Mapping of the Moon by Clementine

A. S. McEwen, M. S. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The "faster, cheaper, better" Clementine spacecraft mission mapped the Moon from February 19 to May 3, 1994. Global coverage was acquired in 11 spectral bandpasses from 415 to 2792 nm and at resolutions of 80-330 m/pixel; a thermal-infrared camera sampled ∼20% of the surface; a high-resolution camera sampled selected areas (especially the polar regions); and a lidar altimeter mapped the large-scale topography up to latitudes of ±75°. The spacecraft was in a polar, elliptical orbit, 400-450 km periselene altitude. Periselene latitude was -28.5° for the first month of mapping, then moved to +28.5°. NASA is supporting the archiving, systematic processing, and analysis of the ∼1.8 million lunar images and other datasets. A new global positional network has been constructed from 43,000 images and ∼0.5 million match points; new digital maps will facilitate future lunar exploration. In-flight calibrations now enable photometry to a high level of precision for the uv-visible CCD camera. Early science results include: (1) global models of topography, gravity, and crustal thicknesses; (2) new information on the topography and structure of multiring impact basins; (3) evidence suggestive of water ice in large permanent shadows near the south pole; (4) global mapping of iron abundances; and (5) new constraints on the Phanerozoic cratering rate of the Earth. Many additional results are expected following completion of calibration and systematic processing efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1533
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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