Apollo 17 Site

(unofficial name)
Lat: 20.19080°N, Long: 30.77168°E, Rukl: 25
external image normal_Apollo_17_Site_LO-IV-078H_LTVT.JPG external image normal_apollo%2017-310807.jpg
Left: LO-IV-078H, The exact landing site is indicated by the small blue "+" in the center of the frame.
Right: Mick Hyde

Images

LPOD Photo Gallery images Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images
  • Ralph Aeschliman has a web page showing a detailed Apollo 17 site traverse map with links to panoramic surface views from 13 different stations.
  • The last one of the four Hasselblads AS17-147-22464, 22465, 22466, AS17-147-22467, photographed one orbit before landing at Taurus-Littrow, was included on pages 292-293 of the article Exploring Taurus-Littrow by Harrison H. Schmitt (National Geographic, September 1973). Note the distant CSM America in front of South Massif's summit, and the bright retro-reflection (Heiligenschein) at Mare Serenitatis. Looking west. Research Danny Caes.
  • Kaguya HDTV oblique view

Maps

(LAC zone 43D1) LAC map Geologic map LTO map Topophotomap 43D1/S2 Site Traverses Map
USGS Geologic Map of the Taurus-Littrow Region (I-800-1) (and environs).
USGS Geologic Map of Part of the Taurus-Littrow Region (I-800-2) (the Taurus Littrow Valley and Apollo 17's landing site).

Description

Apollo 17 landed in a valley south of the crater Littrow, now known as the Taurus-Littrow Valley.

Description: Wikipedia

Apollo 17

Additional Information

  • The position of the Apollo 17 landing site given in the title line is from Davies and Colvin, 2000. It is based on the later measured position of the Apollo 17 lunar surface experiment package (ALSEP) radio transmitter and the assumption that the lander touched down 192 m east and 39 m south of that location. The measured ALSEP location is itself probably uncertain by at least 30 m. The position plotted on the earlier DMA-prepared Topophotomap was 20.1819N, 30.7658E. The difference between the coordinate values (corresponding to an offset of about 330 m) represents a change in what is thought to be the correct coordinate system, and not a change in the estimate of the landing position relative to the lunar features.
  • Apollo 17's is the most eastern one (and also the most northeastern one) of the six manned landing sites.- DannyCaes DannyCaes Nov 26, 2008
  • Samples from the dark pyroclastic deposit 30 km west of the Apollo 17 site were dated at 3.48 b.y. (Tera and Wasserburg, 1976)
  • Sample 70051 - see also Liu, Y.et al, Oct 2012 reference (to regolith and surface water) in Bibliography below.
  • Cernan (last man on the Moon) dies - 14 Mar 1934 to 16 Jan 2017. Eugene Cernan - Gemini 9, Apollo 10, Apollo 17.

A curiosity:
The very last Hasselblad photograph which was made on the lunar surface (AS17-143-21941, Hi-Res) shows Jack Schmitt (the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 17) a few seconds after he threw his geology hammer away. Careful examination of this photograph reveals Schmitt's face which is visible behind his visor! Note one of his eyes which is looking toward the lens of Gene Cernan's camera.
Research: Danny Caes

The Third Man factor
This is some sort of unseen companion, described by many explorers in rough terrestrial terrain. This psychological phenomenon could also have created a "third entity" among both CDR Gene Cernan and LMP Jack Schmitt at the Taurus Littrow Valley. On the other hand... both astronauts (and every other couple of astronauts from the preceding Apollo landings) had satisfying company from their radio-communications with Houston and with the orbiting Command Module Pilot (CMP).
In other words: Earth and mankind were always nearby. But... what if these astronauts had no radio-communication with Houston, nor with the orbiting CMP...
See: Third Man factor (was this psychological phenomenon also known by NASA's medical staff?).

An unmanned rover to take photographs of Apollo 17's LRV (Challenger's Baby) at its VIP site

See: Audi moon rover.
And: Part-Time Scientists.

