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Mars Moon Space

Are There Images of the Lunar Landers from Orbit? 88

Posted by Cliff
from the a-scavenger-hunt-on-the-net dept.
banditski asks: "We have pictures of Mars rovers from taken from orbit, like this photo of Opportunity, but I could not find any of the lunar landers from 60's and 70's? If they do exist, where are they?" More interesting photos from the MRO can be found in an October entry of the Bad Astronomer weblog, and interestingly enough this sentiment was repeated by a couple of posters, there. It won't be until 2008 until we get a fresh pair of 'eyes' on the Moon, but that doesn't mean that there aren't earlier, and just as interesting images buried somewhere on the net. Where can you find interesting orbital photos of the Moon, particularly ones that contain the LEMs, or other photogenic aspects of Tranquility Base?
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Are There Images of the Lunar Landers from Orbit?

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  • by 0racle (667029) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:14PM (#17771978)
    We never landed on the Moon

    Geez, I thought everyone knew that.
    • They have a mirror set up on the moon so that anyone who knows where to look can fire a laser at it and get a reflection back; that conspiracy theory has been debunked long ago
      • by dschuetz (10924) <[gro.tensad.divad] [ta] [hsals]> on Friday January 26, 2007 @03:03PM (#17773040) Homepage
        They have a mirror set up on the moon so that anyone who knows where to look can fire a laser at it and get a reflection back;

        How do you know that's not just a shiny rock? :)
        • Because it's not just something shiny. You can fire the laser from basically anywhere on earth that's facing the moon and it will return in exactly the opposite direction right back at you. Shiny surfaces don't do that; it takes a precise structure
          • These devices are known as corner reflectors. They are shaped like the inside of a cube with a reflective surface. Yes, indeed, these do return the light in the direction it came from for a range of angles. The flawed theories of the conspiracy theorists are a nuisance! The government isn't as smart as they think it is... mwmarasch
            • by dpilot (134227)
              Oh, but if your tinfoil had is screwed on really tight, and made of really heavy-gauge tinfoil, the answer is simple.

              It was well within our 1969 technology to send small unmanned landers to the moon, carrying retroreflectors. (Didn't every one of the supposed Apollo missions carry one?) That's how they got there, and how we're able to bounce lasers off of them.

              Beyond that, even once we do have decent cameras in-place in 2008, remember that based on one of the referenced articles, NONE of the so-called Apoll
              • Not a boardwalk... A big plexiglass tube.
              • ("Unless we've done something stupid to ourselves prior to lunar tourism.)"

                My bet's on the 'something stupid' happening first...
                • by dpilot (134227)
                  Much as I would like to see lunar tourism, preferably participate, I'm not betting on either.
              • by wwphx (225607)
                I don't know if all of the Apollo missions carried reflectors, but I do know that three did along with two Russian robotic probes. One of the Russians doesn't work, maybe it tipped over or a strut broke and the retroreflector is pointing off in who-knows-what direction.

                My wife operates the APOLLO lunar lasing system at Apache Point Observatory. The beam is fired through the telescope, so it's 3.5 meters wide exiting and heading towards the moon, apparently it's over 2km when it hits. I have no idea how b
            • by GMontag (42283)
              Back in the day, when they were preparing to put them on the Moon, they were glass spheres and that would reflect the light back to it's origin. Not sure what "the inside of a cube" shape would be, other than a cube, and it would not reflect back from every direction.
              • Spheres and partial cubes are both ways to construct retroreflectors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector [wikipedia.org]

                Everything I've read about the reflectors left on the moon describes them as the corner-cube type of reflectors, although looking at a close up picture it's hard to tell if the mirrors are cubes or spheres.
      • Yes (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sakusha (441986)
        You are referring to the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment [nasa.gov], of course. It could be said that the LLRE returns a single-pixel image of a manmade object on the lunar surface.
        • by darkonc (47285)
          You actually believe the story that the LLRE was placed by a live astronaut? You've obviously lost your tinfoil hat liner!
      • I agree. There is a mirror set up on the moon.

        Now, how did that mirror get there? NASA has had the ability to land stuff on the moon since 1966 with the Surveyor missions [wikipedia.org]. They claim that it was set up by Apollo 11. But did anybody shoot a laser at the coordinates NASA gives before 1969 to prove that something wasn't there?
      • by Necoras (918009)
        It was placed there to measure distance, speed and to extrapolate tidal pull.
      • > They have a mirror set up on the moon so that anyone who knows where to look can fire a laser at it and get a reflection back; that conspiracy theory has been debunked long ago

        Uhmmm, that's a partial debunking. Getting machinery on other planets is a sure thing. But a man is not a mirror. If we landed in 69 or no, it will be apparent when we get there [again].

