Did NASA found Spacecraft crash site on the Dark Side of the Moon?

NASA found on the surface of the moon what could be the remains of the Lunar Orbiter 2 that crashed into the satellite in 1967.

Lunar Orbiter 2 was an unmanned imaging spacecraft used in November and early December 1966 to aid with Apollo and Surveyor landing site selection.

The coordinates of the Lunar Orbiter 2 impact match those of the feature in the NAC image. However, the published Lunar Orbiter 2 numbers are given as a rough estimate because the impact occurred on the farside of the Moon (Dark Side of the Moon), out of direct radio contact.

The impact appears much too large (circa 278 ft or 85 m in diameter) to be the result of an impact from a spacecraft only a few meters tall, but with a solar incidence angle of only 12 degrees, it is difficult to see the crater rim and find out the true diameter. The “butterfly”-shaped ejecta pattern is diagnostic of a low-angle collision.

“The truth is that we’re not sure what caused the impact, we will continue analyzing the remains,” said James Ashley, a scientist at the University of Arizona

The spacecraft became famous in 1967 with the public release of an oblique image of Copernicus crater (one of only four obliques collected), which was hailed as the “Picture of the Century” by the news media of the day.

Source: LROC

Leave a Reply