apollo fever

The world is going Apollo-mad with the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the moon, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with some fresh images of those pioneering missions. Last month, NASA launched the Lunar Reconnassance Orbiter, or LRO, which will map the moon in greater detail than ever before. It’s the first lunar mapping mission with the resolution needed to photograph the equipment left behind by the Apollo missions, and just a few days ago, that’s exactly what it did.

This shot of the Apollo 14 landing site is definitely the best of the lot so far — you can see not just the base of the Lunar Module, but also the science payload set up a short distance away, and the path the astronauts walked to deliver it:

There are more images on the LRO website. The best news is that LRO still isn’t in its final mapping orbit, so it should be sending back even better photos of these historic sites in the future.

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