USGS

Introduction to the Moon Data

The lunar maps on this site are based mostly on data from the Lunar Orbiter and Apollo missions of the mid-1960s and early 1970s. See individual maps for specific source information.
 

Lunar Orbiter missions Apollo missions Recent missions

Lunar Orbiter Missions

Mission
photo dates
Type of encounter
Significance
Closest approach
Best resolution (med/high res)
Number of pictures (approx.)
Lunar Orbiter I 8/18/66-8/29/66
orbiter
  • Landing site reconnaissance
  • far side mapping
  • 40 km
    10 m / 40 m
    204 pairs
    Lunar Orbiter II 11/18/66-11/25/66
    orbiter
  • Landing site reconnaissance
  • far side mapping
  • 50 km
    10 m / 1m
    211 pairs
    Lunar Orbiter III 2/15/67-2/23/67
    orbiter
  • Landing site reconnaissance
  • far side mapping 
  • 55 km
    10 m / 1m
    211 pairs
    Lunar Orbiter IV 5/11/67-5/25/67
    orbiter
    full near-side mapping completed at medium resolution
    2706 km
    500m / 60 m
    172 pairs
    Lunar Orbiter V 8/6/67-8/18/67
    orbiter
  • focus on geologic targets
  • far side mapping completed
  • 97 km
    20 m / 2m
    214 pairs

    Apollo Missions

     Mission 
    photo dates
    Type of encounter
    Significance
    Closest approach (orbiter)
    Best res'n
    Hasselblad frames
    Mapping camera frames
    Panoramic Mapping Camera frames
    other frames (camera)
    Apollo 8
    1968
    orbital
  • first human observations of far side
  • 60 n.m.
    50 m
    864
    --
    --
    --
    Apollo 10
    1969
    orbital
    CSM - 60 n.m.

    LM - 47,000 ft

    50 m
    1319
    --
    --
    --
    Apollo 11
    1969
    orbital and landing
    First samples (22 kg); rocks dated at 3.7 b.y.
    54 n.m.
    325 (surface) 1359 total
    --
    --
    17 pairs (closeup)
    Apollo 12
    1969
    orbital
  • first ALSEP
  • rocks 0.5 b.y. younger than Apollo 11 rocks
  • 54 n.m.
    583 (surface) 1584 total
    --
    --
    564 (S-158)

    15 pairs (closeup)

    Apollo 13
    1970
    flyby
    (mission aborted)
    106 km
    ?
    584 
    --
    --
    --
    Apollo 14
    1971
    orbital and landing
    Imbrium ejecta studied
    56 n.m.
    583 (surface) 1336 total
    --
    --
    469 (Hycon)

    17.5 pairs (closeup)

    Apollo 15
    1971
    orbital and landing
  • mare/terra boundary
  • first drill cores
  • 90 km
    1329 (surface)

    1088 (orbit)

    2240
    1529
    Apollo 16
    1972
    orbital and landing
  • First exploration of lunar highlands(terrae)
  • 107 km
    1786 (surface)

    759 (orbit)

    2491
    1587
    Apollo 17
    1972
    orbital and landing
  • First geologist on Moon
  • terra massif/ mare relations
  • traveled 30 km
  • 111 kg of samples
  • 100 km
    2230 (surface)

    1002 (orbit)

    2140
    1574

    Recent Missions

    Mission
    Imaging dates
    Type of encounter
    Significant discoveries
    Closest approach
    Wavelengths (UV/VIS)

    (resolution 100m-325m)

    Wavelengths (NIR)

    (resolution 150m-500m)

    Wavelengths (LWIR)

    (resolution 55m-136m)

    Wavelengths (HIRES)

    (resolution 7m - 20m)

    Clementine

    (300 orbits)

    26February1994 - 26April 1994
    orbiter
  • ice at south pole
  • south pole-Aitken basin
  • 400 km
  • 415nm
  • 750nm
  • 900nm
  • 950nm
  • 1000nm
  • 400-950nm broadband
  • 1100nm
  • 1250nm
  • 1500nm
  • 2000nm
  • 2600nm
  • 2780
  • 8000nm-9500nm
  • 415nm
  • 560nm
  • 650nm
  • 750nm
  • Lunar Prospector

    (>2010 orbits and still going)

    11January1998 -31July1999 
    orbiter
    (data still being collected and analyzed)
    90 km
  • Gamma-ray spectrometer
  • gravity experiment
  • magnetometer
  • alpha particle spectrometer
  • elemental compositions

    volatiles



     
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