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Panorama of the Moon's Surface by Apollo 15
  • Panorama of the Moon's Surface, 1971
  • Apollo 15
  • Gelatin silver print, 9.4"x77.0"
  • National Air and Space Museum, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies
  • Image No. Apollo15_MoonPanorama

The Apollo 15 mission, commanded by astronaut David R. Scott, launched on July 26, 1971, and returned to Earth seven days later. The mission’s primary scientific objective was to observe the lunar surface and survey the Hadley-Appenine region of the Moon, shown here. These tasks required several pieces of scientific equipment, including a twenty-four-inch panoramic camera attached to the orbiting command module. The camera, whose lens could rotate inward to protect itself during thruster firings, worked in conjunction with a three-inch mapping camera and a laser altimeter to produce data for a comprehensive map of this area of the Moon’s surface.

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