Author Topic: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's  (Read 13068 times)

Offline Apollo-phill

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LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« on: 03/19/2010 03:15 PM »
LRO team have released very high res images of some of the Soviet Union's Luna landers and Lunokhod rovers.

The "clarity" of the lunokhod's and , especially Luna-17 lander, are pretty phenomenal with these craft being clearly discerned. The Lunokhod tracks across the surface can also be followed very easily


Phill






Offline Blackstar

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #1 on: 03/19/2010 03:42 PM »
There's actual real science value to doing some of this--not just historical.  By precisely locating the sample return sites, they can calibrate the samples to what is in the surrounding area.

Offline Jester

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« Last Edit: 03/19/2010 03:48 PM by Jester »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #3 on: 03/19/2010 03:57 PM »
Luna 17.

Offline Apollo-phill

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #4 on: 03/20/2010 12:53 PM »
Hi

Thought you might like see a photo I took of a full scale Lunokhod-2 model that was on show at the (then) Soviet Union Spaceflight Achievement Exhibition in Moscow in March 1974.

I was there following the joint USA/USSR Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP).

Phill P.
UK


Offline CommercialSpaceFan

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #5 on: 03/20/2010 08:54 PM »
What rights does Richard Garriott have to claiming the 40 km over which Lunokhd-2 drove? Does the fact that he owns Lunokhod-2 give him any legal rights to stake a claim to a piece of the moon?

Offline rdale

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #6 on: 03/20/2010 08:54 PM »
Nobody can claim legal rights on the moon - they have no government setup yet.

Offline sbt

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #7 on: 03/20/2010 09:06 PM »
Nobody can claim legal rights on the moon - they have no government setup yet.

Its also contrary to the Outer Space Treaty, to which the US and Russia (via the USSR) are ratified signatories.

Nations do, however, retain rights to their hardware and its disposition - including sale I believe.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2010 09:10 PM by sbt »
I am not interested in your political point scoring, Ad Hominem attacks, personal obsessions and vendettas. - No matter how cute and clever you may think your comments are.

Offline simonbp

Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #8 on: 03/20/2010 10:01 PM »
There's actual real science value to doing some of this--not just historical.  By precisely locating the sample return sites, they can calibrate the samples to what is in the surrounding area.

Which is a huge deal considering the prior error was on the order of +/-500 km. In addition, the more accurate positioning from the wide-field camera allows for even greater absolute positioning, which allows the samples to be calibrated precisely to spectral and multiband maps, especially the M3 data from Chandryann-1.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #9 on: 03/21/2010 03:14 AM »
Its also contrary to the Outer Space Treaty, to which the US and Russia (via the USSR) are ratified signatories.

As I understand it, while the Outer Space Treaty precludes governments from making claims of sovereignty over celestial bodies, it does not necessarily prevent private individuals from such claims.

Even without a lunar government in place, it could be argued that a basic tenant for claiming property rights has been met-- demonstrating use: at the very least, Richard Garriott is using the land beneath his rover as a parking spot.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #10 on: 03/21/2010 11:27 AM »
Its also contrary to the Outer Space Treaty, to which the US and Russia (via the USSR) are ratified signatories.

As I understand it, while the Outer Space Treaty precludes governments from making claims of sovereignty over celestial bodies, it does not necessarily prevent private individuals from such claims.

As a citizen of the United States you are not allowed to violate treaties that your government has signed.

Offline CommercialSpaceFan

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #11 on: 03/21/2010 01:33 PM »
Its also contrary to the Outer Space Treaty, to which the US and Russia (via the USSR) are ratified signatories.

As I understand it, while the Outer Space Treaty precludes governments from making claims of sovereignty over celestial bodies, it does not necessarily prevent private individuals from such claims.

As a citizen of the United States you are not allowed to violate treaties that your government has signed.

This is exactly the crux of my question.  The US signed a treaty precluding governments from making extraterrestrial claims.  Does it apply to individuals.  If Garriott is granted his "homesteading" claim it could make for an interesting future as individuals/corporations seek new opportunities.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #12 on: 03/21/2010 03:05 PM »
This is exactly the crux of my question.  The US signed a treaty precluding governments from making extraterrestrial claims.  Does it apply to individuals.  If Garriott is granted his "homesteading" claim it could make for an interesting future as individuals/corporations seek new opportunities.

You cannot violate a treaty that your government signed.

