Space: A New Look at Copernicus

Except for the black sky in the background, the photograph might have been mistaken for a composite of the scenic grandeur of Grand Canyon and the barren desolation of the Badlands of South Dakota. But when it was flashed unexpectedly onto a screen at a meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Boston last week, sophisticated space scientists and engineers recognized the terrain immediately. It was a spectacular closeup shot of lunar landscape. That photograph of the moon's Crater of Copernicus, said NASA Scientist Martin Swetnick, is "one of the great pictures of the century."

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