It may seem hard to believe, but a few decades ago we didn’t have clue as to what the far side of the moon looked like. Now little more the 50 years after the Soviet Union sent the Luna 3 probe, we have the lunar far side topographically mapped to an extraordinary level of precision with instruments aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
- The false color altimetry map of the moon reveals in a new way the tortured impact history of Earth’s only natural satellite.
- Clues to the existence of a giant far side basin go back as early as 1962, as seen in crude images transmitted from the Luna 3 and Zond 3 Soviet probes.
- Digital elevation and terrain maps from LRO will guide future scientific missions, and eventually human expeditions, back to the moon.
Full story at Discovery News.