- Category: Moon
- Written by Todd Hetherington
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There are three Apollo 10 70mm frames which show some kind of debris above the Moon. The frame identification numbers are AS10-28-3988, AS10-28-3989 and AS10-28-3990. The pictures were taken just above the far side crater of Ventris. The notes on the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal reference that the object is "almost certainly" a piece of mylar insulation that tore off from the top hatch as mentioned by John Young at 118:41:31. To me, the object resembles a chunk of dry wall. Below are crops from each frame showing the object in question.
I myself, in the past, had thought that the explaination was fairly resonable, or I thought it might have been a piece of accumulated ice from the spacecraft. Well, it appears it's not. Below is an Apollo 8 70mm hasselblad shot (AS08-13-2319) of the far side crater Aitken, the deepest crater on the moon located along the northern rim of the south pole. Below is a small version processed from the NASA/JSC/ASU raw tif scan.
When I originally looked at the Apollo 8 scan full frame, I noticed a prominent white spec in the upper right corner. When enlarged, you probably already guessed, it appears to be the same rogue object that was taken by Apollo 10 about five months later. A larger, enhanced version from the NASA/JSC/ASU scan below.
I rotated the cropped version of AS08-13-2319 180° and turned it backwards to match the Apollo 10 perspective of the object (below). It's likely the Apollo 8 image shows the opposite side. Compare this one with the cropped version of AS10-28-3988 (top). The object appears to hover somewhere between the craters Ventris and the westen edge of Aitken on the Lunar far side.
Other relevant links below: