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Challenger Astronauts Craters

08.15.2011 - Shortly after the accident, the Challenger astronauts were memorialized by having lunar craters named after them. These seven craters, located on the far side of the Moon in the Apollo Basin, expose deep portions of the lunar crust.



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LOLA Data Help Refine Impact Basin Sizes

08.02.2011 - This image reveals the power LOLA data have in helping scientists refine sizes of impact basins on the Moon. By studying lunar impact basins, scientists refine their understanding of what happened in the earliest stages of the formation of our Solar System, including the size distribution of early impactors.



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Slopes on the South Pole

07.05.2011 - The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) sends laser pulses down to the surface of the Moon from the orbiting spacecraft. These pulses bounce off of the Moon and return to LRO, providing scientists with measurements of the distance from the spacecraft to the lunar surface. As LRO orbits the Moon, LOLA measures the shape of the lunar surface, which includes information about the Moon's surface elevations and slopes.



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LCROSS impact site

06.15.2011 - On October 9, 2009, the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) impacted a permanently shadowed region in Cabeus Crater near the Moon's South Pole. Since then, data from LRO and LCROSS have revealed the presence of volatiles, including water, in Cabeus. This LOLA image shows details of the region within Cabeus that cannot be seen in visible imagery (due to the aforementioned permanent shadow). LRO's polar orbit allows for a high density of measurements near the Moon's poles, which in turn gives us high-resolution data of the lunar polar topography.








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