Nomenclature

The IAU Nomenclature includes 29 minor astronaut-named landing site feature names associated with Apollo 17 (copied from IAU Transactions XVIB):
  1. Taurus-Littrow Valley: General landing site area
  2. Bear Mountain: A cluster of hills that forms the shape of a bear.
  3. Family Mountain: Named for the families of the crew members, their associates and families in general.
  4. Light Mantle: Fingered mantling deposit, believed to be a landslide.
  5. North Massif: Massif is a French term for a large mountain mass, this one north of the landing site. Sampling sites Stations 6 and 7 on the base of its slope.
  6. Scarp: A scarp, with mare ridge-like segments, located west of the landing site (unofficially called the Lee-Lincoln Scarp).
  7. Sculptured Hills: Domical hills, surrounding the landing site area, which appear sculptured. Sampling site Station 8 at the base of it.
  8. South Massif: Mountain mass south of the landing site area.
  9. Tortilla Flat: Flat region near the Light Mantle.
  10. Wessex Cleft:A cleft in the eastern border of North Massif. Wessex was an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom.
  11. Bronté: Crater near which the first LRV stop was made; Charlotte Bronté was a 19th century English novelist.
  12. Bowen-Apollo: Crater near the farthest eastern limits of the third EVA traverse (sometimes erroneously called Henry, or Henry the navigator).
  13. Camelot: Crater named for the legendary King Arthur of the Round table. Sampling site Station 5 was on the rim of this crater.
  14. Cochise: Crater named for the American Indian Apache chief. The crater was studied and described on the third EVA.
  15. Emory: Large crater used as a major landmark. William H. Emory was a member of the Topographical Engineers who explored the American West.
  16. Falcon: Small crater on Family Hill used for landmark tracking from orbit prior to lunar landing. It is also believed to be one of few cinder cones in the Apollo 17 site (previously, F. Crater).
  17. Hess-Apollo: Large crater near Mackin-Apollo, named after the geologist H. Hess.
  18. Horatio: Crater southwest of Camelot.
  19. Lara: Girl's name; sampling site of Station 3.
  20. Mackin-Apollo: Large crater used as a landmark, named after J. Hoover Mackin, an American geomorphologist.
  21. Nansen-Apollo: Sampling site of Station 2.
  22. Powell: One of the large craters in the landing site area named for John Wesley Powell, an explorer of the American West.
  23. Shakespeare: Large crater northeast of the landing site named after the English poet and playwright.
  24. Sherlock: A crater that was used as a tracking landmark from orbit, also the last (12th) LRV sampling stop was north of the crater. It is named after Sherlock Holmes, the hero of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels.
  25. Shorty: A dark-rimmed crater with relatively short, dark rays; it is named after a character in Richard Brautigan's contemporary novel "Trout Fishing in America". Sampling site Station 4.
  26. Steno-Apollo: Sampling site Station 1, named after the geologist Steno.
  27. Trident: A triplet crater cluster shaped like the three pronged spear carried by Neptune or Poseidon, classical mythology's gods of the sea.
  28. Van Serg: Sampling site Station 9 was on the rim of this small crater. It was named after the pseudonym that Prof. Hugh McKinstry, a 20th century mining geologist used in writing educational satire.
  29. Victory: A large V-shaped depression.

Alphabetic list of official and unofficial names (of surface formations) in and near the Taurus-Littrow Valley

This list is also an exploration and investigation of the boulders in that valley. I hope to add each photographed boulder into the list.- DannyCaes DannyCaes Dec 21, 2012
A very interesting page of Eric M. Jones's ALSJ (Apollo Lunar Surface Journal) is Station 6 and 7 Intervisibility, in which journal contributor Bob Fry investigated the locations of the boulders captured on the photographs made at Stations 6 and 7 (both on the slope of the North Massif).

