Wherefore Art Thou Clementine?
The Mystery of Clementine Explored - Science Fiction or Truth?
Courtesy NASA/JPL
The Clementine Satellite

The Clementine satellite tested 23 advanced technologies during itsmission for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. In fulfilling its scientific goals, Clementine provided a wealth of information relevant to the mineralogy of the lunar surface. Using six on-board cameras designed and built at the Laboratory, Clementine mapped the entire surface of the Moon at resolutions never before attained. Clementine also provided range data that will be used to construct a relief map of the lunar surface.

The first U.S. satellite to the Moon in more than two decades was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base (Santa Barbara County), California, on January 25, 1994.
The satellite was named Clementine because it carried only enough fuel to complete its mission before it was "lost and gone forever," as in the old ballad "My Darling

The satellite orbited the Moon for more than two months beginning February 19, 1994 taking and transmitting high-resolution pictures and range data until it built up a detailedmap of the entire lunar surface. Clementine completed its lunar orbit on May 3, 1994, sending back more than 1.5 million images of the Moon.

Clementine's primary mission was to demonstrate in the harsh environment of space advanced, lightweight technologies developed by the Department of Defense for detecting and tracking ballistic missiles.

Clementine completely mapped the lunar surface in 14 discrete spectral bands ranging
from the near ultraviolet (0.415 m), through the visible spectrum, to the far infrared (9.5 m).

The last phase of the scheduled mission was to be a flyby of the near-Earth asteroid Geographos, which is about 5 km long and crosses Earth's orbit about every 18 months. Even though near-Earth asteroids tend to be much larger than missiles, Geographos would have provided a meaningful target as Clementine attempted a near-miss intercept using
the new sensor technologies.

After successfully mapping the Moon, Clementine left lunar orbit and began its journey to Geographos on May 5. On May 7, however, one of the on-board processors failed and turned on the attitude-control thrusters, which sent the spacecraft into a spin (81 revolutions/minute). That failure drained the attitude-control system of its fuel (although there was still fuel for the main thruster), effectively canceling the Geographos portion of the mission. At this angular velocity, Clementine could still have flown to Geographos, but it would not have sent back useful images, and contact with it probably would have been lost. As a result, Clementine spent its final days orbiting Earth, continuing to collect lifetime data on the new on-board technologies.

VISIBLE LIGHT {Normal Light}

High-Resolution Camera

This 1.1-kg camera operates at visible wavelengths (0.415 to 0.75 m) with silicon CCD technology combined with a compact, lightweight image intensifier.

To provide reliable, solid-state, cost-effective imaging in the near ultraviolet,  visible, and near-infrared regions of the spectrum (from 0.3 to 1.0 m), LLNL designed and built a medium-resolution, 0.426-kg camera that uses silicon charge-coupled device  (CCD) technology. For Clementine, this camera was combined with a six position spectral filter wheel for remote sensing applications and, specifically, for mineral typing studies of the Moon. The image below shows the African continent imaged by the ultraviolet/visible camera at five different wavelengths on a clear day from a distance of 384,000 km.


The above excerpts are taken from a PDF file on the Clementine Mission
provided courtesy of  the Department of Defense's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.

SOURCE Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory PDF File


What I don't understand here is that the satellite left the moon May 5th on a path to the asteroid Geographos. Two days later on May 7th, it malfunctioned and lost the fuel for atitude control, and went into a spin. It had main thruster fuel. So how did a satellite spinning at 81 rpm manage to manuever out of its path to the asteroid and return to Earth, enter a stable geocentric orbit, and continue to take images over Earth?

Also the mission to the asteroid was scrubbed because the images wouldn't be useful (due to the spin?), but after this miraculous feat of returning to earth without an attitude-control system, insertion into orbit, and now its taking okay pictures of the Earth?

I am no rocket scientist, perhaps I am missing something - Zorgon

This report also contains complete and irrefutable proof that they had the equipment to take visible light natural color images and did! See further below for images of the Earth taken by the same cameras in full natural color while in transit and looking back on arrival - Zorgon
The Clementine Mission: Initial Results from Lunar Mapping


After mapping the Moon, Clementine departed for a flyby of the asteroid 1620 Geographos on 3 May 1994. After a few days, while rehearsing the datacollection sequence for the asteroid flyby, a software fault resulted in the firing (until fuel depletion) of the attitude-control thrusters. The spacecraft was spun up to over 80 rpm and could not be de-spun. Thus, the asteroid portion of the mission was cancelled. After flying near the Moon on 20 July 1994, Clementine went into solar orbit: it is hoped that renewed contact with the spacecraft can be established, in which case we will collect engineering data to Earth so that we can monitor the health and degradation of its sensors in a deep-space, hard-radiation environment.

