Apollo Moon Landing Site Photographed in HD
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's photographs of the Moon's surface show the lunar rover Apollo 17 left behind, the touchdown point and astronauts' footprints.
The twists and turns of the last tracks left by humans on the moon crisscross the surface in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the Apollo 12, 14, and 17 sites released by NASA September 6, 2011.
In the thin lunar soil, the trails made by astronauts on foot can be easily distinguished from the dual tracks left by the lunar roving vehicle. Also seen in this image are the descent stage of the Challenger lunar module and the rover, parked to the east.
The rover gave the Apollo 17 astronauts, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, considerable mobility. As in previous Apollo missions, the astronauts set up the lunar monitoring equipment known as the "Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package". To the west of the landing site, the cross-shaped path that the astronauts made as they set up the geophones to monitor seismic activity can be seen.
To the east, more rover tracks can be seen. Cernan made these when he laid out the 35-meter antennas for the "Surface Electrical Properties" experiment, measuring the electrical properties of the lunar soil.
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