2019 December 19

Apollo 17’s Moonship
Image Credit:
Apollo 17, NASA, (Image Reprocessing: Andy Saunders)

Explanation: Awkward and angular looking, Apollo 17’s lunar module Challenger was designed for flight in the near vacuum of space. Digitally enhanced and reprocessed, this picture taken from Apollo 17’s command module America shows Challenger’s ascent stage in lunar orbit. Small reaction control thrusters are at the sides of the moonship with the bell of the ascent rocket engine underneath. The hatch allowing access to the lunar surface is seen at the front, with a round radar antenna at the top. Mission commander Gene Cernan is clearly visible through the triangular window. This spaceship performed gracefully, landing on the Moon and returning the Apollo astronauts to the orbiting command module in December of 1972. So where is Challenger now? Its descent stage remains at the Apollo 17 landing site in the Taurus-Littrow valley. The ascent stage pictured was intentionally crashed nearby after being jettisoned from the command module prior to the astronauts’ return to planet Earth. Apollo 17’s mission came to an end 47 years ago today. It was the sixth and last time astronauts landed on the Moon.

阿波罗十七号的探月太空
影像来源:
Apollo 17, NASA, (Image Reprocessing: Andy Saunders)

说明:阿波罗17号登月舱挑战者号看起来外形笨拙、棱角分明,它是为了在接近真空的太空中飞行而设计的。这幅从美国号指挥舱拍摄的影像经过数字增强和再处理,呈现了还在月球轨道上的挑战者号。小型反作用控制推进器位于探月太空船的两侧,下面是返回舱的钟形返回引擎喷口。影像前方可以看到能进入月球表面的舱口,顶部有一个圆形的雷达天线。透过三角形窗户可以看到任务指挥官吉恩.塞尔南。1972年12月,这艘太空船优雅地在月球上着陆,并将阿波罗号宇航员送回正在沿轨道运行的指挥舱。那么挑战者号现在在哪里?它的登月级仍停留在阿波罗17号的着陆点-利特罗山谷上。而返回舱是在宇航员返回地球之前被从指挥舱抛出,随后在附近坠毁。阿波罗17号在47年前的今天结束了它的使命。这是宇航员第六次也是最后一次登上月球。

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