SOURCE Clementine Mission, The: Initial Results from Lunar Mapping

According to NASA this report says it left the Moon on May 3rd, then after the malfunction it went into a spin that could not be stopped. Yet it returns to fly past the Moon on July 20, 1994 then goes into a solar orbit... where they hope to be able to re-establish contact. In otherwords  IT'S STILL THERE

USGS Photo of Earth and Moon
This is a composite photo using the Blue Earth image taken with the medium resolution camera on board Clementine. The earth is actually two times higher than the image shows and the black and white moon image was added as a dramatic promotional image. The Earth in this image is also enhanced and enlarged. {Compare to the original above}

A note below the image even states that;
"The Earth actually appeared about twice as far above the lunar horizon as shown."


Astrogeology Research Program USGS

Credit: NRL

Clementine was launched January 25, 1994, as a joint project between the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and NASA. The objective of the mission was to test sensors and spacecraft components under extended exposure to the space environment and to make scientific observations of the Moon and a near-Earth asteroid (1620 Geographos). Due to a malfunction on May 7th, 1994, Clementine exhausted its fuel after the successful mapping of the lunar surface, and did not complete the visit to the asteroid.

SOURCE: Astrogeology USGS

This report says it EXHAUSTED its fuel... - Zorgon

Naval Research Laboratory 

The Pentagon announced on December 3, 1996, that radar data acquired by the Clementine spacecraft indicated ice in the bottom of a crater on the South Pole of the Moon. Although it is never lit by the Sun, there are a few images of the South Pole available for viewing.

SOURCE: NRL Naval Research Laboratory

This report has Clementine acquiring radar data in December 1996 - Zorgon

Scientific Visualization Studio
The Image below has been posted here by others as representing a true image of Aristarchus Crater taken by the Hubble Space Telescope...  This is incorrect...
The above image was created by J.Garvin and his team. It is a composite image that is one frame of an animation. Below is the relevant data. You can compare the name on the image to those below.

HST imagery of Aristarchus Crater draped over simulated topography

  Greg Shirah (Lead)
  Alex Kekesi
  Greg Bacon
Studio: SVS
Completed: 2005-10-12
Scientist: James Garvin (NASA/GSFC)
Data Collected: 
  HST: 2005/08/16 - 2005/08/21; 

SOURCE: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

This source seems to indicate that there was new Data from Clementine from 1998 to 1999 - Zorgon

USGS Flagstaff
The following link is dead... found this in a cache file...
Task Force Report: Annex D

launched 1994 
1. map Moon;
2. visit Earth-crossing asteroid 1620 Geographos (but booster failed).
[Clementine 2 planned but on hold]

SOURCE: USGS Flagstaff Arizona

Okay, this one says booster failure not fuel shortage.... on hold not vetoed... - Zorgon

NASA NSSDC National Space Science Data Center
Clementine was a joint project between the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO, nee the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, or SDIO) and NASA. The objective of the mission was to test sensors and spacecraft components under extended exposure to the space environment and to make scientific observations of the Moon and the near-Earth asteroid 1620 Geographos. The Geographos observations were not made due to a malfunction in the spacecraft. The lunar observations made included imaging at various wavelengths in the visible as well as in ultraviolet and infrared, laser ranging altimetry, gravimetry, and charged particle measurements....

Unfortunately, on May 7, 1994, after the first Earth transfer orbit, a malfunction aboard the craft caused one of the attitude control thrusters to fire for 11 minutes, using up its fuel supply and causing Clementine to spin at 80 rpm. Under these conditions, the asteroid flyby could not yield useful results, so the spacecraft was put into a geocentric orbit passing through the Van Allen radiation belts to test the various components on board. The mission ended in June 1994 when the power level onboard dropped to a point where the telemetry from the spacecraft was no longer intelligible.

