“We can retrace the astronauts’ steps with greater clarity”

As the BBC’s spaceman, Jonathon Amos, notes, Nasa have released the sharpest ever images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites using a camera on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.   Here’s the Apollo 17 landing site with the last footprints made by man on the Moon. [All images credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/ASU]



Here’s that same image helpfully labelled.


They’re even sharper than the ones released in 2009.  You can do a side-by-side comparison at the Nasa press release.

The higher resolution of these images is possible because of adjustments made to LRO’s orbit, which is slightly oval-shaped or elliptical. “Without changing the average altitude, we made the orbit more elliptical, so the lowest part of the orbit is on the sunlit side of the moon,” said Goddard’s John Keller, deputy LRO project scientist. “This put LRO in a perfect position to take these new pictures of the surface.”

The maneuver lowered LRO from its usual altitude of approximately 31 miles (50 kilometers) to an altitude that dipped as low as nearly 13 miles (21 kilometers) as it passed over the moon’s surface. The spacecraft has remained in this orbit for 28 days, long enough for the moon to completely rotate. This allows full coverage of the surface by LROC’s Wide Angle Camera. The cycle ends today when the spacecraft will be returned to its 31-mile orbit.

Here’s the Apollo 12 landing site.


And the Apollo 14 landing site.  Where astronaut Alan Shepherd practiced his golf swing…


NASA Goddard’s Dr. Noah Petro discusses the significance of the new Apollo images from LRO in this video from NasaExplorer. (Video credit: Chris Smith, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

And a video compilation of the images featured in the above clip.  Again from NasaExplorer.

Arizona State University has more details and Apollo images from the LRO Camera.

And Nasa have an Apollo revisited archive.

And a related post, or two, from the Slugger archive.

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  • 40 years on and they are still trying to maintain the fantasy that they went to the moon. Amazing ain’t it; those clever Americans, making the USSR waste all their money.

    Great pics; I wish I had a camera like that.

  • Turgon

    Without being too frivolous how will those who claim no one landed on the moon explain this one away? I presume they will say that this latest set of photos was faked. Indeed that it was faked as a response to the claims of the conspiracy theorists; further “proving” the conspiracy.

  • Exactly, Turgon. There is a small element in every conspiracy theory who will hold fast to their “theories” no matter what. The Twin Towers is another example. Didn’t you know that they were actually blown up by the USA Government to give them a chance to get their hands on Iraqi oil?

  • Pete Baker
  • oracle

    If you even remotely fantasize that the astronauts of the USA walked on the moon in the years 1969-1972 you are obscenely stupid.
    Perhaps it’s the rank weakness that runs through every fibre in your bodies that you’re willing to ignore reality for the sake of a piece of escapism and fairytales.

    At that period in time it was a physical and technological impossibility…….. End of!

  • Oracle’

    Next you’ll be telling 5 years old that Santa doesn’t exist.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Without being too frivolous how will those who claim no one landed on the moon explain this one away?”

    Well if they were able to fake the moon landings in the first place, not saying they did mind, photoshopping a couple of grainy black and white pictures of the moon forty years later would hardly be a big challenge.

    Actually there is a reasonable argument that some of the publicity shots released of the moon landing were staged but I don’t think they prove that the landings themselves didn’t happen.

    What seals the deal for me is the dog that didn’t bark, there were upwards of 200,000 people working on the moon landings, East German and Soviet spies were infiltrated among them. If there was the slightest shred of evidence that the whole thing was a fake we’d have heard about it by now.

    Think about it, no secret ever gets kept for ever and certainly nothing as massive as a faked moon landing could be covered up, people talk and someone who’d have blabbed by now. For heaven’s sake Bill Clinton couldn’t even get a blowjob in his private office -when the only two people who knew about it wanted it kept secret- without the entire world finding out, what’s the chances Nixon got away with staging the moon landings? He couldn’t even keep his confidential cabinet discussions secret.

    The studio tea boy who tidied up the set after Armstrong’s “faked” landing could sell his story for a million dollars and retire comfortably to the Bahamas, what would any number of scientists or astronauts have to lose by coming clean now?

    I think the Yanks did get there.

  • JR

    I saw thoes pics on the BBC this morning. The man never landed on the moon theory really astounds me. The conspiricy theorists are the modern day flat earth society.

