LROC Coordinates of Robotic Spacecraft - 2013 Update

Luna 17
Luna 17, the spacecraft that carried the Lunokhod 1 rover to the surface. You can make out the rover tracks around the lander. LROC NAC image M175502049RE [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Repeat imaging of anthropogenic targets on the Moon remains an LROC priority as the LRO Extended Science Mission continues. These continuing observations of historic hardware and impact craters are not just interesting from a historical standpoint - each image adds to our knowledge of lunar science and engineering, particularly cartography, geology, and photometry.

Making sure that the lunar cartographic network is accurate is a critical component for planning future lunar missions for both human and robotic exploration of the Moon. The historic spacecraft serve as benchmarks (especially the laser retroreflectors). When new images arrive and final ephemeris is in hand we can check if the hardware has moved - well, actually we see the level of uncertainty in computing latitude/longitude coordinates (currently about ±15 meters).

Currently the United States has no near-term plans to land humans or robotic spacecraft on the Moon, however China is scheduled to launch the Chang'e 3 mission in December. If we are lucky, the LROC team might have a before picture to compare to any after pictures of the Chang'e 3 landing site (the exact planned landing coordinates have not yet been released). Currently all LROC NAC investigations must rely solely on "after" images of landing sites. Obtaining a before and after set of images of the Chang'e 3 will facilitate a much better understanding of the delicate processes involved in regolith redistribution due to lander rocket plumes. 

When a spacecraft lands on the Moon in a powered descent, exhaust gases from the descent engine disrupt the surface resulting in visible changes around the landed vehicle. These changes can be better understood with photometric studies using using LROC NAC images taken with different illumination geometries. Close to (or right under) the lander the soil is most disrupted, leading to reduced reflectance. Interestingly a zone of increased reflectance surrounds the lander. This "blast zone" ranges from a few meters for the Surveyor spacecraft, to a few tens of meters for Luna, and a few hundred meters for Apollo. Photometric modeling indicates possible causes for the increased reflectance zones from smoothing of the surface by the exhaust flow, the destruction of micro-scale regolith structure, and/or the redistribution of fine particles from the area beneath the lander to its surroundings. Modeling the dynamics of rocket exhaust plumes and studying the exhaust plume effects of previous landed spacecraft on the Moon are defining safe operational practices for future landing sites and outposts.

Selection of spacecraft impact sites imaged by LROC, all images to same scale [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Careful retracing of the Lunokhod 2 traverse dramatically improved our understanding of the surface activities of that intrepid rover. In addition, by accurately determining the locations of the Luna 23 and Luna 24 landers, the LROC team determined not only how the Luna 23 spacecraft failed, but also that the Luna 24 sample was collected on the rim of a small impact crater, providing an explanation for the discrepancies that existed for the past three decades between samples and remote sensing of the Mare Crisium surface.

Check out this map of robotic spacecraft sites on the lunar surface! 

Revisit a selection of previous LROC Featured Images highlighting some of these spacecraft sites:

Impact!

Surveyor 7 - America's Last Lunar Unmanned Lander

Surveyor Crater - Before and After

Mare Crisium: Failure then Success

Lunokhod 1 Revisited

Lunokhod 2 Revisited

Luna 21 Lander

Surveyor 1 - America's first soft lunar landing

Rocket Impacts recorded by the Apollo seismic network

The following is a listing of coordinates (mean Earth/polar axis (ME) system) of all Soviet Union and United States robotic space hardware and impact craters produced through spacecraft impact that have been identified by the LROC Team. You can also download a PDF version of this listing.

To generate the list of observed latitudes and longitudes, we compiled a list of line and sample coordinates for the center of each object in each image. Each image was then initialized using the USGS Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS) software package, attaching the appropriate spacecraft position and pointing information, along with the GLD100 lunar shape model for elevation. ISIS routines were then used to compute the latitude and longitude of the spacecraft (or crater) in that image. The LRO spacecraft position was provided by the latest cross-over corrected spacecraft positioning kernels provided by the LRO LOLA team, with an orbital position uncertainty of ±15 m. Finally, temperature-corrected NAC camera kernels produced by the LROC team contributed to the high precision and accuracy. The coordinates listed in the table are statistical median from all of the images acquired before 28 April 2013 for a particular site.

