + reacting gases?
djellison
Just look at Hubble Insulation. It's crumbling off. It may be going thru more rapid thermal cycles than Apollo hardware - but there's evidence that long space exposure does end up ruining that sort of insulation material.
nprev
There are a lot of other interesting potential variables to consider, too. For example, the Apollo stuff's obviously exposed directly to the solar wind while Hubble isn't, but at the same time HST is exposed to monatomic oxygen in LEO. Does any of that make any difference? Dunno.

All we seem to know with high confidence is that kapton looks very stable for 5-10 years--long enough for most nominal missions to date--of exposure to the inner Solar System space environments we've spent the most time in, but prospects don't look promising for much longer durations.
mcaplinger
QUOTE (djellison @ Jun 28 2009, 01:32 AM) *
Just look at Hubble Insulation. It's crumbling off.

That was silver FEP (Teflon), not Kapton.

I'm quite doubtful that LROC will be able to resolve the state of the blankets on the Apollo hardware.
Zvezdichko
http://lroupdate.blogspot.com/

LROC camera turned on for a series of preliminary measurements. Images are expected to be taken on 3rd July.

LOLA laser altimeter successfully turned on.
Paul Fjeld
I was the contractor on the LM-2 job. I was really shocked at the quality of the sun-facing Kapton sheets. They only had the 2 mil aluminized Kapton on LM-2 and it broke apart in your hands - not brittle, just a kind of mushy break. It was very dull - looked a bit like the Vbar side of the Kapton coverings from the early Shuttle flights (the elbow camera on the arm for example) which got "eaten" away by atomic oxygen in low earth orbit. For LM-2 we replaced the old stuff with proper variations of Kapton (1/2, 2 and 5 mil thicknesses) so if the complete restoration is not done soon, we might get some idea about how different thicknesses of Kapton handle the heat and light in the relatively benign environment of the museum.

QUOTE (nprev @ Jun 27 2009, 10:36 PM) *
Indeed. There's mounting evidence that Kapton isn't really very durable over time, esp. when exposed to extreme heat. I suspect that the material on the descent stages may have long since crumbled away.


Well, the multi-layer blankets (~20-30 sheets) were constrained around standoffs and were well built with taped seams and different hardware to hold them together. We might see the outer layer, which was screwed to the standoffs, crumble, but the inner layers will peel in sections - my guess is that there will be quite a bit left on the spacecraft once the exterior sheets have popped off from the stresses of their attachment.
jabe
looks like first pics are up if I'm reading it right smile.gif
first pics here
cheers
jb
edit:more info here.
Stu
Thanks for that!

Gorgeous... just gorgeous...

Time to buy a new portable hard drtive, I think...! laugh.gif
Zvezdichko
These images came early smile.gif
Zvezdichko
A WAC image also appeared!

http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/index.php?/a...;.html#extended
peter59
Nice and convenient method for viewing large images.
http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc_browse/view/nacl000000fd
SFJCody
For some reason these remind me of Cassini's hi-res images of Phoebe.

How strange it is to look at somewhere just next door and think of something far more distant and alien. Surely a sign of just how long it's been since we last had lunar imagery of this kind.
John Moore
WOW...incredible.

If these early images are anything to go, we're in for a treat over the next year or so smile.gif

John
Phil Stooke
Yes, a real treat!

Phil
dvandorn
I'm impressed that the first calibration image, from the "commissioning" orbit (higher than the final science orbit, IIRC) is stated to have a resolution of 73cm per pixel.

Wow!

-the other Doug
mcaplinger
The current orbit is 30kmx199km. Periapsis is at the south pole. The science orbit is nominally 50km circular. So this image, assuming that the resolution is listed correctly, was taken at a lower altitude than the science orbit. The nominal resolution is 50 cm from 50 km (1 m summed).
Lewis007
On July 3, LRO officially entered the Instrument Commissioning Phase. See http://lroupdate.blogspot.com/ for further details.

A first LROC picture taken on July 3 has been issued as well (a region south-east of Clavius); see page http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/?archives/66...-Highlands.html
dvandorn
Fascinating -- this surface strongly resembles the "elephant-skin" surface observed in some of the Ranger IX photos of Alphonsus and around Gassendi. Among many other places.

My understanding of the best speculation on what forms this kind of surface is that we're looking at debris flow patterns from large-scale ejecta events (i.e., basin ejecta emplacement events). If this is in the Clavius region, would that imply we're looking at Aiken Basin ejecta debris flow?

-the other Doug
John Moore
I like the 'debris flow' hypothesis -- very interesting.

There definitely are series of striations running diagonally across the picture from upper-left to lower-right. However, depending on the exact location of this lovely shot, I wonder would these be due to Tycho's influence -- just north of Clavius, or, are they, an integrated effect of the above flow hypothesis?

John
Hungry4info
Goldschmidt D in a new LROC image.
http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/?archives/68...he-shadows.html
Stu
Many thanks for that heads-up. That's a nice image, very abstract and sparse... like it a lot. I get the feeling that we're going to get quite a few unintentionally "arty" shots from LRO.
Stu
Crop from image http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc_browse/view/iom20090703 shoing some nice boulders around a crater...

Click to view attachment
Sunspot
Hmmmm that zoomify image doesn't load anymore
Stu
Quite a few pics up now...

http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc_browse

"Zoomify" is working fine for me here right now...
djellison
Is it just me, or - when loading the TIF's at full res, there appears to be some sort of interlacing (vertically). i.e. one column of pixels is bright, the next dark..bright, dark etc etc.

Attached zoom from http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc_browse/view/nacl00000145

I guess some sort of adaptive amplification to create a pseudo enhanced dynamic range might be involved....or it might be a processing error, or it might be just something to do with the TIF's.

You can sort of back it out with some VERY rudimentary Photoshopping (doesn't quite get the shadows...someone cleverer than I could do it). I'd expect proper calibration (which is, after all, the point of these early images) would eliminate it. I found a different chunt and had a go at it
ugordan
Definitely looks like something a flatfield (or possibly a dark model) would fix so I wouldn't worry about it much. Reminds me a bit of the awful dark current noise in VIMS visual channel.
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