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NASA: AS16-107-17446.

Note Q: The area is enlarged at left (Note P). The crosshairs which are in every NASA photograph are obscured by part of the image.

See here for a general discussion of missing crosshairs. Not all the cameras had reseau plates, but the ones used in the actual moonwalks did.

Note R: The letter 'C' appears on the rock. This is a designation by the props department.

Having worked for a number of years in both amateur and professional theatrical and motion picture productions, I can't accept the theory that this is a prop marking. First, no property master would mark a prop in such a way as to be visible. Prop markings, if any are used, go on the bottoms or backsides of objects where they cannot be seen. Second, using only one letter to mark props limits you to 26 props. If a property master is being so anal retentive as to catalogue even the rocks used on the "set" he would certainly need a more elaborate system.

It's more accurate to say that the letter (if it is, in fact, a letter, and not just a semi-elliptical marking) appears on the photograph. The crosshairs also appear on the photograph, but are not on the objects photographed.

In 2001 Steve Troy of undertook a lengthy investigation. After obtaining transparencies from different sources connected with NASA, he failed to see the mark either on the masters used prior to 1997 or on the new masters. Yet the photos on official NASA web sites clearly show it. Following up with the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, they discovered that one of the prints in their collection was the source of the mark. At some point that print had been scanned and has since been widely distributed on the Internet.


Troy and LPI officials studied the print under a microscope and discovered that it was indeed far more likely to be a hair or other fiber on the photographic paper onto which AS16-107-17446 had been printed. A secondary mark that appears to be a shadow is clearly visible under the top portion of the mark.

Note S: The rover tracks appear too well defined. To make this kind of impression you'd need a compound mixed with water.

Nonsense. The lunar soil is remarkably cohesive. Read more about it.

NASA: AS16-107-17446

The level of detail abruptly changes just beyond the rover. In the foreground there are rocks, but there are no rocks in the background. This indicates the use of a painted backdrop. [Jack White]

Or it indicates the brink of a hill. Traverse maps for Apollo 16 show this photo was taken high up on a mountain. The terrain visible above the demarcation is actually hundreds or thousands of meters away, and so the small rocks visible in foreground should not be visible in the background.

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