Object Image Median Observed Lat Median Observed Lon Sample Line
Surveyor 1 M102443995L -2.4745 316.6602 1418 24641
Surveyor 1 M122495769L 1323 43939
Surveyor 1 M181451964L 2005 14756
Surveyor 1 M183810842L 4121 6042
Surveyor 1 M1096779945R 2245 23732
Surveyor 1 M1112096668R 896 17493
Surveyor 1 M1121521701R 2338 26900
Surveyor 3 M104662862R -3.0163 336.582 975 20400
Surveyor 3 M107035386R 4771 19444
Surveyor 3 M109386083R 357 25603
Surveyor 3 M114104917R 3248 1962
Surveyor 3 M117650516R 3671 2425
Surveyor 3 M120005333R 2964 49244
Surveyor 3 M120012135R 3046 1824
Surveyor 3 M124728623L 2635 1995
Surveyor 3 M131806467L 2574 48749
Surveyor 3 M132983773R 2931 24812
Surveyor 3 M135338254R 4613 49654
Surveyor 3 M137699517L 3062 3127
Surveyor 3 M140060558L 4348 993
Surveyor 3 M142415059R 941 2866
Surveyor 3 M144775952L 2966 8956
Surveyor 3 M157750563L 2690 27887
Surveyor 3 M162466771L 3297 27888
Surveyor 3 M165998991R 2578 27430
Surveyor 3 M168353795R 656 27386
Surveyor 3 M175428601R 2182 27638
Surveyor 3 M177785917L 4808 45233
Surveyor 3 M181323309L 4956 16592
Surveyor 3 M183682182R 2144 14286
Surveyor 3 M186041058R 4158 40182
Surveyor 3 M186041058R 4158 40182
Surveyor 3 M193067752L 4111 20750
Surveyor 3 M193110647R 4461 8438
Surveyor 3 M193117792L 1246 8034
Surveyor 3 M1108432631R 1447 37710
Surveyor 3 M1114319742R 4194 21347
Surveyor 3 M1114326845R 4306 21495
Surveyor 3 M1114348152R 4330 22130
Surveyor 3 M1116670947R 1750 20750
Surveyor 3 M1116678050R 2279 20858
Surveyor 3 M1116685153R 2075 21140
Surveyor 3 M1116692256R 2422 21175
Surveyor 3 M1119022112R 2315 25833
Surveyor 3 M1119029214R 1209 26093
Surveyor 3 M1119036317R 1042 26654
Surveyor 3 M1119043419R 1136 26867
Surveyor 3 M1121393925L 4298 24587
Surveyor 5 M102000149L 1.4550 23.1944 521 863
Surveyor 5 M102007306R 2197 2431
Surveyor 5 M106726943L 4338 15768
Surveyor 5 M181016020R 4417 45202
Surveyor 5 M1098701979L 3491 8693
Surveyor 5 M1105774283L 2075 20262
Surveyor 5 M1114035714L 4051 46754
Surveyor 6 M117501284L 0.4743 358.5725 347 31113
Surveyor 6 M131657295L 3463 32161
Surveyor 6 M152885739L 2907 21627
Surveyor 6 M170572703R 4100 25113
Surveyor 6 M188249922R 2510 25753
Surveyor 6 M190608838L 1273 30965
Surveyor 7 M119936760R -40.9811 348.4873 1413 32660
Surveyor 7 M131724362L 4645 31851
Surveyor 7 M150598504R 727 24473
Surveyor 7 M152952815R 197 11768
Surveyor 7 M155307738R 303 41353
Surveyor 7 M155314525R 515 41670
Surveyor 7 M157668488R 1516 36766
Surveyor 7 M175355093L 1386 4129
Surveyor 7 M177712155R 819 26117
Surveyor 7 M185954551L 2499 43900
Surveyor 7 M1101317790L 4620 6724
Lunokhod 1 M104747893L 38.3151 324.9919 4522 11583
Lunokhod 1 M107106240L 1169 23437
Lunokhod 1 M114185541R 3546 17681
Lunokhod 1 M127159138L 2941 25647
Lunokhod 1 M131875063R 3421 45445
Lunokhod 1 M131881859L 2956 6042
Lunokhod 1 M133057617L 3225 23901
Lunokhod 1 M135418902R 1610 16229
Lunokhod 1 M142495666R 1942 4427
Lunokhod 1 M147210569R 655 1879
Lunokhod 1 M148395010L 892 5189
Lunokhod 1 M150749234R 1211 19623
Lunokhod 1 M150756018R 1282 19981
Lunokhod 1 M157825905L 5019 26621
Lunokhod 1 M162542164R 2043 24081
Lunokhod 1 M166072850L 2372 31508
Lunokhod 1 M173144480R 2121 21589
Lunokhod 1 M175502049R 1548 21518
Lunokhod 1 M177859616L 1692 15924
Lunokhod 1 M181402751L 4546 22407
Lunokhod 1 M183761642L 3737 2398
Lunokhod 1 M186120511R 1804 39810
Lunokhod 1 M188450826L 3167 24938
Lunokhod 1 M188479413L 1356 25817
Lunokhod 1 M188500855L 3303 26403
Lunokhod 1 M1116764100R 3097 27904
Lunokhod 1 M1108503260L 1573 23044
Lunokhod 1 M1106145059R 660 19055
Lunokhod 1 M1103787673R 2362 27431
Lunokhod 2 M109039075L 25.8323 30.9221 2706 27218
Lunokhod 2 M119646179L 1483 24617
Lunokhod 2 M132630442R 2091 29513
Lunokhod 2 M139707174R 3689 2632
Lunokhod 2 M175070494R 289 37078
Lunokhod 2 M177426582L 4876 25066
Lunokhod 2 M177433351L 4857 25663
Lunokhod 2 M180966502L 3057 6185
Lunokhod 2 M183325364R 1808 14881
Lunokhod 2 M188035994L 4858 17372
Lunokhod 2 M1108074725R 1356 33990
Lunokhod 2 M1113965174R 3193 31966
Lunokhod 2 M1113986482R 2426 32288
Lunokhod 2 M1118681776L 4373 20128
Luna 16 M106511834L -0.5137 56.3638 2578 17652
Luna 16 M124205861R 2354 37840
Luna 16 M126561443R 4433 25302
Luna 16 M137176998L 4638 26375
Luna 16 M139538002R 1080 20530
Luna 16 M141899500L 3528 9295
Luna 16 M144253410R 312 4138
Luna 16 M154867363R 3290 14606
Luna 16 M159582808L 2727 24848
Luna 16 M159589596L 4696 25321
Luna 16 M170192507R 4389 28590
Luna 16 M174909036R 233 23669
Luna 16 M190229983R 2393 12714
Luna 16 M1105552870R 3273 18990
Luna 16 M1107910879L 3229 14252
Luna 16 M1120868628R 2633 8377
Luna 17 M104747893L 38.2376 324.9984 4633 13054
Luna 17 M107106240L 1268 25834
Luna 17 M114185541R 3190 21978
Luna 17 M127159138L 2618 21402
Luna 17 M131875063R 3144 41198
Luna 17 M131881859L 2602 1800
Luna 17 M133057617L 3528 28197
Luna 17 M135418902R 1938 20526
Luna 17 M142495666R 1620 8726
Luna 17 M147210569R 499 4188
Luna 17 M148395010L 1092 2225
Luna 17 M150749234R 1587 15379
Luna 17 M150756018R 1644 15740
Luna 17 M157825905L 4590 22384
Luna 17 M162542164R 1620 19837
Luna 17 M166072850L 2635 35799
Luna 17 M173144480R 1875 25884
Luna 17 M175502049R 1182 25742
Luna 17 M177859616L 1561 20208
Luna 17 M181402751L 4662 20855
Luna 17 M183761642L 3860 846
Luna 17 M186120511R 1933 35084
Luna 17 M188450826L 3146 22840
Luna 17 M188479413L 1222 23731
Luna 17 M188500855L 3144 24323
Luna 17 M1103787673R 2309 30597
Luna 17 M1106145059R 603 20589
Luna 17 M1108503260L 1511 24576
Luna 17 M1116764100R 3255 24807
Luna 20 M104147428L 3.7863 56.6242 3493 20240
Luna 20 M106504563L 4888 29956
Luna 20 M108862844L 5034 12172
Luna 20 M108862844R 150 12028
Luna 20 M111219210L 3540 13220
Luna 20 M119482862R 978 29618
Luna 20 M141892635R 685 10663
Luna 20 M152505885R 3245 28931
Luna 20 M152512670R 2950 28986
Luna 20 M174902210R 1366 19808
Luna 20 M177257719R 405 18333
