Crash Site Of Apollo 16 Rocket Booster Is Finally Spotted After 43 Years Of Mystery

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After 43 years of mystery a researcher has finally spotted the impact crater where the Apollo 16 rocket booster impacted on the Moon.  The Apollo 16 mission was the fifth NASA mission to land humans on the Moon and return them to Earth in one piece, and as one of the team's experiments, they crashed their Saturn V stage 3 booster onto the surface of Moon's after it had pushed them safely into lunar orbit. The testing permitted them to accomplish seismic measurements to try to inspect the interior of the Moon. Unluckily, an error meant that the tracing data for the rocket got lost, so there's been long-standing doubt as to precisely where the booster crashed.
Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

But now Jeff Plescia, a physicist from Johns Hopkins University, who's turn out to be an expert at tracing lost hardware on extraterrestrial surfaces, used high-resolution images created by the LROCsystem on board NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to spot the missing impact crater. Plescia told Leonard David over at Inside Outer Space “I did finally find the Apollo 16 SIVB crater. It looks like the others, but its position was much more poorly defined since the tracking was lost prior to impact."

Although the astronauts struggled to discover precisely what was going on underneath the surface of the Moon, we now know more than ever thanks to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. In fact, NASA researchers have been successfully able to identify that our planet's gravitational pull is creating cracks in the lunar surface and might be triggering moonquakes.

It's pretty awesome that even after more than 40 years later we can still spot marks of human activity on the Moon by means of a satellite that we put into space. 
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