But it's more subtle and complex than that, and is not going to be answered here on a bulletin board.  A lot of space enthusiasts get caught up in this property rights issue and ascribe it more importance than it deserves.  There are plenty of similarities to maritime law that would allow you to exploit resources if you went up there.  The OST doesn't prevent it.  Here are some places to get your answers:

http://www.thespaceshow.com/detail.asp?q=422

http://www.thespaceshow.com/detail.asp?q=387

Offline Jorge

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #13 on: 03/21/2010 03:56 PM »
Its also contrary to the Outer Space Treaty, to which the US and Russia (via the USSR) are ratified signatories.

As I understand it, while the Outer Space Treaty precludes governments from making claims of sovereignty over celestial bodies, it does not necessarily prevent private individuals from such claims.

Even without a lunar government in place, it could be argued that a basic tenant for claiming property rights has been met-- demonstrating use: at the very least, Richard Garriott is using the land beneath his rover as a parking spot.

Nevertheless, legal notions of property ownership are tied to national sovereignty.

Richard Garriott owns property in the US. For each property, he holds a title - a piece of paper saying the US government recognizes his claim to the property, which he can use in US courts to enforce his property rights. The US government can do that because they have sovereignty over the land in question.

Richard Garriott *claims* property on the moon. But there is no sovereign, hence he holds no title, hence no government is bound to recognize or enforce that claim in court.

If, say, the Chinese were to land a spacecraft right in the middle of Garriott's claim, he would have no legal recourse. No court in the world would recognize his claim since no government has sovereignty over the land he claims. The practical effect would be as if he had never claimed the land in the first place.
JRF

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #14 on: 03/21/2010 05:08 PM »
As a citizen of the United States you are not allowed to violate treaties that your government has signed.

True, but that assumes that the treaty outright precludes private claims. The treaty, as written, specifically addresses government claims of sovereignty while distinguishing them from non-governmental entities.

The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.

Based on what I have read, the U.S., as the appropriate State Party to the Treaty, could authorize Richard Garriott, for example, as a non-governmental entity to claim property without violating the treaty.

Offline Jorge

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #15 on: 03/21/2010 05:17 PM »
As a citizen of the United States you are not allowed to violate treaties that your government has signed.

True, but that assumes that the treaty outright precludes private claims. The treaty, as written, specifically addresses government claims of sovereignty while distinguishing them from non-governmental entities.

The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.

Based on what I have read, the U.S., as the appropriate State Party to the Treaty, could authorize Richard Garriott, for example, as a non-governmental entity to claim property without violating the treaty.

Based on what I have read, the US could not authorize a US citizen to do so because that would amount to a de facto claim of sovereignty over the land in question.
JRF

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #16 on: 03/21/2010 05:35 PM »
Based on what I have read, the US could not authorize a US citizen to do so because that would amount to a de facto claim of sovereignty over the land in question.

I think what's clear is that the Outer Space Treaty alone doesn't set the parameters definitively enough to answer this question and therefore additional treaties/legislation will be needed before any claims are uniformly dismissed or accepted.

Offline Jorge

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #17 on: 03/21/2010 06:36 PM »
Based on what I have read, the US could not authorize a US citizen to do so because that would amount to a de facto claim of sovereignty over the land in question.

I think what's clear is that the Outer Space Treaty alone doesn't set the parameters definitively enough to answer this question and therefore additional treaties/legislation will be needed before any claims are uniformly dismissed or accepted.

I'll agree with you on one thing: additional treaties would be required in order to allow private property claims in space.

I will technically agree that the OST alone doesn't set the parameters. It doesn't have to, though, because like all treaties it works within an existing framework of international law and relies on that framework to set the parameters for much that is not explicitly laid out in the treaty. And that framework is clear that a state can only grant title to land it has sovereignty over.

Let's consider an implication of your interpretation of the law (that the US could "authorize" Richard Garriott to claim land on the moon without the US violating the OST). There are really only two possible outcomes to this. One is that the US "authorization" obliges the US to recognize Garriott's claim in US court should a dispute arise. If that were the case, the "authorization" is really a "title" and it would be a clear violation of the OST. On the other hand, if the "authorization" carried no court obligation, then it's effectively meaningless because Garriott would have no legal recourse if a third party were to violate his claim. Since the latter interpretation is meaningless, I'm assuming you're defending the former interpretation. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

If that interpretation were held valid, it would have implications to other treaties that are structured similarly, e.g. the Antarctic Treaty. Several nations have pre-treaty claims to parts of the Antarctic that were nullified by the treaty (though the nations in question have never formally abandoned their claims, on the contingency that the treaty might be modified later).

Under your interpretation, any nation could "authorize" a person to claim land in the Antarctic without violating the treaty. If that were the case, they surely would have done so by now. Chile could have, for example, authorized a corporation to claim land in Antarctica and drill for oil there. Chile could then tax the revenue from that corporation. There would be an enormous financial incentive to do so.

