China has released a composite image of the entire moon, the highest resolution map ever created.
The composite images were taken by the Chang’e-2 Lunar Orbiter. We’ve seen higher resolution images of areas on the moon before, but this is probably the best full image to date.
According to PhysOrg.com:
In fact the maps are detailed enough that Chinese scientists were able to detect traces of the Apollo landers, said Yan Jun, chief application scientist for China’s lunar exploration project.
China is on a roll. While the United States continues to cut funding for space exploration and completely ignores manned explorative missions, China intends to land a rover on the moon in 2013. They likely have their eyes set on an eventual human expedition, as well.
Meanwhile, Russia seems to be heading in the same direction.
Times have certainly changed.