Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Classic Lunar Atlas From 1960s Orbital Survey Now Online

Online Now
by Paul D. Spudis
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Tucson - Feb. 8, 2001
The Lunar Orbiter program was one of the most successful mission series ever flown. Designed to obtain high-resolution pictures to certify the safety of Apollo landing sites, the first three missions were so successful that the last two, Orbiters 4 and 5, were "released" for scientific mapping of the Moon.

Lunar Orbiter 4 mapped the entire near side of the Moon at an average resolution of about 100 meters per line pair. Lunar Orbiter 5 filled in some gaps in Apollo site certification, but mostly obtained detailed, high-resolution images of a variety of scientific targets around the Moon. After 30 years, the Lunar Orbiter photographs remain the principal reference set of images for the scientific study of surface landforms on the Moon.

In the late 1960s, David Bowker and Kenrick Hughes of NASA’s Langley Research Center, where the project was run, assembled the best Lunar Orbiter images into an atlas covering both near and far sides of the Moon.

This 675-plate photographic atlas was published by the U.S. Government Printing Office as NASA Special Publication 206 in 1971 and became an essential reference work to anyone interested in lunar science.

Any lunar feature could be accessed and examined merely by thumbing through this book. "Bowker and Hughes," as its aficionados referred to it, became the standard reference book for a generation of lunar geologists and mappers.

Publication by NASA (i.e., subsidized by the federal government) ensured that the book would have wide distribution and would be relatively inexpensive.

At one point, the Lunar and Planetary Institute had so many surplus copies of the atlas that they were given away at the annual Lunar Science Conferences of the 1970s. Some of us in those days, attending as graduate students, packed away multiple copies of this priceless treasure!

However, since the depletion of LPI’s stock of surplus atlases, the book has been out-of-print and difficult to find. I recently searched the Internet for a used copy and found one. Asking price: $400!!

I am thrilled and excited that the classic "Bowker and Hughes" is now available online enabling a new generation of lunar students and friends to make their acquaintance with the distant cratered landscapes some of us love so well.

Jeff and the technical crew at the LPI have done both the planetary science community and the small but enthusiastic group of lunar amateurs a great service by once again making this important reference book widely available at an affordable price.

Although we’ve had other missions to the Moon, this collection of Lunar Orbiter photographs has never been surpassed in terms of sheer photographic quality. And now, in a cleaned-up digital form, they look better than ever.

Browse through the images on this disk and discover the beauty and wonder of our nearest neighbor in space. And start learning the geography of the Moon — it will be mankind’s first off-Earth home in the solar system.

Related Links
Consolidated Lunar Atlas
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Mars Comes Alive With Archive
Pasadena - Oct. 16, 2000
The imaging team of NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has doubled the number of Mars pictures available to the public with the release of a new archive of red planet pictures totally slightly more than 30,000 images.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.