One more way to know Apollo 11 landed on the Moon

April 4, 2010

Every year at this time . . .

In a discussion of the Cold War, the Space Race, and the Race to the Moon, we get to a photo about Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon.

Like clockwork, a hand goes up:  “Mr. Darrell, wasn’t that landing a hoax?  They didn’t really go to the Moon then, did they?”

There are a lot of ways to know that Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.  Among other things, students could talk to people alive at the time who have the slightest bit of technological savvy:  With lots of other people, I tracked part of the trip with my 6-inch reflecting telescope.  Ham radio operators listened in on the radio broadcasts.  And so on.

But I really like this chunk of evidence:  How about a photograph of the landing site?

Holy cow!  You can see the tracksof Neil Armstrong’s footprints to the lip of Little West crater (see arrow below).

Tranquility Base, from the LROC -- showing evidence of Apollo 11's landing -

Tranquility Base, shot from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), showing the traces left by Apollo 11's landing on the Moon. It really happened. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

According to the LROC website:

The astronaut path to the TV camera is visible, and you may even be able to see the camera stand (arrow). You can identify two parts of the Early Apollo Science Experiments Package (EASEP) – the Lunar Ranging Retro Reflector (LRRR) and the Passive Seismic Experiment (PSE). Neil Armstrong’s tracks to Little West crater (33 m diameter) are also discernable (unlabeled arrow). His quick jaunt provided scientists with their first view into a lunar crater.

Check out this video made from the photos, “High Noon at Tranquility Base”:

Fox News?  What’s your story now?

More:

Tip of the old scrub brush to Collect Space forum, and the Carnival of Space #147 at Weird Sciences.  Thanks to ScienceBlips for telling us about Carnival of Space.


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