Lunar Day Six
Tonight on the lunar surface, all of Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquillitatis will be revealed, and so it is fitting we should take an even closer look at both the “Serene” and “Tranquil” seas (Fig. 7.1). Formed some 38 million years ago, these two areas of the Moon have been home to most of mankind’s lunar exploration. Somewhere scattered on the basalt landscape on the western edge of Tranquillitatis, a few remains of the Ranger 6 mission lie tossed about, perhaps forming a small impact crater of their own. Its eyes were open, but blinded by a malfunction…forever seeing nothing. To the southwest edge lie the remnants of the successful Ranger 8 mission which sent back 7,137 glorious images during the last 23 min of its life. Nearby, the intact Surveyor 5 withstood all odds and made space history by managing to perform an alpha particle spectrogram of the soil while withstanding temperatures considerably greater than the boiling point. Not only this, but it also took over 18,000 pictures!