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > 404 File Not Found
      > The requested URL (askslashdot/07/01/26/0432232.shtml) was not found.

      Not found indeed. I'd go so far as to say that the moon itself doesn't exist. Just try finding any moon literature from before the 1930s. And notice how "coincidentally" only one side faces us, and it almost perfectly eclipses the sun, viewed from the Earth's surface. Makes you think, what's on the other side? Things get more contradictory from here: apparently it doesn't exist, yet we landed on it, and it has 4
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        But the moon has 6 sides - you forgot "inside" and "outside". Doesn't that make the moon a cube?
      • You tried way to hard on that one.

        BTW to explain the way a sphere has 4 sides, see timecube.com for more information.

        *giggle*
      • by GMontag (42283)
        Nice try! Check some of these versions:

        Myth [anarchistnews.org]

        And this Slashdot version. [slashdot.org]
    • I would like to see a convincing vacuum made on Earth...
      • by peragrin (659227)
        I would like to see a convicing 1/6 gravity field created on earth. That golf shot would be impossible to duplicate on a stage in the 1970's. Today it would be CGI, but then it would be obvious.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ReverendLoki (663861)

        Which, in reply, I wish to direct you here [dyson.com], here [hoover.com], or even here [shopvac.com]. Or if unmanned robotic efforts are more your cup of tea, here [irobot.com] (one of which just happens to be the subject for today here [woot.com]).

        What, was somene not expecting a smart-ass reply to that?

        • by slcdb (317433)
          No, no, no... none of those are convincing.

          He's asking about one that says things like, "You know, you really should consider vacuuming today. This place is a sty. Seriously, I've seen frat-houses that had cleaner floors. Come on, take me for a spin... you know you want to."
        • by Ded Bob (67043)
          My wife has the Dyson DC15 [dyson.com]. It is called The Ball. I really wanted that model because I first thought it was a sphere. :)
    • by sam0vi (985269)
      After reading this, i remembered the first thing thast made me think that moon landing never happened. And that this was: if it had been true every single bigass telescope on earth by that time would have focused on the landing area to see to space crafts and such. And as far as i know that never happened. Does anybody have an answer to that question different of mine?? i'll appreciate it
  • here you go (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcgam69 (994690) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:16PM (#17772016)
    A discussion of the difficulty of imaging the landers and a picture: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/11jul_lroc .htm [nasa.gov]
    • Interesting to find out that Hubble can not do it. It really makes a case for continual improvements of camera (lighter weight and smaller / pixel resolution) for using to send to other planets.
      • Even if Hubble could do it, conspiracy theorists would just be like "NASA must have faked them to try and prove us wrong.. we're not falling for that".
      • by scdeimos (632778)

        Interesting to find out that Hubble can not do it. It really makes a case for continual improvements of camera (lighter weight and smaller / pixel resolution) for using to send to other planets.

        Maybe for surface imaging but for (stellar) astronomical cameras bigger pixels are actually better. The larger the surface area of a CCD pixel the more photons it is able to collect thus making the imaging array more sensitive, even if that means lower resolution. To give you an idea, if you make a CCD array the sa

  • Considering how sensitive the global warming issue is on Earth, the UNITED NATIONS had decided to cover up the environmental damage done by space probes to avoid being sued by any extra-planetary lawyers.
  • by stevesliva (648202)
    In short, no, AFAIK. No LEMs, no Surveyors, no Lunokhods... But you could ask more here. [unmannedspaceflight.com]

    I believe it is because modern lunar orbiters have focused more on mapping minerals and such rather than on high-resolution imagers like the absolutely huge HiRISE [arizona.edu].
    • by robogun (466062)
      There are no LEMs on the moon. After launching and lunar orbit docking with the CSM, they were ejected and impacted into the lunar surface. The lower stages remain at the landing sites, they are platforms maybe 2m in height.
  • You can look (Score:3, Informative)

    by doroshjt (1044472) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:24PM (#17772174)
  • by jcgam69 (994690) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:25PM (#17772198)
    These are the best photos available: http://www.tass-survey.org/richmond/answers/lunar_ lander.html#apollo [tass-survey.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by haystor (102186)
      Sad to say, but I'm afraid to click on any link on /. that says "These are the best photos available".
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:27PM (#17772238)
    If the landings were faked in the first place with 1960's technology (and the idea of keeping all those involved completely isolated), what do you think could be done with current technology and digital photos?

