The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, a plan to return to the moon and then to travel to Mars and beyond. The LRO objectives are to finding safe landing sites, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment, and demonstrate new technology.
The spacecraft will be placed in low polar orbit (50 km) for a 1-year mission under NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. LRO will return global data, such as day-night temperature maps, a global geodetic grid, high resolution color imaging and the moon's UV albedo. However there is particular emphasis on the polar regions of the moon where continuous access to solar illumination may be possible and the prospect of water in the permanently shadowed regions at the poles may exist. Although the objectives of LRO are explorative in nature, the payload includes instruments with considerable heritage from previous planetary science missions, enabling transition, after one year, to a science phase under NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
Images and Video's in the gallery pages may be protected by
copyright. You may download one copy for non-commercial personal
use to be displayed on your personal computer. Use other then
non-commercial requires that you obtain permission if
copyrighted from the copyright holder. See disclaimer page for
more detail. We will help direct you to the proper source if you
are unsure of copyright holder or your usage. Please always state
proper source / credit.