Feeds

NASA probe orbiting Moon sights ANOTHER SPACECRAFT

Sadly, it's one of ours

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has snapped a picture of a spacecraft flying over the Moon beneath it - unfortunately, it was one of the space agency's own satellites.

LRO snaps pic of LADEE

LRO was ready on the camera when the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) craft passed below in orbit around Earth's favourite space rock, as the teams back home worked together to line the two up.

LADEE is in an east-to-west equatorial orbit and LRO is circling the Moon in a polar orbit south-to-north, putting the pair of satellites in close proximity every so often, including two weeks ago when LRO got the snap of LADEE passing within 9km of it.

LRO snaps pic of LADEE

LRO snaps pic of LADEE. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

The picture is all the more impressive as the orbiter's camera is a push-broom imager, which build-up images one line at a time, making catching the speedy wee LADEE quite tricky. Both spacecraft are at velocities of nearly 1,600m a second, so the timing had to be just right.

LADEE didn't quite pass right underneath LRO, instead the orbiter rolled 34 degrees west to get its camera in line. The sat passed into the narrow angle camera field for 1.35 milliseconds, just enough time for the smeared pic of its orbit.

Mostly because they already know what it looks like, NASA boffins were able to just about make out the engine nozzle, bright solar panel and star tracker camera on the craft. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR
Fossil avian cruised above sea like toothy ekranoplan
Boffins urge European Commission to reboot electric brain project
Billion-Euro simulated mind project criticised for narrow thinking
Going up: Fancy a virtual flight to 30km above the PLANET?
Space boffin rattles tin for immersive Oculus Rift experience
In space no one can hear you scream, but Voyager 1 can hear A ROAR
Boffins now very, very, sure craft is in interstellar space, and it's picking up 'sounds'
Reg reader fires up Pi-powered anti-cat garden sprinkler system
Crap in my begonias? Oh no you don't, you furry little sod
Phone motion sensors can receive data
Short-range comms keeps secrets better, say boffins
World Meteorological Organization says climate data is uncool
Weather wonks call for more frequent collation of climate baselines
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization
Virtualization continues to be one of the most effective ways to consolidate, reduce cost, and make data centers more efficient.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.