Sunday, August 9, 2009

Looking for A.L.I.C.E.

During Apollo 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, the Saturn S-IVB stages of these five missions impacted on the moon, to create artificial "moonquakes" which were measured by equipment left on the Moon in earlier missions.

Now that the LRO has returned images of the Apollo Lunar landing sites, I'm interested in seeing some detailed images of the S-IVb impact sites. Depending on a number of variables, I would estimate that the craters are probably 30-50 meters wide and 8 meters deep with a debris field many times larger. While researching this post, I did in fact learn that a few of the impact sites have been photographed before. For example, this image of the Apollo 14 S-IVb impact site was taken during the Apollo 16 mission:

I have not found a name for these experiments, so I have come up with my own: Apollo Lunar Impact Crater Experiment (ALICE). Also named in honor of Alice Kramden from The Honeymooners.
Bang, zoom - to the moon, Alice! to the moon!

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