Geodesy Results Obtainable with Lunar Retroreflectors

  1. Soren W. Henriksen,
  2. Armando Mancini and
  3. Bernard H. Chovitz
  1. J. E. Faller1,
  2. P. L. Bender2,
  3. C. O. Alley3,
  4. D. G. Currie3,
  5. R. H. Dicke4,
  6. W. M. Kaula5,
  7. G. J. F. Macdonald6,
  8. J. D. Mulholland7,
  9. H. H. Plotkin8,
  10. E. C. Silverberg9 and
  11. D. T. Wilkinson4

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM015p0261

The Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy

The Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy

How to Cite

Faller, J. E., Bender, P. L., Alley, C. O., Currie, D. G., Dicke, R. H., Kaula, W. M., Macdonald, G. J. F., Mulholland, J. D., Plotkin, H. H., Silverberg, E. C. and Wilkinson, D. T. (1972) Geodesy Results Obtainable with Lunar Retroreflectors, in The Use of Artificial Satellites for Geodesy (eds S. W. Henriksen, A. Mancini and B. H. Chovitz), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM015p0261

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Physics, 127 Science Center Tower, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut 06457

  2. 2

    Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, National Bureau of Standards, University Of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80302

  3. 3

    Department of Physics and Astronomy, University Of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740

  4. 4

    Department of Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08540

  5. 5

    Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University Of California, Los Angeles, California 90024

  6. 6

    Council on Environmental Quality, Washington, D.C. 20506

  7. 7

    Astronomy Department, Physics Building 422, Austin, Texas 78712

  8. 8

    Optical Systems Branch, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20770

  9. 9

    University of Texas, Mcdonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas 79734

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1972

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900155

Online ISBN: 9781118663646



  • Atmospheric circulation patterns;
  • Earthquake fault mechanism;
  • Earth's core and inner mantle;
  • Extraterrestrial geodesy;
  • Large-scale crustal movements


Retroreflector packages have been carried to the moon by the Apollo 11, Apollo 14, and Apollo 15 missions, as well as by Luna 17. Laser ranging from the earth onto these packages should eventually yield information on polar motions and crustal movements accurate to a few centimeters, and on UT1 to 100 μsec. Present (1971) error of the range measurements is 30 cm, but accuracy to 3 cm should be obtainable with improvements in methods and equipment.