APOLLO OVER THE MOON: A View From Orbit (NASA History Series Book 117)

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What an awesome ending to my time on the station. My most important work in space, in my opinion, was photography and the impressions of space that I can share with others. This truly was saving 'the best for last,'" Virts writes in "View from Above. And then there are the "Viewfinders. It's just a —pretty cool, in my opinion — way to show the reader some of the best images at full size, and not cropped down in the middle of the chapter.

NASA, itself, published two volumes of Earth images taken on board its Gemini two-man missions 50 years ago.

Virts acknowledges that the photos will be the major draw for "View from Above," but he hopes readers take the time to read his narrative, too. Pages "It takes careful attention and a lot of Velcro and Ziploc bags to keep track of things in zero gravity. I once lost track of a flashlight and eventually found it inside my shirt, between my shoulder blades.

Pages The striking turquoise of the Bahamas stands out amid more muted ocean shades. From its initial low Earth parking orbit, Apollo 11 flew a direct trans-lunar trajectory to the Moon, inserting into lunar orbit about 76 hours after liftoff. In the two and a half hours they spent on the lunar surface, Armstrong and Aldrin collected The PSEP provided the first lunar seismic data, returning data for three weeks after the astronauts left, and the LRRR allows precise distance measurements to be collected to this day.

Neil Armstrong made an unscheduled jaunt to Little West crater, about 50 m feet east of the LM, and provided the first view into a lunar crater. As the Apollo spacecraft approached Earth, the SM was jettisoned. President Nixon personally visited and congratulated the astronauts while they were still in quarantine aboard the USS Hornet. You can watch a video of this meeting here:. There were a total of six Apollo lunar landings Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 , with the last mission, Apollo 17, returning to Earth on 19 December Their landing sites are shown in the following graphic.

The Apollo 11 command module Columbia was physically transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in and has been on display for decades at the National Air and Space Museum on the mall in Washington D. NASA currently is developing the following spaceflight systems for the Artemis mission:. While NASA has a tentative goal of returning humans to the Moon by , the development schedules for the necessary Artemis systems may not be able to meet this ambitious schedule.

The Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which had an initial mass of 1, kg 3, lb , consisted of two modules, an orbiter and a Moon Impact Probe MIP. Chandrayaan-1 carried 11 scientific instruments for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.

Initially, the spacecraft was placed into a highly elliptical geostationary transfer orbit GTO , and was sent to the Moon in a series of orbit-increasing maneuvers around the Earth over a period of 21 days. A lunar transfer maneuver enabled the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft to be captured by lunar gravity and then maneuvered to the intended lunar mapping orbit.

On 14 November , the 34 kg 75 lb MIP separated from the orbiter and descended for 25 minutes while transmitting data back to the orbiter. In May , controllers raised the orbit to km miles and the orbiter mission continued until 28 August , when communications with Earth ground stations were lost. Numerous reports have been published describing the detection by the Chandrayaan-1 mission of water in the top layers of the lunar regolith.

The data from CHACE produced a lunar atmosphere profile from orbit down to the surface, and may have detected trace quantities of water in the atmosphere. Chandrayaan-2 was launched on 22 July After achieving a km 62 mile circular polar orbit around the Moon, a lander module will separate from the orbiting spacecraft and descend to the lunar surface for a soft landing, which currently is expected to occur in September , after a seven-week journey to the Moon. A small rover vehicle will be deployed from the lander to conduct a day mission on the lunar surface.

The orbiting spacecraft is designed to conduct a one-year mapping mission. Variants of this launch vehicle also are used for science missions and a human-rated version is being developed to serve as the launch vehicle for the Indian Human Spaceflight Program. The GSLV III launch vehicle will place the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into an elliptical parking orbit EPO from which the spacecraft will execute orbital transfer maneuvers comparable to those successfully executed by Chandrayaan-1 on its way to lunar orbit in The Chandrayaan-2 mission profile is shown in the following graphic.

Chandrayaan-2 builds on the design and operating experience from the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission. The new spacecraft developed by ISRO has an initial mass of 3, kg 8, lb. The three modules are shown in the following diagram. Chandrayaan-2 carries 13 Indian payloads — eight on the orbiter, three on the lander and two on the rover. The OC and the LC are stacked together within the payload fairing of the launch vehicle and remain stacked until the LC separates in lunar orbit and starts its descent to the lunar surface.

The solar-powered orbiter is designed for a one-year mission to map lunar surface characteristics chemical, mineralogical, topographical , probe the lunar surface for water ice, and map the lunar exosphere using the CHACE-2 mass spectrometer. The orbiter also will relay communication between Earth and Vikram lander. The solar-powered Vikram lander weighs 1, kg 3, lb. The scientific instruments on the lander will measure lunar seismicity, measure thermal properties of the lunar regolith in the polar region, and measure near-surface plasma density and its changes with time.

