First published Chinese photographs of the landing sites of the Apollo on the moon

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The Chinese Changye-2 automatic station surveyed the landing sites of American manned ships under the Apollo program. The pictures were posted on the scientific data portal of the Chinese program for the study of the Moon in 2018, but were widely available only in May 2020 in Vitaly Egorov book “People on the Moon. The main answers. ”

The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) involves a phased study of the Earth’s natural satellite. The first stage — from the lunar orbit — was carried out by the Chang’e-1 and Chang’e-2 automatic stations in 2007-2011. The results of these studies were gradually published on the official CLEP website. The most detailed images of the entire lunar surface, made by Chang’e-2, were posted in an open online scientific archive in 2018.

Image resolution reaches 7 meters, i.e. they can consider surface details of this size or a little smaller. For example, the lower stage of the Apollo lunar module is about 9 meters across. The terrain most trampled by astronauts also had large sizes and should be distinguishable in the Chang’e-2 images.

Russian popularizers of astronomy and astronautics Vitaly Egorov and Igor Tirsky were able to find the necessary personnel from Chang’e-2 in the scientific archive and found all the landing sites for the American lunar modules of the Apollon program on them. The search results were published in Vitaly Egorov book “People on the Moon”, which was published by Alpina non-fiction in May 2020.

“Detecting these images is akin to laying. I guess I was the first to see these shots outside the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Earlier, Chinese scientists only reported that there are such pictures, but have never officially published them. I call them “six points that changed the world,” Vitaly Yegorov commented on his find to Gazeta.ru. – I also tried to consider the traces of Soviet automatic stations. Unfortunately, our Lunokhods are too small to be distinguishable in these images, but the landing site of Luna 17 is seen as a bright spot.”

Of the six Chinese shots with Apollo landing sites, the most visible traces of the Apollo 16 landing near Descartes Crater. Due to the very light surface, it is possible to distinguish not only the lunar module, but also the place of the last parking of the lunar rover LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle). At the limit of resolution, you can determine the most well-groomed surface where astronauts installed scientific instruments.

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