NASA captures a rare encounter of a spacecraft zipping around the Moon

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured an interesting photo of a spacecraft crossing paths with it while traveling at high speeds.

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NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has pointed its sensitive instruments at a spacecraft passing by, capturing the below image.

LRO captured this image of Danuri at about 2.5 miles toward it

LRO captured this image of Danuri at about 2.5 miles toward it

The space agency took to its blog on April 5 to showcase some photos captured by the LRO, which has been orbiting the Moon for 15 years now. The satellite captured several images of Korea Aerospace Research Institute's Danuri lunar orbiter, which is the nation's first spacecraft at the Moon. The images were captured last month as both spacecrafts passed each other in opposite directions between March 5 and March 6, 2024.

The relative velocities between the two spacecrafts were about 7,200 miles per hour, making it extremely difficult for NASA teams at its Goddard Space Flight Center to hone in on the Republic of Korea's satellite. Despite the LRO's camera exposure being set to a very short 0.338 milliseconds, the Danuri still appeared smeared in the image and is about 10 times its actual size. This smear was caused by the extremely fast velocities between the two spacecraft.

Danuri was orbiting 5 miles below LRO's orbit

Danuri was orbiting 5 miles below LRO's orbit

A glimpse of Danuri when it was 5 miles below it

A glimpse of Danuri when it was 5 miles below it

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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