The fact that no nation has done just that in the half-century the Antarctic Treaty has been in effect indicates that this interpretation of the law is not valid. (And believe me, there is oil in the Antarctic. Lots of it. And nations know roughly where it is. Don't believe for a second that the various "deep core" expeditions were purely scientific, though much good science did result.)
JRF

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #18 on: 03/21/2010 08:41 PM »
As a citizen of the United States you are not allowed to violate treaties that your government has signed.

True, but that assumes that the treaty outright precludes private claims. The treaty, as written, specifically addresses government claims of sovereignty while distinguishing them from non-governmental entities.

The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.

Based on what I have read, the U.S., as the appropriate State Party to the Treaty, could authorize Richard Garriott, for example, as a non-governmental entity to claim property without violating the treaty.

You might want to consult a lawyer about that.  By your reasoning, a private individual could violate an arms control treaty, or an environmental treaty, because the treaty only deals with governments, not individuals--which is ridiculous.  Treaties do bind the citizens of the governments that sign them.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #19 on: 03/22/2010 08:05 PM »
Something on this just popped up today:

http://www.space.com/news/soviet-moon-rover-space-law-100322.html

"Validity of ownership?

Enter space lawyer, Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz. She is Director of the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law and Research Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi.

"The soundness of a property right depends in large part on the integrity of the documents that memorialize the right," Gabrynowicz told SPACE.com via email. "This is why property buyers conduct title searches before buying property. They want to be sure that the title is good."

Gabrynowicz said that without reading the papers or knowing how they were processed and by whom, she can't speak to the validity of the ownership of a space object purchased at auction.

"However, a contention that buying a space object that landed on the lunar surface from a sovereign nation gives rise to a property right to the territory under it is wrong," Gabrynowicz said.

Gabrynowicz said that States-Parties to the Outer Space Treaty of 1966 cannot acquire lunar territory by landing an object on the moon.

"The USSR was and Russia is a party to the Outer Space Treaty," she added. "It did not acquire the territory under the object when it landed. One cannot sell what one does not own. Since USSR/Russia did not have a property right to the territory under the landed object, there was nothing to sell."

That said, although I'm not a lawyer and don't desire to be one, just because you cannot own the property does not mean you cannot exploit it.  Nobody owns the middle of the ocean, but boats still fish in it.  So if Garriott wants to go up there and drill for oil, I'm all for it.

Offline Jorge

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #20 on: 03/22/2010 08:33 PM »

That said, although I'm not a lawyer and don't desire to be one, just because you cannot own the property does not mean you cannot exploit it.  Nobody owns the middle of the ocean, but boats still fish in it.  So if Garriott wants to go up there and drill for oil, I'm all for it.

That's a very good point. Mineral rights are distinct from property ownership. Both the US and USSR established a precedent for mineral rights on the moon when they asserted ownership over the samples returned by Apollo and Luna, and so far there have been no serious challenges to that.
JRF

Offline hop

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #21 on: 04/09/2010 08:12 PM »
LROC Coordinates of Robotic Spacecraft - Listing of all Soviet and American robotic space hardware that have been identified by the LROC Team.

Includes links to images.

via Emily Lakdawalla.

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #22 on: 04/09/2010 08:17 PM »
Thanks, hop. Bookmarked.
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Danderman

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #23 on: 04/09/2010 10:26 PM »

That said, although I'm not a lawyer and don't desire to be one, just because you cannot own the property does not mean you cannot exploit it.  Nobody owns the middle of the ocean, but boats still fish in it.  So if Garriott wants to go up there and drill for oil, I'm all for it.

That's a very good point. Mineral rights are distinct from property ownership. Both the US and USSR established a precedent for mineral rights on the moon when they asserted ownership over the samples returned by Apollo and Luna, and so far there have been no serious challenges to that.

Most people don't realize that the Moon has been mined and the proceeds have been sold commercially.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: LRO Images of Soviet Luna's and Lunokhod's
« Reply #24 on: 06/08/2011 06:12 PM »
This thread was linked to from the Greason "Strategy" thread:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25334.msg753982#msg753982

I just reviewed some of the remarks in this thread above, and not all of the opinions expressed above are completely accurate:  Garriott cannot "claim" the land, even if he should rightly own the rover.

There's not much written on property rights in space.  "The Modern International Law of Outer Space", by Carl Q. Christol, is very good.  I have read portions of this, and posted about it here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=23646.msg678220#msg678220

Of course, there are no treaty limitations on claiming press attention.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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