Planets and Moons  ID: 11747

The Moon’s Far Side

What does the far side of the moon look like? Until the mid-20th century, no human in history had known the answer. But that all changed in 1959, when the Soviet Union’s Luna 3 spacecraft launched into space. In October of that year, the probe traveled to the moon’s far side and transmitted the first grainy images of its surface to Earth. More than fifty years later, our view of the moon has greatly improved thanks to observations by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The spacecraft has been orbiting the moon since 2009, collecting hundreds of terabytes of data that allow scientists to create extremely detailed maps of its topography—including the moon's mysterious far side. Watch the video for a new look at this hidden terrain.

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Story Credits

Lead Visualizer/Animator:
Ernie Wright (USRA)

David Ladd (USRA)

Lead Scientists:
John Keller (NASA/GSFC)
Noah Petro (NASA/GSFC)

Lead Writer:
Ernie Wright (USRA)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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