Luna 20 M177264491R 544 18270
Luna 20 M187871152R 4394 2526
Luna 20 M1096122479L 1428 16569
Luna 20 M1098480418R 3095 14512
Luna 20 M1120868711L 3851 10437
Luna 21 M101971016L 25.9994 30.4077 4180 5288
Luna 21 M106669064L 2859 24290
Luna 21 M122007650L 3262 35187
Luna 21 M185684246L 596 31705
Luna 21 M188043142R 1676 21156
Luna 21 M1105709502R 3727 18504
Luna 21 M1105723789R 4422 18923
Luna 21 M1123399010L 1314 27087
Luna 23 M106468527R 12.6669 62.1511 3791 25479
Luna 23 M111185087R 1387 40480
Luna 23 M119449091L 2852 29327
Luna 23 M137136039L 2968 20518
Luna 23 M139497036L 3822 20834
Luna 23 M141851758R 3442 38964
Luna 23 M144212439R 1963 24265
Luna 23 M144219225R 1701 24174
Luna 23 M170151523R 3130 17277
Luna 23 M174868307R 2893 24667
Luna 23 M177223697L 3079 26656
Luna 23 M180766086R 2142 4570
Luna 23 M192553434L 4824 11010
Luna 23 M1107867719R 2766 23943
Luna 23 M1113751844R 1981 23873
Luna 23 M1113758946R 2903 24534
Luna 23 M1113766049R 2248 24804
Luna 23 M1113773152R 1168 24542
Luna 23 M1113780255R 2069 24917
Luna 23 M1116117193R 2073 25099
Luna 23 M1116124296R 2802 25400
Luna 23 M1116131400R 2414 25471
Luna 23 M1118468426R 374 25590
Luna 23 M1118475530R 408 26082
Luna 23 M1118482634R 334 26622
Luna 23 M1118489738L 4912 25987
Luna 23 M1123178295L 4136 24928
Luna 23 M1123185407L 4607 25140
Luna 23 M1123192518L 4879 25282
Luna 23 M1123199630L 4899 25391
Luna 24 M106461361L 12.7145 62.2129 982 19212
Luna 24 M111185087L 2670 37996
Luna 24 M119449091R 1761 31854
Luna 24 M137136039R 1800 18061
Luna 24 M139497036R 2700 18392
Luna 24 M141851758L 4812 36545
Luna 24 M144212439L 3081 21820
Luna 24 M144219225L 3633 21731
Luna 24 M174868307L 2299 22254
Luna 24 M180766086R 3552 5761
Luna 24 M192553434L 3400 12960
Luna 24 M1107867719R 1327 22891
Luna 24 M1113751844R 3148 25165
Luna 24 M1113758946R 4333 25830
Luna 24 M1113766049R 3770 26106
Luna 24 M1113773152R 2545 25849
Luna 24 M1113780255R 3157 26231
Luna 24 M1116117193R 3557 26410
Luna 24 M1116124296R 4325 26714
Luna 24 M1116131400R 3731 26794
Luna 24 M1118468426L 3920 28123
Luna 24 M1118475530L 3751 28654
Luna 24 M1118482634L 3711 29210
Luna 24 M1118489738L 3663 28936
Luna 24 M1123178295L 2949 26207
Luna 24 M1123185407L 3187 26423
Luna 24 M1123192518L 3398 26572
Luna 24 M1123199630L 3582 26687
A13 SIVB M109420042L -2.5550 332.1127 437 6513
A13 SIVB M117677653L 1835 31919
A13 SIVB M140087684L 3291 10349
A13 SIVB M147163861L 1782 47729
A13 SIVB M160132488R 395 20930
A13 SIVB M160139273L 4588 21027
A13 SIVB M162493915R 3111 24988
A13 SIVB M183710765L 4107 32960
A13 SIVB M186069658R 5009 31575
A13 SIVB M1111997257R 3581 10471
A13 SIVB M1121422331L 4121 15894
A14 SIVB M107049825R -8.1810 333.9695 3704 24326
A14 SIVB M111762553R 3713 25029
A14 SIVB M120025601L 4430 27584
A14 SIVB M127104018L 1759 1294
A14 SIVB M175448936L 4668 20051
A14 SIVB M186055251L 2476 38179
A14 SIVB M188414159L 2088 26058
A14 SIVB M1099023670R 4845 34488
