NASA, 17/7/09: Finally, after many years of myth and tin-foil conspiracy, NASA has released the first ever post-Apollo images of the equipment the astronauts left behind on the lunar surface.
Taken by the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter, the series of images – although not the sparkly close up beauty passes that show every little detail that the conspiracy nuts would like – show the presence of all the lunar landers (save Apollo 12) on the surface of the moon – and in one low pass, scientific equipment and even the trails left behind by the boots of the astronauts in the lunar dust.
It is important to note that these are “first pass” images – lower pass flights are scheduled that should give more detailed images:
The satellite reached lunar orbit June 23 and captured the Apollo sites between July 11 and 15. Though it had been expected that LRO would be able to resolve the remnants of the Apollo mission, these first images came before the spacecraft reached its final mapping orbit. Future LROC images from these sites will have two to three times greater resolution.
The future can only bring better images from the orbiter – we hope – but these images are the first of hopefully many that will prove once and for all that, yes, we did fucking go there.
To read the full NASA article and see all the images close up, click here.