The ABC...
'A' and 'B' boulders (a distinct pair of boulders east of Stations 6 and 7, called 'A' and 'B' by Bob Fry of the ALSJ page Station 6 and 7 Intervisibility).
- AS17-146-22343, made from Station 7, looking east, shows both 'A' and 'B' boulders slightly above the frame's large central fiducial cross.
- A query: are the 'A' and 'B' boulders also visible on west-looking photographs made from Station 8 at the base of the Sculptured Hills? Frame AS17-146-22392 HR might show them as two tiny white dots to the left of the frame's large central fiducial cross.- DannyCaes DannyCaes Dec 31, 2012
Agassiz (not related to Promontorium Agassiz).
Agricola (not related to Montes Agricola and Rima Agricola).
Arms (not mentioned in this ALSJ source).
Ballet Crater (not mentioned in this ALSJ source and this annotated photograph, perhaps because it was too small and was nicknamed on the spot).
- Dave Byrne's assembled panorama of Station 3 shows Ballet crater at left, between Jack Schmitt's shadow and the LRV.
- Mike Constantine's assembled pan of Station 3 shows the same scene as Dave Byrne's, although the rock in front of Ballet crater seems to have a "twin brother" immediately leftward of it! It's strange how lunar rocks could duplicate themselves.
Barjea
Bear Mountain (number 2 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Big Block (not really a name)(this peculiar boulder was discovered while the astronauts were at a location north-northeast of Sherlock, while en-route from Station 9 to the LM).
- AS17-143-21882 is the best photograph of Big Block, made at 168:57:10 GET.
Bowen-Apollo (number 12 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Bronte (number 11 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Camelot (number 13 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Candide
Clark (not related to farside crater Clark) (should be called Clark-Apollo).
Cochise (number 14 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Cube-shaped boulder (see: Rectangular boulder).
Dark Boulder (not really a name). This boulder and its track, on the slope of North Massif, was frequently photographed, such as:
- AS17-139-21255.
- According to the LRO's Act-React Quick Map, the exact coordinates of the Dark Boulder are (or might be): LAT: 20.30850, LON: 30.77860 (verification needed!).
- The location of the start (the "source") of the Dark Boulder's track up the slope of the North Massif is (or could be): LAT: 20.36450, LON: 30.78090.
Druid
East Massif (the north-northeastern part of the IAU's Mons Vitruvius).
East Massif's Boulder (a post-mission nickname for the largest boulder on the northwestern slope of the East Massif). LAT: 19.83560, LON: 31.03290.
East Massif's Boulderfield (a post-mission nickname for the field of boulders at LAT: 19.71770, LON: 30.84818, diameter: 300 meters).
- This dark-looking boulderfield was captured on several Hasselblad frames, such as AS17-134-20513 (on which it is visible slightly to the right of the LM, in the distance below the fiducial cross).
Elves
Emory (number 15 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Explorer
Family Mountain (number 3 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Falcon (not mentioned in this ALSJ source) (number 16 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Faust
Flat-faced Boulder (a post-mission nickname invented by Danny Caes). This boulder up the slope of North Massif was photographed from three different stations:
- AS17-139-21190 (above the frame's large central fiducial cross, photograph made from Station 6).
- AS17-139-21250 HR (near the frame's large central fiducial cross, photograph made from Station 9).
- AS17-144-22129 (near the frame's left margin, photograph made through the LM's northwestern window)(Station LM).
- According to the LRO's Act-React Quick Map, the exact coordinates of the Flat-faced Boulder are (or might be): LAT: 20.33120, LON: 30.77570 (verification needed!).
Fragmental crater (not really a name)(this crater was discovered while the astronauts were en-route to Shorty, between Stations 3 and 4).
- B-and-W frame AS17-133-20208 and color frame AS17-137-20983 show the rocky rim of the Fragmental crater.
Frosty
Gatsby
Geophone Rock
- Northwestward view: AS17-147-22531. Southwestward view: AS17-147-22561. Close-ups: AS17-147-22533, 22534, 22535, 22536.
- Large boulder south of Geophone Rock: AS17-135-20554.
Hanover
- AS17-144-22047 shows Hanover as it was photographed from Station 3, through a 500-mm lens. Hanover is the distinct crater at lower right.
Henry (or: Henry the navigator) (should be called Henry-Apollo to avoid confusion with the officially known craters Henry and Henry Freres) (see also Wikipedia page Apollo 17 crater Henry).
- Sometimes this crater (Henry; south of Station 6) was erroneously called Bowen-Apollo. The real Bowen-Apollo (west of Station 8) was called SWP (Science Working Panel).
