The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has opened its eyes and sent back its first images since establishing orbit around the moon on June 23. The image above is from a region called Mare Nubium – “Sea of Clouds” – and is on the Earth-facing side of the moon.
“Because of the deep shadowing, subtle topography is exaggerated, suggesting a craggy and inhospitable surface. In reality, the area is similar to the region where the Apollo 16 astronauts safely explored in 1972.” – LROC Principal Investigator Mark Robinson of Arizona State University.
This indicates that the cameras are working well, as are the six other key investigative instruments on the LRO. The mission will help NASA identify sites for future landings, locate possible natural resources and examine the radiation levels on the moon.
Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University