Apollo 15

The LRO view of the Apollo 15 landing site. Click for larger. Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

The LRO view of the Apollo 15 landing site. Click for larger. Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

This image from the LRO shows the Apollo 15 landing area and the EVA routes drawn in. The great thing about this is you can go to The Project Apollo Image Gallery and see images of the area taken from the mission, including photos taken from the surface along the route marked above. note: you may have to click the Apollo 15 link once the page opens.

See that small bright crater on the St. George crater rim? it was there in July 1971 when Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin landed. Alfred Worden remained in orbit in the Command Module and was no doubt the source of many of these great shots. Do check the archive photos out – there are a lot of them.

The NASA caption puts it all in perspective nicely I think. You can read it below or at the NASA site where you can get a larger version of the image too.

More images and information from Arizona State University’s LRO Camera website

The NASA caption:

This image from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the area surrounding Apollo 15′s landing site, annotated with the traverse plots of the mission’s first two moonwalks, abbreviated as EVAs (extra-vehicular activities). Numbers indicate elevations in meters above the landing site (indicated by the arrow labeled “LM” — lunar module). Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin ventured to the lower slopes of Mons Hadley Delta (center left). The distance they travelled from the lunar module to Elbow crater along the edge of Hadley Rille (EVA 1) is about 2.8 miles. Apollo 15 was the first mission on which the “lunar rover” was used.

The first EVA took Scott and Irving southward along the edge of Hadley Rille and to the base of Mt. Hadley Delta near St. George crater. This traverse took them to a height of just over 65 meters (or 213 feet) above the landing site on the mare plain. At this height, much of the surface material of the mountain comprises debris that, over eons, slid down the upper slopes. The area contains very few surface boulders, so materials collected in this area primarily consist of regolith: dusty, rocky debris.

The second EVA took the astronauts southeast to “South Cluster” and Spur craters. At Spur crater, a very old crystalline rock fragment was collected, containing evidence of geologic processes more than 4 billion years old and representing a piece of the original anorthositic crust of the moon. They also discovered an unusual green material composed of volcanic glass.

This traverse ascended about 95 meters (104 yards) in elevation up the base of Hadley Delta. At times, the slope was so steep that the rover had difficulty getting traction, and the mountain peak loomed so high overhead, that the astronauts could not lean back far enough to get it in the frame of their cameras.
During this traverse, the astronauts commented that they thought they could detect a high-mark where lava might once have filled the basin at the base of nearby Mt. Hadley around a height of 85 meters (93 yards) above the current mare plain.

More images and information from Arizona State University’s LRO Camera website

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