- While they were en-route to Station 6 via Turning Point Rock (going northward on the LRV), Cernan and Schmitt noticed Henry at 164:37:48 GET.
- AS17-141-21549 shows Henry just above and to the right of the LRV's TV camera.
- The labeled version of frame 21550 shows the locations of Turning Point Rock, Dark Boulder, and Station 6 Boulder, as seen from the location southwest of Henry.
- AS17-140-21397 shows Henry from the location near Turning Point Rock.
Henson
Hess-Apollo (number 17 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Holden (not related to southeastern nearside crater Holden) (should be called Holden-Apollo).
Hole-in-the-wall
Horatio (number 18 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Intruded Clast boulder (source of name: page 296 of David M. Harland's Exploring the Moon, 1999)(this boulder was investigated and photographed at Station 7).
- AS17-146-22351 and 22352 show Station 7's Intruded Clast boulder. This pair of frames could be used as a stereoscopic image!
- Frames 22298 to 22338 of Magazine 146-F are close up photographs of the Intruded Clast boulder.
Isolated boulder (not really a name)(this boulder was discovered while the astronauts were en-route to Shorty, between Stations 3 and 4).
- AS17-133-20200 and 20201 show the isolated boulder as it was seen from the approaching LRV.
Jefferson
Jones
Lee-Lincoln Scarp (see LROC article The Moon in 3D) (officially known as Scarp, see number 6 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Lara (number 19 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Lewis (not related to farside crater Lewis) (should be called Lewis-Apollo).
Light Mantle (number 4 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Locke (small crater near the northwestern part of Henry's rim).
- AS17-141-21557 shows Locke beyond the nearby field of small rocks. Turning Point Rock in the distance, beyond Locke.
- The ALSJ's AS17-140-21493 Labeled scan shows the location of Locke as seen from Station 6's Split Rock up the slope of the North Massif.
Mackin-Apollo (number 20 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Mariner
Mitchell (not related to north-northeastern nearside crater Mitchell) (should be called Mitchell-Apollo).
MOCR (this is the largest one of the small craterlets on the floor of the Taurus-Littrow Valley, unofficially called MOCR (which was NASA's abbreviation for Mission Operations Control Room), perhaps it is possible to observe that craterlet through powerful telescopes?).
- As seen from Stations 6, 7, and 8 on the slopes of the North Massif and the Sculptured Hills, the MOCR crater should have been visible in front of the East Massif (the northern part of Mons Vitruvius). It's interesting to try to locate this crater on the surface photographs of the East Massif (made from Stations 6, 7, 8). Unfortunately, these photographs were made during EVA-3, when the sun was already too high in the sky (illuminating the whole of the MOCR crater's inner slopes)(no shadows).
Mons Vitruvius (this mountain mass south-southeast of Apollo 17's landing site was called the East Massif, in fact, it was the REAL South Massif, while NASA's South Massif should have been called the West-Southwest Massif).
Nansen-Apollo (number 21 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Nemo
North Massif (number 5 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Poppy (Poppie according to this ALSJ source). According to Wikipedia: Frances 'Poppy' Northcutt.
- AS17-140-21376 might show something of craterlet Poppie (according to Eric M. Jones's ALSJ).
Powell (number 22 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Punk (not mentioned in this annotated photograph).
Rectangular boulder / Cube-shaped boulder (post-mission nicknames invented by Danny Caes, also called Boulder 'C' by ALSJ-contributor Bob Fry)(this boulder's location is southwest from Station 7's Intruded Clast boulder).
- AS17-146-22303 shows the somewhat bluish colored Rectangular boulder "peeping" from behind Station 7's Intruded Clast boulder.
- AS17-146-22315 and 22313 are unsharp looks at the Rectangular boulder, as seen from Station 7's Intruded Clast boulder.
- AS17-146-22350 also shows the distant Rectangular boulder "peeping" from behind the Intruded Clast boulder's upper left part.
- It should be mentioned: wonderful stereoscopic images could be made from photographs 22350, 22351 and 22352 (especially 22350 and 22352).
- AS17-141-21647 and 21663 are B-and-W photographs of the Rectangular boulder.
- According to ALSJ-contributor Bob Fry, the Rectangular boulder (or Boulder 'C') is also noticeable below the large central fiducial cross in frame AS17-140-21503 which was made from Station 6, west of Station 7.
Rogers
Roman Steppe
Rondone
Rudolph (immediately west of LM Challenger's landing site) (located between the landing site and crater Camelot) (the name Rudolph should not be confused with Rima Rudolf !)
San Luis Rey
