Eagle’s Landing Site

390491main_apollo11_20090929_fullThis is what the Apollo 11 landing site looks like today from lunar orbit via NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Aldrin carrying equipment
Aldrin carrying equipment

Visible here is the remaining descent stage of the lander, a couple of left-behind scientific experiments and the tripod of a television camera as well as a dark trail of footprints to “Little West” crater left by Neil Armstrong’s thick Moon overboots.

It wasn’t until LRO arrived in orbit that we had the capability to resolve the actual hardware of the Apollo missions in images. From Earth they are just too small, and previous lunar orbiters (such as JAXA’s Kaguya) didn’t have the resolution capability.

Untouched since July 21, 1969 with no air, wind, rain, or any other natural weathering processes (other than a widely-dispersed but incessant rain of microscopic meteorites) these remnants of humanity’s first visit to the Moon will last for centuries if not millennia, just as they were on the day they were left.*

You can see this and other images of the Apollo landing sites on the LROC page from Arizona State University here.

Image credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

*The U.S. flags and anything printed in color will probably have been bleached white by the relentless UV radiation from the Sun.

By the way if you’re one of those who still has doubts that we went to the Moon at all or perhaps fully subscribes to the whole “Moon Hoax” theory, I highly suggest you check out this article. 

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