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Halo Around Apollo 15 Landing Site

Halo Around Apollo 15 Landing Site

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Published by: Adarsh on Nov 01, 2009
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11/03/2012

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SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE
CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 97, NO. 5, 10 SEPTEMBER 2009
 
630
Chandrayaan-1 captures Halo around Apollo-15 landing site usingstereoscopic views from Terrain Mapping Camera
High resolution data from Chandrayaan-1 Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) hasfound evidence of surface reflectanceanomalies in and around the vicinity of the Apollo-15 landing site. The TMCcamera has a spatial resolution of 5 m anda multiviewing stereo capability from analtitude of 100 km over the Lunarsurface
1
. The Lunar module of Apollo-15,called the Falcon, touched down at theHadley–Apennine region near the Apen-nine Mountains on 31 July 1971 on theeastern margin of the Imbrium Basin inthe region known as Palus Putredinis
2
.Falcon was the first of the piloted landersto carry enlarged fuel tanks, as well astote along a Moon rover. There were twomain objectives in selecting this landingsite. First, the rim of the Imbrium Basincould be sampled along the ApennineMountains. It was expected that thiswould provide material from deeper inthe Lunar crust than was sampled byApollo-14 mission.
 
Second, this site pro-vided an opportunity to explore HadleyRille, a photogenic channel in the maresurface that is probably formed by vol-canic processes. The Apollo-15 was theninth manned mission, and fourth Lunarlanding mission of the Apollo programme.The Apollo-15 was launched on 26 July1971 and landed on the Moon on 31 July1971, and then landed back on Earth on 8August 1971. This mission was the first‘J mission’ which was primarily concer-ned with scientific research and longerstay period on the Moon than previousApollo missions
3
.
Figure 1.
Chandrayaan-1 Terrain MappingCamera (TMC) nadir view context imagearound the Apollo-15 landing site.
Chandrayaan-1 TMC has taken specta-cular images over the Apollo-15 landingsite on 9 January 2009, covering parts of Rima Hadley Rille and surrounding re-gions of Apennine Mountains. Figure 1shows a sub-sampled nadir viewingimage of Chandrayaan-1 TMC aroundthe Apollo-15 landing site shown here asa context image for the study area. Partsof Rima Hadley Rille and southern-westportion of Apennine Mountain front areclearly visible in this compressed imageof TMC sensor. In this communicationwe report the detection of reflectanceanomaly or ‘Halo’ around the vicinity of the Apollo-15 landing site using 5 mTMC data having three different views:from nadir, aft and fore cameras. Ano-malous signatures around Apollo-15landing site have also been reported inthe past by Japanese Aerospace Agency(JAXA) using SELENE Terrain Camera(TC)
4
, however our finding brings outsurface disturbance caused by Apollo-15landing on a much improved resolutionusing three different view angles and
Figure 2.
 a
, Apollo-15 traverses as mapped by NASA on to a high-resolution images acquiredduring descend of Apollo-15 landing module;
 b
, Corresponding image of Chandrayaan-1 TMCsensor.
Figure 3.
Closer view of Apollo-15 landing site using (
 a
) aft camera, (
 b
) nadir view and (
 c
)fore view of the Apollo-15 landing site, top panel shows landing site marked in red box, bottompanel shows 5 m resolution image. A brighter ‘halo’ is clearly seen around the landing site in allthe three views.

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