    (and I am sure there are people out there who would take the above seriously)
    • by maxume (22995)
      Faked with 1960s *government conspiracy* technology. Sheesh. They only give us access to enough of the alien tech they have recovered to keep us in the illusion that we are making progress.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by demo9orgon (156675)
        Trust the Government?
        Hell no!
        Nobody should.

        Personally, I don't trust any organization with three or more people in it.
        As much as I would like to believe in all the national history of US Space flight I'm really not a "believer" in anything except my ability to waste my own time.

        Despite all the advances in technology if we had a serious space program we'd stop throwing away money on on orbital trailer parks and create genuine spacefaring technologies and exo-orbital structures which would make hull-building
        • by Croaker (10633)

          Personally, I don't trust any organization with three or more people in it.

          Three or more you say? Well... I have just my partner in my organization, so you can trust us! We sell bridges. We have a fine selection in the New York City area that we'd be willing to sell you, cheap!

          • I suppose a better quantifer would be,

            "Personally I don't trust any organization trying to sell anything."

            I don't mind organizations when they're altruisic and informative, it's when they're trying to sell something that things get trampled.

            I guess that makes me "unamerican". It goes well with being an unbeliever.

            Of course I'm not immune to the antics of the P.T.Barnum club, at least any more than most.

            I tend to think that anyone who has a mortage and realizes the illusion of home ownership fits that descri
    • by kfg (145172)
      The moon landing really happened. The pictures were faked, but to prevent you from seeing the real truth. Here is one of the actual photos of conditions the astronauts found on the moon:

      There is nightlife on the Moon [kuleuven.be]

      KFG
  • No (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes@xmsnBLUEet.nl minus berry> on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:38PM (#17772456)
    This NASA press release [nasa.gov] says that NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (planned for 2008) will be the first time it's possible to take photos of the landers.

    I seem to remember a photo from 1-2 years ago, though. It showed the shadow of the LEM and some nearby stuff (Surveyor?). Not enough resolution to resolve the objects themselves, but the sun was low on the horizon, creating huge shadows.
    • by apsmith (17989) * on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:57PM (#17772890) Homepage
      The truth is, we've sent far more and better spacecraft to Mars in the last few decades than to the Moon. The only things the US has sent to the Moon since 1972 have been Clementine, a DoD low-cost project that didn't have anywhere near a good enough camera, and Lunar Prospector, another low-budget item that had no camera at all. Galileo swung by briefly, but not enough to take close-range pictures. Europe has sent SMART-1, again decidedly low-budget: it took over a year to get there and was mainly for testing other things besides photography.

      But that's the Moon for you - the inner city of the solar system that everybody says they care about but nobody does anything.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by russ1337 (938915)
      FTA you referenced:

      The spacecraft's high-resolution camera, called "LROC," short for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, has a resolution of about half a meter. That means that a half-meter square on the Moon's surface would fill a single pixel in its digital images.

      Apollo moon buggies are about 2 meters wide and 3 meters long.
      So in the LROC images, those abandoned vehicles will fill about 4 by 6 pixels.

      WTF? Four to Six Pixels!!???? That is about the size of ---} ' {---- that black thing there!!

    • by SEWilco (27983)
      Perhaps you're thinking of the previously mentioned http://www.tass-survey.org/richmond/answers/lunar _ lander.html [tass-survey.org] which includes some images from the slide show at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/slidesets/apo llolanding/ApolloLanding/apollolanding_index.shtml [usra.edu]
  • by thrill12 (711899) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:40PM (#17772494) Journal
    ... hurrying to prevent the news that the moon landing in fact never happened from coming out:

    * Quick, launch that space junk towards the moon before LROC [nasa.gov] comes along !
    * Oh, it seems that we couldn't photograph the landing site due to a metric conversion error.
    * Giant moon storms have suddenly wiped out all evidence of any landing on the moon, what a coincidence eh ?
    * OMG this is not the moon we landed on in 1969, we have been tricked !
    * There is life there, but not as we know it - they made our moon landers disappear.
    * OK, the moon landing was faked - see this little bunny, this funny little bunny ? Look how cute this little bunny is ! So cute !
    * The russians did it !
    * The chinese did it !
    * The martians did it !
    * The democrats did it !
    * In a blatant act of time-terrorism, our moon landing was sabotaged and in fact never ever took place !
    * Due to global warming, our moon landers have shrunk to microscopic size.
    * Because we plan to go to the moon in a decade time again, we decided to clean the place up and remove all evidence of any moon landers. Neat eh ?
    * Our moon landing was an advanced project, so advanced that we calculated the environmental damage the moon equipment would have on the moon would be enormous. Therefore we decided, back then in 1969, to make all equipment on the moon from bio-degradable plastics - and look : they have all degraded !
    * The chance of a meteor hitting the moon is very large - by a mere coincidence meteors have struck the exact same places our moon equipment were at and removed all evidence of us ever being there.
  • Nice troll! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:55PM (#17772858) Journal
    The story is so obviously a troll. Just coming out with "there are no landers on the moon" would have been rejected, even by the /. editors. So this is a very slightly disguised way of throwing out the same claim for 'discussion'. It's pretty obvious that all this will generate is comments about faked landings. Kudos to the author who slipped it past the editors!
    • I find it odd that some posters here are assuming this question to be a troll... as if the questioner must be demanding photographic "proof" that the landings occurred in the first place!