  • oracle


    You saw what on the BBC exactly….. A few black and white shots from 25 kilometers which has no exact detail???
    Yet you automatically accept this as proof! Jesus any prosecutor would just love to have you on a jury panel their record would be 100% without any evidence worth a damn.

    The Royal Photographic Society did an in-depth study of all the NASA footage from all the Apollo missions and concluded that every single still photograph was an utter fake and that the NASA videos were not shot at 1/6th gravity, so if all the scientists are not wrong about the moons gravity where were they filmed?

    The man who designed the chest cameras used by the astronauts and the company specialists who manufactured them agree 100% THAT IT WAS NOT THEIR CAMERA THAT TOOK THE PHOTOS that everyone associates with the Apollo missions and the lunar landings, yet they were the only cameras taken on the mission and released to the public before the astronauts were released from quarantine!

    So ask yourself this if the photos were released while the astranauts were in quarantine and it wasn’t the cameras used on the mission that took them and the RSP has already declared the photos a fake it means one thing.
    The photos were faked before the Apollo 11 left the Cape, why would you fake photos before you left unless you weren’t going at all.

    I could go on with reams of blunders in the photos alone and the questions that NASA refuse to answer even after 40 years of asking but hell that would ruin the fun for people finding out for themselves.

  • oracle


    I love Petes posts on science and I love the scientific work that NASA does the reality is that 99.99% of their work has nothing to do with the misinformation that was peddled to the uninformed masses decades ago.

    But there’s more than enough information out there for even the feeblest of minds to ask questions, the “Lunar landing” are rather similar to our “Peace Process” the further you stand back from them and examine them the clearer to recognize them as just a pile of fantasy nonsense for the masses.

  • Pete Baker

    Buzz Aldrin with the only appropriate response to idiocy.

  • oracle


    I didn’t realise you were a supporter of violence!

    But your clip is a shortened version of the event, it was assault but it’s not as if Bart Sibrel didn’t deserve it for calling him a coward… liar yes but coward no.

    Sibrel has asked all the Astranauts to swear on the bible that they landed on the Moon… not a deal breaker for any other human being on the planet.
    If I asked Seb Coe to swear on the bible that he won a gold medal I don’t think he’d refuse, or Bill Gates if I asked him was he rich I don’t think he’d refuse or if I asked a round the world sailor or mountain climber to swear to their achievements I couldn’t see anyone objecting.

    Yet Sibrel went through 13 astronauts with the same straight forward task… each and every one of them refused the first to accept his challenge was an atheist!
    Why would Sibrel make a spectacle of himself in asking this, well the answer is simple Sibrel is strongly rumored to be holding to taped interviews/confessions similar to the Boston college stuff, not to be released until after death!

  • The Raven

    “The Royal Photographic Society did an in-depth study of all the NASA footage from all the Apollo missions and concluded that every single still photograph was an utter fake and that the NASA videos were not shot at 1/6th gravity, so if all the scientists are not wrong about the moons gravity where were they filmed?”

    I think you’ll find that was David Percy, an Associate of the RPS, not the RPS itself.

    I’m an Associate too. But that doesn’t make me an expert. David is an “award winning” TV Producer. But I can’t seem to find what he produced, nor the awards that he won. Nor indeed, much evidence of his photographic work.

    Is David Percy a hoax too…?

  • JR

    This is so funny, I didn’t realise you were a looney. I can’t believe anyone really falls for the crap on the internet. If a fox documentary said the photos are fake then they must be. You do know you sound just like Jim Corr. I didn’t need the photo from the BBC to convince me man had been to the moon. I have yet to see a credable shread of evidence they didn’t go.

  • I wish I had been involved in the conspiracy. I would have gone to live in a Caribbean island with no extradition treaty with the USA and written a book with verifiable facts. I would be living like a maharaja on the royalties.

  • shepherd

    Its the “2K of 16-bit RAM” that blows you away
    we got to the moon on that .. wow
    wonder does oracle believe in Nostradamus etc?

  • shepherd

    oracle what stage have we lost you?
    First we tried to get a rocket into space
    then we tried to get a man into space
    then we tried to get a rocket to reach the moon’s orbit
    and return , and so on
    each new venture built on the previous, it was a space race.

