Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Mapping the Apollo 17 landing site area based on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images and Apollo surface photography

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Abstract

[1] Newly acquired high resolution Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) images allow accurate determination of the coordinates of Apollo hardware, sampling stations, and photographic viewpoints. In particular, the positions from where the Apollo 17 astronauts recorded panoramic image series, at the so-called “traverse stations”, were precisely determined for traverse path reconstruction. We analyzed observations made in Apollo surface photography as well as orthorectified orbital images (0.5 m/pixel) and Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) (1.5 m/pixel and 100 m/pixel) derived from LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) and Wide Angle Camera (WAC) images. Key features captured in the Apollo panoramic sequences were identified in LROC NAC orthoimages. Angular directions of these features were measured in the panoramic images and fitted to the NAC orthoimage by applying least squares techniques. As a result, we obtained the surface panoramic camera positions to within 50 cm. At the same time, the camera orientations, North azimuth angles and distances to nearby features of interest were also determined. Here, initial results are shown for traverse station 1 (northwest of Steno Crater) as well as the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP) area.

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