Coordinates and Maps of the Apollo 17 Landing Site

Isabel Haase, Marita Wählisch, Philipp Gläser, Jürgen Oberst, Mark Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We carried out an extensive cartographic analysis of the Apollo 17 landing site and determined and mapped positions of the astronauts, their equipment, and lunar landmarks with accuracies of better than ±1 m in most cases. To determine coordinates in a lunar body-fixed coordinate frame, we applied least squares (2-D) network adjustments to angular measurements made in astronaut imagery (Hasselblad frames). The measured angular networks were accurately tied to lunar landmarks provided by a 0.5 m/pixel, controlled Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) orthomosaic of the entire Taurus-Littrow Valley. Furthermore, by applying triangulation on measurements made in Hasselblad frames providing stereo views, we were able to relate individual instruments of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP) to specific features captured in LROC imagery and, also, to determine coordinates of astronaut equipment or other surface features not captured in the orbital images, for example, the deployed geophones and Explosive Packages (EPs) of the Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) or the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) at major sampling stops. Our results were integrated into a new LROC NAC-based Apollo 17 Traverse Map and also used to generate a series of large-scale maps of all nine traverse stations and of the ALSEP area. In addition, we provide crater measurements, profiles of the navigated traverse paths, and improved ranges of the sources and receivers of the active seismic experiment LSPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-95
Number of pages37
JournalEarth and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Apollo 17
  • Hasselblad
  • planetary cartography
  • position determination
  • traverse map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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