LRO captures image of Kopff Crater
Robotic exploration missions provide NASA vast amounts of data to prepare for future human exploration missions and learn more about the universe.
Mission Objective: Mini-RF, or miniature radio frequency, is a synthetic aperture radar instrument onboard LRO. While orbiting the moon, it sends radar pulses to the lunar surface and listens for the echoes. Analysis of the returned signal provides information about surface roughness, surface and buried boulders, and volatiles in the lunar polar regions.
Description: The data collected by Mini-RF will help researchers learn more about the impact cratering process. This image shows a small impact crater inside the floor of the 16-km diameter crater, Kopff. The bright areas in this image are rough, and dark areas are relatively smooth. The radar shows ejecta from the small crater both inside and outside of Kopff that, interestingly, does not appear in optical data gathered from this region.
Timeframe: LRO and Mini-RF will orbit the moon for the next two to three years.
Application: A better understanding of the impact process will help provide more information about how impact cratering has shaped the terrestrial planets.
› About LRO
› About Mini-RF
› Download PowerPoint file