      Fer chrissakes, is there no place for plain old curiosity anymore?

      I watched the landings on live TV. And though one could say I was gullible, being just shy of six years old in July of '69, I never doubted the authenticity of the landings.

      Be that as it may, I'd still LOVE to see some photos of the discarded equipment from o
    • by Laith (21370)
      I see the point you are trying to make. However you didn't read his question correctly.

      You read him asking "If they do exist, where are they?" as "If the rovers do exist, where are they?".

      However in context the question is "If orbital pictures of them do exist, where are they?" as he said he can't find any out on the net.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:57PM (#17772898)
    The Whalers on the moon?

    "We're whalers on the moon, We carry a harpoon. But there ain't no whales So we tell tall tales And sing our whaling tune."
  • we always see the same side of the moon. the landers landed on a lighted part of the moon that is just on the far side that is visible from earth.
  • We are inundated by images nowadays...
    It doesn't matter how remote something is, and what happened there, we want a full panavision image of it pronto from CNN or with beach babe added from FOX.

    No, seriously, with all the bogus information we get from our respective governments it isn't at all surprising that the disenfranchised might suspect everything under the Sun (or Moon). Maybe they (the US) should send a High Yield full spec package to take snaps of previous holidays spent on the moon for the kids ba
  • Not possible - - yet (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26, 2007 @03:44PM (#17773918)
    Telescopes are not an option: http://calgary.rasc.ca/moonscope.htm [calgary.rasc.ca]

    No lunar recon probes have had the camera resolution to do it as far as I know. The closest was SMART-1 which was plowed into the moon.

    http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEM1O6BUQPE_0. html [esa.int]
    • The Web site above is very good, but omits one crucial consideration: optical interferometry. Let's consider the Keck Interferometer on Mauna Kea, HI. It has an effective resolution of about 5 miliarcseconds at its most sensitive. Since a Linar Rover is, at best, about 2.4 milliarcseconds wide as seen from the surface of the Earth, and since the Keck isn't really set up for direct interferometric imaging anyway, we're once again frustrated in our desire to image the Lunar Rover from Earth. But, if you
  • Surely any geek worth his salt would have found the relevant information inside of 5 minutes. I know I did, and I wasn't even the first to post the relevant link. One poster has suggested it's merely 'moon landings were faked' flamebait, but really, that's been a. so thoroughly debunked I'd sign up anyone who still believes that for the most remote lunatic asylum I can find, and b. discussed to death on /. Can we move on now?
  • Photos provided by NASA or any other agency would do absolutely no good. The nutters who say the lunar landing was faked will just claim that the photos of the site were faked as well.

    It stands to reason that if NASA would fake the landing, the could also fake the photos and fake the science to take them. This is not the case.

    If you think the lunar landing were faked take some real physics courses and then decide for yourself. Otherwise go back to working on the perpetual motion machine behind the traile

  • Apollo 12 was able to land in very close proximity to a Surveyor probe because its location could be determined from images originating from Lunar Orbiter probes. I believe its shadowed image was also discernable in the LO pics. Other LO images showed long shadows from boulders that had rolled down crater walls. So, yeah, it is possible to see them unmanned landers, and it has been done.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by darkonc (47285)
      Apollo 12 [nasa.gov] even brought back pieces of Surveyor III. ((The referenced page (astronomy picture of the day) shows surveyor 3 from a distance of .... oh, 50 feet. and the Apollo 12 lunar module from abut 600 feet.))

      Yep... The moon's seen it's first example of the very human activity known as looting.

  • In 100 years, after all the Earthlings kill themselves off and China colonizes Mars, there won't be a single living being who still believes the moon landings ever happened. The doubts would just grow in number. The media, empowered by Digg brain implants that disable independant thought, would declare the moon landings a hoax.

    There would be no way to prove otherwise, not only because humans would be incapable of independant thought outside Digg, but because China would have destroyed the moon in retaliat

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