Before and after comparison of the moon lander crash site. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took the “before” photo during an earlier pass on Dec. 16, 2016. It appears the spacecraft landed from the north on the rim of a small crater, about 30 feet wide, leaving a dark, elongated “smudge” about 33 feet wide.NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
You guys remember the Israeli mission to the moon? A privately-funded group sent the Beresheet (Genesis) spacecraft into lunar orbit earlier this year. The mission had been a success until the attempted landing in the Sea of Serenity on April 11, when the probe crashed due to a “manual command” entered into the probe’s computer that temporarily shut off the main engine.
Still before-and-after images of the impact site. The streak from flying dust and rock (right image) points south, the same direction Beresheet was traveling when it struck the surface. LRO / NASA
That might have been the end of the story. But 11 days after the attempted landing, NASA’s eagle-eyed Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) passed over the crash site and captured photos of the impact. LRO took these before and after photos from 56 miles (90 km) above the surface. They show ...