- AS17-143-21911 shows a fractured boulder at San Luis Rey. This photograph was made while the astronauts were en-route from Station 9 to the LM.
Scarp (number 6 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Sculptured Hills (number 7 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Secondary Crater (not really a name)(a small fresh oblique impact crater with western ejectablanket, near Station 8).
- AS17-142-21741 shows the craterlet and its ejectablanket near the centre of the frame.
Shakespeare (number 23 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Sherlock (number 24 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Shorty (number 25 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Smith (not related to farside crater Smith) (should be called Smith-Apollo).
Snoopy
South Massif (number 8 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Spirit
Split Rock (alternate name for the Station 6 Boulder) (see also LROC article Station 6 - Apollo 17).
Sputnik
Station 6 Boulder (the well-known fragmented boulder which was also known as Split Rock, of which one fragment was nicknamed Tracy's Rock).
- According to the LRO's Act-React Quick Map, the exact coordinates of the Station 6 Boulder are (or might be): LAT: 20.29700, LON: 30.79600 (verification needed!).
- LPOD Traces (Split Rock as seen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter).
- Mike Constantine's assembled panorama of photographs made at the Station 6 Boulder (Split Rock/ Tracy's Rock).
- AS17-140-21405 shows the optical phenomenon "Heiligenschein" (Retro-Reflection) in the shadowed part of one of the Split Rock's segments. The "Heiligenschein" is the diffuse "glow" around the sunlit scoop.
Station 6's hat-shaped eastern boulder (a post-mission nickname invented by Danny Caes).
- AS17-141-21588 shows the hat-shaped boulder to the left of the frame's large central fiducial cross.
- AS17-140-21507 and 21508 show the hat-shaped boulder from a location slightly northeast of the Station 6 boulder (Split Rock).
- AS17-146-22293 HR shows the hat-shaped boulder immediately to the left of the Station 6 boulder.
Station 6's up-the-slope boulder (a post-mission nickname invented by Danny Caes)(this boulder's location is slightly northward from Station 6, up-the-slope of the North Massif).
- AS17-141-21584 shows Station 6's up-the-slope boulder, as seen from a location slightly west of Split Rock.
- AS17-140-21509 also shows Station 6's up-the-slope boulder (near the frame's left margin), as seen from a location slightly northeast of Split Rock.
Perhaps it's possible to create a stereoscopic image from these two frames.
Station 7's up-the-slope boulder (a post-mission nickname invented by Danny Caes)(this boulder's location is slightly northward from Station 7, up-the-slope of the North Massif).
- AS17-146-22360 and 22361 show Station 7's up-the-slope boulder. This boulder might also have been photographed from Station 6, slightly westward of Station 7. A survey is needed.
Station 7's eastern boulder (a post-mission nickname invented by Danny Caes).
- AS17-146-22341 shows the boulder east of Station 7.
Steno-Apollo (number 26 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Stonewall
SWP (Science Working Panel), probably the same as crater Bowen-Apollo.
Tasaday
Taurus-Littrow Valley (number 1 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Ten O'Clock Boulder (10 O'Clock Boulder), slightly west of the ALSEP station.
- Color: AS17-147-22590. B-and-W: AS17-136-20685.
- Note: both photographs could be used as an interesting 3D-Stereo pair (parallel viewing technique). The B-and-W photograph for the left eye, the color photograph for the right.- DannyCaes DannyCaes Dec 21, 2012
Tortilla Flats (number 9 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Towers
Tracy's Rock (Gene Cernan's nickname for one of the Station 6 Boulder's fragments) (see also Wikipedia: Tracy's Rock).
Trident (number 27 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Turning Point Rock (near Station 6 at the slope of the North Massif).
- AS17-140-21394 and AS17-141-21562 show Turning Point Rock as seen from locations near Henry and Locke.
- Color Hasselblads of Turning Point Rock in close-up: AS17-140-21396, 21397, and 21398.
- B-and-W Hasselblads of Turning Point Rock in close-up: AS17-141-21567 and 21568.
- According to the LRO's Act-React Quick Map, the exact coordinates of Turning Point Rock are (or might be): LAT: 20.28980, LON: 30.78380 (verification needed!).
Van Serg (number 28 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Victory (number 29 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).
Wagner (not to be confused with H.P.Wilkins's disallowed name Wagner) (Tobias Mayer C).
Walden (immediately west of Shorty).
Wegener (not related to farside crater Wegener) (should be called Wegener-Apollo) (not mentioned in this ALSJ source).
Wessex Cleft (number 10 in the list of the IAU's official Apollo 17 nomenclature).

