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Waspie_Dwarf

Coordinates of Robotic Lunar Spacecraft

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LROC Coordinates of Robotic Spacecraft 2013 Update

Repeat imaging of anthropogenic (human-made) targets on the Moon remains a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) priority as the LRO Extended Science Mission continues. These continuing observations of historic hardware and impact craters are not just interesting from a historical standpoint - each image adds to our knowledge of lunar science and engineering, particularly cartography, geology, and photometry.

Making sure that the lunar cartographic network is accurate is a critical component for planning future lunar missions for both human and robotic exploration of the Moon. The historic spacecraft serve as benchmarks (especially the laser retroreflectors ). When new images arrive and final ephemeris is in hand we can check if the hardware has moved - well, actually we see the level of uncertainty in computing latitude/longitude coordinates (currently about ± 15 meters (yards)).

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