Apollo 11 Landing Simulation

The images below show a simulated descent towards the Sea of Tranquility at the Apollo 11 landing site, latitude 0.7N, longitude 23.5E. The view is due east, and the sun's longitude is 95.0E. The touchdown point is near the centre of the bottom edge of each image.

800km up Altitude 800km. The dark region in the left foreground is the Mare Tranquillitatis. To the top right is the Mare Fecunditatis, with the Mare Crisium visible towards the left of the horizon.

400km up Altitude 400km. Near the centre of the image is the 24km crater Maskelyne, and slightly nearer is its 9km companion Maskelyne B.

200km up Altitude 200km. The 6.5km crater Moltke is visible to the lower-right. Directly below the Maskelyne / Maskelyne B formation in the foreground is the 4.6km crater Armstrong (named after the astronaut).

100km up Altitude 100km. Molkte can now be seen in some detail at the bottom-right of the image. It is known to have a particularly bright halo, and is easily visible using modest earth-based telescopes.

50km up Altitude 50km. The 2.4km crater Collins is visible in the bottom-left corner. The Surveyor 5 probe made a soft-landing relatively near this point in September 1967.

25km up Altitude 25km. The flat expanse of the Mare Tranquillitatis can be clearly seen. Its smoothness made it a suitable site for the first lunar landing. Later missions explored regions with a much more "interesting" topography.

Alan Murta