Research Danny Caes

Further explanations of the origins of these names, and others, can be found in an edited transcript of remarks made by Astronaut Harrison Schmitt. The 29 names adopted by the IAU were reportedly taken from a list of 67 used during the mission planning.

The landing site itself has no official name. - JimMosher JimMosher
- Three interesting 500-mm photographs, made from Station 6 at the slope of North Massif, show the distant LM Challenger at its landing site:
AS17-139-21203, 21204, 21205
- HiRes scans: 21203 HR, 21204 HR, 21205 HR
- Of these three, frame 21204 was printed as "Number 78" in the photobook FULL MOON by Michael Light and Andrew Chaikin.
- ALSJ contributor Bob Fry detected the location of the distant LM Challenger as seen from Station 8 near the Sculptured Hills, looking southwest over crater Cochise.


The riddle of the curious yellow "thing"

Color Hasselblad frame AS17-140-21376 captured the area southward of LM Challenger's landing site. It also captured a curious yellow "thing" slightly above and to the right of the frame's central fiducial cross.
What is that yellow "thing"? Is it something which was thrown away by one of the astronauts? Or is it something which was ejected during LM Challenger's landing? (perhaps something from the LM's Descent Stage?).
Frame 21375 (made leftward of 21376) shows the yellow "thing" near the central part of the frame's right margin.
Frame 21377 (made rightward of 21376) shows the yellow "thing" slightly above and to the left of the frame's central fiducial cross. Note the absence of footprints or wheeltracks near that "thing". How did it get there?
The same yellow thing was also captured in frames AS17-137-20867 and 20887. It's interesting to know that both frames could be used to create an exquisite 3D Stereo pair!
Discovery of the curious yellow "thing": Danny Caes

What happened here?
AS17-144-22001

Ben Feist and Apollo 17

Ben Feist is a dedicated investigator and connoisseur of NASA's last scientific Apollo lunar mission (Apollo 17, December 1972). Ben created a wonderful site to re-live this extraordinary mission!
See Ben Feist's Project Apollo 17.

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This page has been edited 155 times. The last modification was made by - DannyCaes DannyCaes on May 23, 2017 1:43 pm - afx2u2