LADEE Adds to Moon's Far-Side Graveyard: Page 2


Some researchers think LADEE may have crashed into a crater called Sundman V. If LADEE’s final resting spot is indeed in that area, there is some good news: Pre-impact imagery of Sundman V is available, and contrasting old and new LRO camera photos should enable a focus on the crash site.

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Word is that LRO won't be able to train its sharpshooting camera system on the area for several weeks. Moreover, it is not clear if LADEE might have struck Sundman V on the east side or west side of the crater.

Space archaeologists are eager to find out where LADEE went down as well.

"I think artifacts and features put on the far side of the moon show humanity's need to explore the unseen universe," said Beth O'Leary, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico in Las Cruces, an expert in the field of space archaeology.

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"Columbus sailed west into an unknown world, and just as archaeologists have located his landing sites, in the future there will be physical evidence of humans who made it to another celestial body — the far side of the moon — they had never glimpsed from Earth," O'Leary told

The anthropologist said she also found it interesting that NASA involved the public in predicting when LADEE would crash.

"On their website about LADEE, they compare its impact with other natural impact features such as meteorites," O'Leary said, "but this is a very human impact, and the crater and the cultural remains deposited on the lunar surface are testaments to humanity's stage of exploration in 2014."

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