Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spying Soviet Hardware

In a demonstration of just how powerful the camera onboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter actually is, the space agency has released images taken by that camera that show old Soviet probes on the surface.

LRO has imaged two types of Soviet hardware-- landers in the Luna series, and rovers of the Lunokhod program. Luna probes of the 1970s were sample return missions, and did return lunar samples.

The images are so good that a shadow of a Luna robotic arm can be seen, as can shiny pieces of a Lunokhod descent stage.

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