Conspiracy nuts, here is a new twist for you: NASA has posted brand new photographs of the Apollo landing sites. Of course, this comes just as the National Air and Space Agency admits it seems to have lost the original videos of the lunar missions. (Houston, We Erased the Apollo 11 Tapes).
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first “satellite for our satellite” to have a resolution high enough to capture the Apollo sites, reportedly able to photograph things as small as 4 feet across or four feet per pixel.
The pictures show the Apollo missions’ lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon’s surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules’ locations evident.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, was able to image five of the six Apollo sites, with the remaining Apollo 12 site expected to be photographed in the coming weeks.
NASA reports “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 spacecraft’s current elliptical orbit resulted in image resolutions that were slightly different for each site but were all around four feet per pixel. Because the deck of the descent stage is about 12 feet in diameter, the Apollo relics themselves fill an area of about nine pixels. However, because the sun was low to the horizon when the images were made, even subtle variations in topography create long shadows. Standing slightly more than ten feet above the surface, each Apollo descent stage creates a distinct shadow that fills roughly 20 pixels.”