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An Annotated Bibliography of the Apollo Program/General Works - Wikisource, the free online library

The 27 kg The rover can communicate only with the Vikram lander. It is designed for a day mission on the lunar surface. It is equipped with cameras and two spectroscopes to study the elemental composition of lunar soil. Best wishes to the Chandrayaan-2 mission team for a successful soft lunar landing and long-term lunar mapping mission.

The National Reconnaissance Office NRO is responsible for developing and operating space reconnaissance systems and conducting intelligence-related activities for US national security. After recovery, the film was processed and analyzed. The first US military optical reconnaissance satellite program, code named CORONA, pioneered the development and refinement of the technologies, equipment and systems needed to deploy an operational orbital optical reconnaissance capability.

The KH flies long-duration missions and returns its digital images in near real time to ground stations for processing and analysis.

How NASA captured its famous 'Earthrise' photo during the Apollo 8 moon mission 50 years ago

The KH, or an advanced version sometimes referred to as the KH, is operational today. Geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.

Satellite imagery from Keyhole reconnaissance satellites is an important information source for national security-related GEOINT activities. The first Landsat satellite was launched on 23 July with two electronic observing systems, both of which had a spatial resolution of about 80 meters feet. Resolution of the current generation multi-spectral scanner on Landsat 9 is 30 meters 98 feet in visible light bands. All military reconnaissance satellite imagery was highly classified until , when some imagery from early defense reconnaissance satellite programs was declassified.

The USGS explains:. In , an Environmental Task Force evaluated the application of early satellite data for environmental studies. Additional sets of military reconnaissance satellite imagery were declassified in and based on extensions of Executive Order The declassified military reconnaissance satellite imagery provides views of the Earth starting in the early s, more than a decade before civilian Earth observation satellites became operational. The military reconnaissance satellite imagery, except from ARGON KH-5, is higher resolution than is available today from Landsat civilian earth observation satellites.

The declassified imagery is an important supplement to other Earth imagery sources. Several examples applications of the declassified imagery are described below. It was the 4th largest lake in the world. In the s, a dam was built to prevent North Aral water from flowing into the South Aral. It was rebuilt in and named the Kok-Aral Dam….. The North Aral has stabilized but the South Aral has continued to shrink and become saltier.


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Up until the s, Aral Sea salinity was around 10 grams per liter, less than one-third the salinity of the ocean. The salinity level now exceeds grams per liter in the South Aral, which is about three times saltier than the ocean. By the late s, the average ice velocity at the front of the shelf was around 20 percent faster than in the preceding decades,….

Here, we quantify changes in ice thickness during the intervals — and — across the Himalayas, using a set of digital elevation models derived from cold war—era spy satellite film and modern stereo satellite imagery. You can read the complete paper by J. Maurer, et al. The Atlas contains archaeological sites.

These sites are often clearly visible on CORONA imagery, enabling researchers to map sites that have been lost and to discover many that have never before been documented. However, the unique imaging geometry of the CORONA satellite cameras, which produced long, narrow film strips, makes correcting spatial distortions in the images very challenging and has therefore limited their use by researchers. Images can be viewed online and full resolution images can be downloaded in NITF format. The firm Orbital Insight, founded in , is an example of commercial firms that are mining geospatial data and developing valuable information products for a wide range of customers.

Orbital Insight reports:. Not only does this create unprecedented transparency, but it also empowers business and policy decision makers with new insights and unbiased knowledge of socio-economic trends. Combining this information with terrestrial data, such as mobile and location-based data, unlocks new sources of intelligence. Additional reading related to civilian use of declassified spy satellite imagery.

Apollo 18: the truth about the lost Moon missions

Since then, the spacecraft has been continuing its journey out of our solar system and now is flying through the Kuiper Belt, which is a very large, diffuse region beyond the orbit of Neptune containing millions of small bodies in distant orbits around the Sun. On 1 January , the New Horizons spacecraft made a close flyby of Ultima Thule, at a range of 2, miles 3, km and a relative speed of 14 kilometers per second 31, mph.

At a distance of 4. Preliminary measurements of this Kuiper Belt object suggest it is approximately 20 miles long by 10 miles wide 32 kilometers by 16 kilometers. In addition, the spacecraft has significant hydrazine fuel remaining for course correction and attitude control en route to a future KBO flyby.

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Today, NASA released the following photo of Ultima Thule, taken at a distance of 4, miles 6, kilometers on 1 January , just seven minutes before closest approach. It seems that every week or two there is a news article about another small asteroid that soon will pass relatively close to the Earth. Most were detected while they were still approaching Earth. Some were first detected very shortly before or after their closest approach to Earth. That must have made the U.


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  4. Planetary Defense Officer a bit nervous, but then, what could he do about it? WISE was an Earth orbiting infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope with a 40 cm 16 in diameter primary mirror. A comet detection is shown in the following multiple images that have been combined to show the comet in four different positions relative to the fixed background stars.

    Its purpose is to ensure the long-term usability of NASA data and to stimulate advanced research.