Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
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The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched on the 18th of June, 2009. It is Mapping Luna from an altitude of 31 miles and carrying out many scientific investigations. The goals are not merely pure science but also finding landing sites and other resources that might be used by future explorers. LRO is planned to continue its mission for at least a year.
The NASA LRO Spacecraft carries the following experiments into lunar orbit:
|Boston University||CRaTER Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation||PI:Harlan Spence CoI:Justin C. Kasper BU page|
|Institute for Space Research||LEND Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector||Dr. Igor Mitrofanov NASA page|
|NASA Goddard Space Flight Center||LOLA Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter||Dr. David E. Smith LOLA page|
|Northwestern University||LROC Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera||Dr. Mark Robinson LROC page|
|NASA Ames Research Center||LCROSS Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite||Dr. Anthony Colaprete LCROSS page|
|Southwest Research Institute||LAMP Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project||Dr. Alan Stern LAMP page|
|UCLA||DIVINER Radiometer||David. A. Paige UCLA page|
Student Procedure Available
A procedure is now available that allows high school and college undergraduate students to read and analysis the latest LRO/LOLA lunar data. It is called Design your own Moon base with the latest NASA data. This step-by-step Student use of LOLA Data procedure requires no permissions and only commonly available computers and software with an Internet connection.
Although somewhat tedious, students can use this procedure to make contour maps of altitude with colored dots representing the slope for any location on the Moon. This new power to study the Moon can be handy whether you are checking out the setting of your next science fiction story or computer game, reviewing key historic and scientific locations, or scouting a destination for a mission you would like to lead.