  • oracle

    Have any of you people even bothered to read the report by

    The review of United States human space plans committee

    Everybody on the committee work for NASA or the N.S.A or the U.S.A.F from scientists to shuttle pilots the chair of the committee was Sally Ride PHd in physics Shuttle astronaut here is her Wiki entry (tell me are they looneys, mad, or just drug crazed)


    the bottom line in the report written in 1987 guys 1987 think about that date…. That if …. IF…the US spent 3-9 billion dollars a year every year they might be able to go to the moon in … wait for it are you sitting down 2014-2017

  • oracle

    Or read what Richard Feyman had to say during the 1986 Rogers commission on the investigation into the Challenger disaster

    here’s his wiki link…. another looney eh?


  • None so blind………..

    Wonder why the USSR stopped trying? Could it be that they had lost the race?

  • oracle,

    I followed your link on Feyman. It says nothing whatsoever about the moon landings. You wouldn’t be trying to mislead, would you?

  • Not as well known is N.I.’s attempt to get to the moon.

  • Mick Fealty


    With respect, the onus is on you to falsify, not others to prove. I note The Raven called you on one of your strange claims, and you just ignored it.

  • The Raven

    Mick – once the article slips beneath the middle of the front page, it disappears into the ether. 🙂

  • Pete Baker


    “once the article slips beneath the middle of the front page, it disappears into the ether”

    That doesn’t mean that a commenter should be allowed to ignore falsification of his previous assertions – as Oracle has attempted to do.

    Particularly when he returns to the fray with a blatant appeal to authority, without supporting attributable quotes from the very authorities he cites.

  • oracle

    Mick with respect the onus is not on me to falsify at all…. Why would you possibly state that!

    Raven stated that “he was an associate member too but that didn’t make him an expert” at no point did Raven state that David Percy was wrong and why he was wrong.
    If Percy’s analysis of the NASA still photographs or official video is wrong surely someone should point out where.
    That would be a first as NASA will not discuss different light sources in the photographs, at no stage have NASA claimed that any of the queried photographs are falsified by the doubters such as Percy.
    If Raven has heard of Percy he must have watched a video of Percy disputing the photographic evidence yet as a keen photographer (otherwise why would he be an associate of the RPS) he didn’t refute what Percy claims.

    I’m a amateur photographer myself I couldn’t go anywhere near court as an expert witness but I could find my way round fool argument that a single light source can cast shadows in different directions, it can’t it is an impossibility, we would have to rip up all the laws of physics!


    I’m searching thoroughly for a hard copy report that I have in my possession somewhere however when you move home 5 times in 7 years it’s a paper chase.
    If that report does not refer to a RPS study I’ll hold my hand up to an error (i’m not frightened to make genuine mistakes) but give me a bit of time.
    I’ve a contract to finish by Tuesday and I’m well behind and I’ve a 990 pages of reports to read to respond to Pete.


    I’ll respond to you but I’m halfway through one report of 150 pages and another to go through at 840 pages long with your wish list of quotes and sources but it’ll have to wait until after Tuesday.

  • JR


    You obviously don’t watch mythbusters then, they had a great episode on the myth that man didn’t land on the moon. Here are the solutions to you photo problems, enjoy.


  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve no problem with people who hold irrational beliefs (I hold a few myself) or by default distrust anything that comes to them via official channels.

    But why would you not believe that men went to the moon?

  • The Raven

    !Raven stated that “he was an associate member too but that didn’t make him an expert” at no point did Raven state that David Percy was wrong and why he was wrong.”

    Nor am I going to. Here’s what you wrote: “The Royal Photographic Society did an in-depth study of all the NASA footage from all the Apollo missions and concluded that every single still photograph was an utter fake…”

    I’m *questioning* if this study came from RPS, or David Percy, an RPS associate. If you produce a report with the RPS “badge” on it, endorsed by the Society, I’m happy to read it at face value. If you produce something done by a snapper with ARPS after his name, then I’m questioning it.

    Earth’s atmosphere has five or six levels to it. The sun shines its light through this atmosphere and it is diluted, refracted, bent, whatever word you want to use, long before it then reaches filters and lenses. The Moon unless I am mistaken has none. Light will probably bounce off every available grey surface, much stronger than it would here on earth.

    All I am saying is, that unless any of us have been to the Moon, and fired off a snap, it’s very hard to use the veracity of these pictures – or otherwise – as evidence to proof. Or the contrary. 🙂

    But the photo thing is just my particular gripe with your argument. I defer to Mick’s more fundamental question: why would you *not* believe that men went to the moon?