NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in June, will use seven instruments to deliver the most detailed picture of the moon yet. In addition to photographing the lunar surface in high resolution and creating a 3-D topographical map, it will beam back reams of information on surface radiation, surface temperature, soil composition, the presence of water ice, and more. Scientists are particularly interested in finding landing spots and resources for future manned missions. So far, the orbiter has imaged the six Apollo landing sites in such detail that the tracks left behind by astronauts are clearly visible, even from the LRO's orbit 31 miles above.