NASA orbiter films Apollo 11 landing site

A NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed back images of Tranquility Base, where the fame Apollo 11 mission landed 45 years ago. 

NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter caught sight of the landing site of the Apollo 11 moon mission.

What does the site of the first moon-landing look like 45 years later? A NASA probe orbiting the moon has recently beamed back new images of what Apollo 11's Tranquility Base looks like now.

An amazing new moon video created from data collected by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter gives space fans a new look at the Apollo 11 landing site years after astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left the moon's surface behind. The new video shows a 3D view of the landing site, and LRO also spied the trails made by the astronauts as they kicked up the lunar dust.

"Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on July 20th, 1969, a little after 4:00 in the afternoon Eastern Daylight Time," NASA officials wrote in a video description. "The Lunar Module, nicknamed Eagle and flown by Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, touched down near the southern rim of the Sea of Tranquility, one of the large, dark basins that contribute to the Man in the Moon visible from Earth. Armstrong and Aldrin spent about two hours outside the LM setting up experiments and collecting samples." [Apollo 11 Moon Landing 45th Anniversary: Complete Coverage]

While the descent stage of the Eagle helped bring the astronauts safely down to the lunar surface, it remained on the moon after Aldrin and Armstrong lifted off to meet up with astronaut Michael Collins in orbit.

Animators used a 3D model of the lunar module for the video because in photos from an oblique angle, the lunar module appears flat, according to NASA.

Collins, Aldrin and Armstrong launched for the moon on July 16, 1969 from Florida. Aldrin and Armstrong descended to the lunar surface on July 20, and took their first steps on the moon that day. Armstrong was first out of the lunar module, with Aldrin following about 20 minutes later. Armstrong moved east of the Lunar Module to get a look at a small crater called Little West, NASA officials said. The astronaut's trail to the crater can be seen in the new video.

Aldrin and Armstrong spent 21.5 hours on the moon before blasting off to link up with Collins circling the natural satellite.

"Apollo 11 was the first of six increasingly ambitious crewed lunar landings," NASA officials said in the video description. "The exploration of the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts, when combined with the wealth of remote sensing data now being returned by LRO, continues to inform our understanding of our nearest neighbor in space."

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer and Google+. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

Copyright 2014 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to NASA orbiter films Apollo 11 landing site
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0721/NASA-orbiter-films-Apollo-11-landing-site
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe