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Mapping Camera Aspect Stellar Photography

NSSDCA ID: 1972-031A-04

Mission Name: Apollo 16 Command and Service Module (CSM)
Principal Investigator:Dr. Frederick J. Doyle


The purpose of this experiment was to provide accurate attitude data for the mapping (metric) camera photography and laser altimeter data. The stellar camera had a 76-mm (3-inch) focal length and used 3401 (VHBW) B/W film. The camera operated simultaneously with the metric camera and laser altimeter, photographing the stellar background while the metric camera and laser observed the lunar surface. The stellar camera was mounted at a 96-deg angle to the metric camera. The composite system operated automatically. The stellar camera and laser altimeter could be decoupled from the metric camera and operated together, independently from the metric camera, so that photographs of the earthshine areas could be obtained, whereas the metric camera obtained only the dayside targets. The whole unit was mounted in the SIM bay of the CSM. The laser telescope contained optics of its transmitter and receiver operating at a wavelength of 6943 A (nominal). The transmitter beam was 300 microradians, and the receiver field of view (FOV) was 200 microradians. The stellar camera operated nominally, but the glareshield jammed and introduced glare into the stellar photos, which complicated the star field data reduction.

Alternate Names

  • Apollo16CSM/MappingCameraAspectStellarPhotography
  • S166
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:metriccam.a16c

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Applications (United States)


  • Astronomy: Visible

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Frederick J. DoylePrincipal InvestigatorUS Geological Survey
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