Apollo 11 Site

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Apollo 11 Site / Statio Tranquillitatis

(unofficial name / official name)

Lat: 0.8°N, Long: 23.5°E, Rükl: 35

external image tranquil.jpg

external image normal_Apollo_11_LO_iv_085_h1.jpg

Apollo 15 Flight Journal view looking south over the Apollo 11 landing area
LPI Online Lunar Orbiter Atlas north-up aerial view


LPOD Photo Gallery images Lunar Orbiter Images Apollo Images of landing site from orbit (1) Apollo Images of landing site from orbit (2) Images taken from surface Close-up images of surface

  • For many additional maps and images see the Image Library of the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal.
  • To relate the orbital photos to a location as seen from Earth, see Dan Durda's nicely arranged Exploring the Apollo Landing Sites zoom-in sequence (click on "Apollo 11").
  • The Apollo 11 Site was not among the areas mapped at high resolution with the metric and panoramic cameras of the final three Apollo missions. The most detailed aerial views of Tranquility Base and its immediate surroundings appear to be those collected by the Data Acquistion Camera as it filmed the descent and ascent from the window of the landing module. These probably served as the background for the detailed Site Traverses Map.
  • South-southeast looking panorama, composed by Don Davis (Apollo 11 video frames).
  • A little bit more to the north of the actual landing spot, and there would have been some interesting investigations of relatively large boulders! See the High-Resolution scan of AS11-40-5856, looking north. Research Danny Caes


(LAC zone 60C4) LAC map Geologic map LM map AIC map Landing site map
USGS Geologic Map of Apollo Landing Site 2 (Apollo 11) I-619 (of which the actual landing site of Apollo 11 (LM Eagle, Tranquillity Base) is detectable near the lower left corner of the map).
USGS Geologic Map of the Sabine D Region, I-618 (also shows the actual landing site of Apollo 11, near the lower left corner of the map).


According to the Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report, this site, which was chosen for reasons of safety rather than geologic interest, proved to consist of fragmented debris ranging in size from fine particles to blocks about 0.8 meter wide. The entire area explored was less than the size of a soccer field. The best way to get a quick overview of the Apollo 11 site is probably the LPI's Landing Site Overview. James R. Zimbelman's Slide Show, on the same site, clearly illustrates the location in relation to landmarks visible (through a telescope) from Earth. Once the general setting is understood, the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal can be read with profit.

Walter Cronkite (CBS) and Apollo 11

I've noticed in the reporting that those under 16 want to know about escape velocity and they want to know about the lunar trajectory velocity, and those over 30 or so say, "Don't tell me all that, I just don't understand. Tell me when we get there."
MOONFIRE - the epic journey of Apollo 11 (Norman Mailer), page 151.

Description: Wikipedia

Apollo 11 Statio Tranquillitatis

Additional Information

  • The coordinates given in the title line are the official IAU coordinates for the feature known as Statio Tranquillitatis (the landing site). According to Davies and Colvin, 2000 the precise coordinates at which the Lunar Module landed are: 0.67408°N, 23.47297°E. Their estimate is based on the later measured position of the Apollo 11 lunar laser ranging retroreflector (LRRR) and the assumption that the lander touched down 1.2 m east and 21.4 m north of that location. The earlier DMA-prepared Landing site map gave the position as 0° 40' 12" N, 23° 29' 12" E (0.6700°N, 23.4867°E). The Wikipedia "Statio Tranquillitatis" page (source unknown) gives 0.6875°N, 23.4333°E, although the Apollo 11 page gives the Davies and Colvin value.
  • The LTVT Wiki includes an illustrated list of the diameters of the craters near the Apollo 11 landing site that are potentially visible from Earth.
  • Sample 10084 - see also Liu, Y.et al, Oct 2012 reference (to regolith and surface water) in Bibliography below.

LM Eagle of Apollo 11 landed on a gentle slope

If you explore and investigate the panoramic Hasselblad photographs made at the landing site of LM Eagle, you shall notice a much more distant horizon on the southward looking photographs. The northward looking photographs show a much more nearby horizon with quite large boulders. Which means: LM Eagle landed on a gentle slope, slightly upward toward the north, and slightly downward toward the south. Did they land on the northern part of the rim of a large shallow depression? Note also the wonderful 3D Stereo images which could be obtained when several southward looking pan-photographs are combined!
- DannyCaes Aug 6, 2016


  • The IAU name is Latin for "Tranquility Base", Apollo 11 landing site.
  • Although this landing site name is listed as Statio Tranquillitatis in the on-line IAU Planetary Gazetteer it appears that the name that was formally adopted in 1970 was Tranquility Base (Statio Tranquillitatis) (Menzel, 1971). If correct, this would be contrary to the normal form, for the name placed in parenthesis usually indicates an older name that is being replaced by a new one. - JimMosher
  • The only other Landing Site Name adopted by the IAU in connection with Apollo 11 is the crater West. Many other informal names for navigational landmarks used in preparing for the flight can be found on the maps and charts in the Image Library of the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal. - JimMosher

APOD Articles

Apollo 11 catching some sun Tranquillity Base; LMP Edwin Aldrin and the Solar Wind Composition Experiment, LM Eagle in the background, and two bright (slightly spectral-colored) catadioptric effects near the upper left corner of the photograph. Catadioptric effects are reflected images of the sun, created by the optical system inside the Hasselblad camera (often misunderstood as "Studio Floodlights").

LPOD Articles

All but Armstrong Apollo 11 + 37 years 39 and Counting The Last Celebration

LROC Articles

LROC's First Look at the Apollo Landing Sites
Apollo 11: Second look
High Noon at Tranquility Base
A Stark Beauty All Its Own
"Houston, Tranquility base here"


Something to investigate: is the moon an excellent example of Michel Foucault's HETEROTOPIA?

In other words: of all places, Earth's moon is perhaps the most ideal example of otherness. How would the Apollo astronauts have thought about it?
See Wikipedia page Heterotopia.
Believe it or not, I discovered the word HETEROTOPIA during an online investigation of a peculiar street in my hometown (Ghent, East-Flanders) which is often called the "Little Street of Glass" or "Glazen Straatje" (the what?). Officially this peculiar street is known as the Pieter Vanderdoncktdoorgang.
This little street has the somewhat shady reputation of being the... eh... Ghent's most cosy environment. On the Wikipedia page of this street it is described as an example of Heterotopia (a certain environment of otherness). See the (Flemish) Wikipedia page.

Another curiosity... (Andrew Smith's MOONDUST)

Andrew Smith's book MOONDUST (2005) shows something which is (or could be?) an error (?).
On page 24 of the Dutch version (MAANSTOF, 2006) there's a brief description of Edwin Aldrin's observation of a shiny metallic object on the moon's surface, prior to the landing of LM Eagle (Apollo 11). Andrew Smith described it as one of NASA's unmanned probes which landed earlier up there. As far as I know there was only one such case, namely Apollo 12's LM Intrepid and its pinpoint landing nearby the unmanned lander Surveyor III at the Surveyor crater... (the Lansberg sector of Oceanus Procellarum).
Or... did Edwin Aldrin really noticed something from NASA up there slightly eastward of their (of Neil's and Buzz's) actual landing site? If so, this is something completely new to me!
- DannyCaes Sep 29, 2015