Gallery: Lunar Recon Orbiter

Lunar Recon Orbiter Image 1

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in June, will use seven instruments to deliver the most detailed picture of the moon yet.

Lunar Recon Orbiter Image 2

This is a view of the Lunar Recon Orbiter bagged and on its side. 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.

Lunar Recon Orbiter Image 3

Scientists are particularly interested in finding landing spots and resources for future manned missions.

Lunar Recon Orbiter Image 4

A view of the Lunar Recon Orbiter's transponder. 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.

Lunar Recon Orbiter Image 5

A look at the bagged Lunar Recon Orbiter.

Lunar Recon Orbiter Image 6

Compare the height of the scientists below to the size of the Lunar Recon Orbiter.