NASA May Have Found Lost Lunar Probe

Lunar Orbiter 2 crashed on dark side of the moon
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2011 10:52 AM CDT
NASA May Have Found Lost Lunar Probe
This 1967 from Lunar Orbiter 2 was dubbed the "picture of the century" when it was taken. It shows an oblique view of the Copernicus crater.   (NASA)

(Newser) – NASA may have found a lost spaceship on the dark side of the moon. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a ship designed to map the surface of the moon, has spotted a butterfly-shaped pattern that Fox News speculates might be the probe’s predecessor, the Lunar Orbiter 2. The craft, launched in 1967, sent back a photo of the lunar surface that was then hailed as the “picture of the century” before NASA intentionally crashed the orbiter on the dark side of the moon.

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The butterfly shape could be that ship, or it could have been caused by a comet. “The impact appears much too large (about 85 meters in diameter) to be the result of an impact from a spacecraft only a few meters tall,” says one scientist who is studying the images, but he's not entirely sure that diameter is accurate. “We are currently re-targeting the area under a higher incidence angle to help with crater rim measurements. Stay tuned!” So in other words, there’s still hope it contains Transformers... (Read more NASA stories.)

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