Planets and Moons  ID: 4289

LRO Lowers Periapsis

On May 4, 2015, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) maneuvered into a new orbit that brings it closer than ever to the south pole of the Moon. The orbit is elliptical, with a closest approach, called periapsis, within 20 kilometers of the surface. The far end of the orbit (apoapsis) is roughly 165 kilometers above the north pole. The new orbit is relatively stable, requiring little fuel to maintain.

The illustration shows LRO flying over the terrain of the south pole. The terrain is a visualization that uses digital elevation maps from LRO's laser altimeter.

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Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (USRA): Lead Visualizer
Chris Meaney (HTSI): Artist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Data Used:
LRO/LOLA/Digital Elevation Map also referred to as: DEM
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
The Moon

SVS >> Moon
SVS >> Orbit
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> Lunar Poles
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons