GREENBELT, Md. — NASA reported Thursday that its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has successfully completed its testing and calibration phase and entered its mapping orbit of the moon. The spacecraft already has made significant progress toward creating the most detailed atlas of the moon’s south pole to date. Scientists released preliminary images and data from LRO’s seven instruments.
LRO is scheduled for a one-year exploration mission in a polar orbit of about 31 miles above the lunar surface, the closest any spacecraft has orbited the moon. During the next year, LRO will produce a complete map of the lunar surface in unprecedented detail, search for resources and safe landing sites for human explorers, and measure lunar temperatures and radiation levels.
To read more about LRO visit http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission.html