[ExI] Kaguya - Terrain Camera captures Apollo 15 landing site

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Tue May 20 20:29:17 UTC 2008

 From the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

   JAXA announced today that Kaguya successfully captured images of Apollo
15 landing site. And they confirmed some remnant of thrusted gas (helo)
near the landing point. This is the world's first of discovery of Apollo
evidence since the cessation of the mission.

* JAXA press release (Japanese, as usual)

     The image captured on 24 Feb 2008. Also, they released composite
3D images of the landing site using stereo pairs. The images show
remarkable coincidence with photographs taken in Apollo 15 mission.

     Brief explanations of each image.

<Figure 1>
     The stereoscopic view of the Apollo 15 landing site. You can clearly
see the meandering Hadley rille in the middle of the photograph.

<Figure 2>
     The topographic map of the landing site (LPI). The red arrow shows
the viewing direction of Figure 1.

<Figure 3>
     Magnified view of the image near the landing site. The area surrounded
by red lines are considered as the remnant of the halo, the exposed
surface after blowing of the thrusted gas.

<Figure 4>
     The difference of the landing site before and after the landing, from
the Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report. Left one is AS15-87-11719, taken
before landing. Right one is AS15-9430, taken from the command module
after two circulation of the moon.

<Figure 5>
     The comparison between stereoscopic view composed from Kaguya images
and Apollo 15 view (right). As any viewpoint is available from Kaguya TC
images, JAXA staff composed the image simulated the view from Apollo 15
landing site. Hills and other topography are remarkably same.

<Figure 6>
     A HDTV image of Apollo 15 landing site.

<Figure 7>
     Close-up view of the Hadley rille. The stacked lava flows are clearly


Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado

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