Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Scientists Search for Lost Lunar Spacecraft






Space probe

Locating the former Soviet Union’s Luna 9 would be a major historical find. It was the first spacecraft to achieve a lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth. After landing in the Ocean of Storms on February 3, 1966, the four petals, which formed the spacecraft, opened outward and stabilized the spacecraft on the lunar surface.Image: NASA/GSFC/NSSDC



The moon is the final resting ground for scads of landed and crashed spacecraft, many of which have been pinpointed recently by sleuthing scientists.

Using observations by NASA's sharp-eyed Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, for example, researchers have located and imaged Apollo moon landing leftovers, old Soviet-era spacecraft and, more recently, the impact locales of NASA's twin Grail spacecraft that were deliberately driven into a mountain near the moon's north pole.

Scientists hope to find several other lost lunar spacecraft, including NASA's Surveyor 4. Controllers lost contact with this unmanned probe during its descent to the moon on July 14, 1967.

More - Link >>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-search-moon-for-probes&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20130701

Sources: Scientific American Magazine, Space.com .

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