A14 SIVB M1111982941L 2191 17484
A14 SIVB M1114340944R 4803 29519
A15 SIVB M106949300R -1.2896 348.1755 2645 18380
A15 SIVB M109311328L 1392 8109
A15 SIVB M160030722L 2277 9923
A15 SIVB M172995906R 1286 29841
A15 SIVB M175354355L 4809 23196
A15 SIVB M185962468L 4865 29775
A15 SIVB M1096572724R 2190 24426
A15 SIVB M1116592846R 1029 19728
A15 SIVB M1114241640R 2034 16792
A15 SIVB M1114248745R 3171 15354
A15 SIVB M1114255849R 1988 14076
A15 SIVB M1116607053R 1765 20107
A15 SIVB M1116614157R 1397 20302
A15 SIVB M1118951121R 1300 28226
A15 SIVB M1118958225R 2425 28021
A15 SIVB M1118965327R 2072 29089
A15 SIVB M1118972430R 888 29477
A15 SIVB M1121308768R 1809 22149
A15 SIVB M1121315868R 1535 22529
A15 SIVB M1121322968R 1017 22928
A17 SIVB M106956532L -4.1681 347.6693 4196 13370
A17 SIVB M109318172R 440 20276
A17 SIVB M111674228R 1153 19238
A17 SIVB M117575843R 4997 32183
A17 SIVB M131731837R 820 18985
A17 SIVB M139985936L 2515 10194
A17 SIVB M144701329L 2670 22547
A17 SIVB M144708115L 2881 22595
A17 SIVB M147062206L 1812 48425
A17 SIVB M157675965L 2658 5349
A17 SIVB M190680230R 2042 35538
A17 SIVB M1108361184R 178 41004
A17 SIVB M1123675748L 2752 20623
GRAIL-A M1112020151L 75.6083 333.4043 4450 12245
GRAIL-A M1112027252R 4521 12375
GRAIL-A M1114378166R 109 7712
GRAIL-A M1114378166L 4990 7859
GRAIL-A M1116708064R 397 10655
GRAIL-A M1116729371R 691 22491
GRAIL-A M1116736474R 958 22754
GRAIL-A M1116743576R 1201 23693
GRAIL-A M1116750678R 1895 16743
GRAIL-A M1116764883R 2263 11362
GRAIL-B M1112020151L 75.6504 333.1643 3255 12944
GRAIL-B M1112027252R 3317 13060
GRAIL-B M1114378166L 3783 8605
GRAIL-B M1116708064L 4135 11980
GRAIL-B M1116729371L 4365 25281
GRAIL-B M1116736474L 4623 25473
GRAIL-B M1116743576L 4868 26355
GRAIL-B M1116750678R 692 18142
GRAIL-B M1116764883R 1099 12223
Ranger 6 M111456730L 9.3866 21.4806 4586 18990
Ranger 6 M131508222R 3052 49986
Ranger 6 M139768545R 2666 11600
Ranger 6 M144483945R 583 13374
Ranger 6 M144490730R 401 13775
Ranger 6 M177494593R 1039 1742
Ranger 6 M185741082L 1032 41948
Ranger 6 M1121095985R 2765 47135
Ranger 7 M132963565R -10.6340 339.3229 1100 19233
Ranger 7 M147116569L 693 38419
Ranger 7 M153014430L 1454 36118
Ranger 7 M186019466L 1031 24953
Ranger 7 M188378372L 3337 27988
Ranger 7 M1103702947L 2099 20869
Ranger 7 M1098987999R 91 27329
Ranger 7 M1098987999L 4973 27162
Ranger 8 M116154252L 2.6377 24.7881 578 24237
Ranger 8 M131487756R 1575 21055
Ranger 8 M137387301R 293 5047
Ranger 8 M144463715L 3445 16906
Ranger 8 M150355067R 1801 24295
Ranger 8 M165686747R 4333 12685
Ranger 8 M185719511L 4068 29384
Ranger 8 M188078414L 952 33359
Ranger 9 M109250398R -12.8281 357.6116 1411 10615
Ranger 9 M117507817L 1913 26691
Ranger 9 M129302602R 316 11589
Ranger 9 M129309387R 314 11421
Ranger 9 M152892277R 3591 19000
Ranger 9 M157607994R 1175 3621
Ranger 9 M170579736R 4063 35277
Ranger 9 M185897912R 1085 11886


Posted by Samuel Lawrence on September 25, 2013 04:02.