SOURCE: NASA National Space Science Data Center

This NASA site has another variation of the story of Clementine. Now its not only taking photos of the Earth but studying the Van Allen Belt. DoD says 81 rpm, NASA says 80 rpm. Okay that is a small nit-picking amount I know, BUT these guys are rocket scientists, with the best computers, in a field where the slightest miscalculation could have drastic results... surely they could have their reports in agreement with each other? 

This report ends Clementine June 1994. This one also says that Clementine was part of Strategic Defense Initiative Organization or "Star Wars" as it was called. - Zorgon

President Clinton Clementine I

In 1994, President Clinton cited Clementine as one of the major national achievements in aeronautics in space. He stated "The relatively inexpensive, rapidly built spacecraft constituted a major revolution in spacecraft management and design; it also contributed significantly to lunar studies by photographing 1.8 million images of the surface of the Moon." The President was not alone in his praise of Clementine. In addition to the President's comments, Clementine and the people associated with the program were presented with the following awards:

    * Popular Science magazine: Best of 1994's Top 100 Technologies
    * Aviation Week and Space Technology: 1994 Laureate Award
    * National Space Club: Nelson P. Jackson Award
    * Rotary National Award for Space Achievement
    * Navy Award for Group Achievement
    * Discover magazine: 1994 Award for Outstanding Technological Innovation
    * 1996 Induction into the Space Hall of Fame 


President Clinton Clementine II

27 October 1997 NEWS RELEASE:

The National Space Society was disappointed to learn of President Clinton's recent line-item vetos of several small military space programs. The Clementine 2 asteroid intercept mission, as with Clementine 1, would have been the most cost-effective approach to combining important technology demonstrations with real scientific missions.


The President praises and awards the Clementine I efforts but vetos launch of Clementine II. There is no Clementine II that we know of that would account for the discrepancies - Zorgon

Minor Reports

After 1976, the Moon was ignored by space probes until the U.S. Department of Defense's new Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO, aka "Star Wars") flew the Clementine 1 probe to map the Moon's surface with modern instruments, in conjunction with NASA. Clementine 1 arrived at the Moon in February 1994...

Clementine 1 entered a polar orbit around the Moon in order to map its entire surface. Clementine 1 orbited the Moon for more than two months, totalling over 300 orbits, from February 19 to May 5, 1994. Clementine 1 left lunar orbit to rendezvous with near Earth asteroid 1620 Geographos, but a computer malfunction caused the spacecraft to fail before it reached the asteroid...


This one says Clementine was part of Star Wars, left lunar orbit and was a COMPUTER MALFUNCION. This report is adapted from the one below... -Zorgon 
{Above link gives me   "The connection has timed out"}
Clementine in Retrospect - Aerospace Conference, 1998 IEEE
{This one also says computer but the document is under subscription only}

Clementine France

CLEMENTINE can be found in the following categories: Space & Earth Science

NORAD ID: 25978
Int'l Code: 1999-064B
Perigee: 607 km
Apogee: 620 km
Inclination: 98.3
Period: 97 min
Launch date: 1999-12-03
Source: France (FR)
Comments: Intelligence gathering, part of an experimental eavesdropping program.
Clementine France

NSSDC ID: 1999-064B
Other Names: * 25978
Launch Date/Time: 1999-12-03 at 16:22:00 UTC
On-orbit Dry Mass: 50 kg
Clementine France was a research satellite designed to study the Earth's radio-electric environment.

Discipline: Space Physics

Sponsoring Agency/Country: Unknown/France

A new Clementine... designened for science, but used for spying, by an unknown agency, launched in Dec 1999 (6 months after last "sighting" of Clementine I{see above})

Okay sure why not? Nothing odd about that... _Zorgon

Albedo Map of the Moon U.S. Geological Survey

This provides the best albedo map produced to date for most of the far side. Although the images were acquired at a resolution of about 100 meters/pixel, they have been reduced to 1 km/pixel for this preliminary effort. Last Updated 10/19/2000 05:53:29 

SOURCE: NRL National Resource Laboratory

This is the first version of the Clementine mosaic available to the public. They are in blackand white and 1 meg in size. Date created Jul 17,2000 - Zorgon

Clementine Lunar Image Browser 1.5

Clementine captured 1.8 million images of the Moon's surface. The Laboratory provides the Clementine Lunar Image Browser as a courtesy to scientific researchers, as well as the general public, and you are welcome to browse the over 170,000 images that are available

SOURCE: NRL Navy Research Laboratory

This version was at the same time...Only one tenth of the images taken reached the public. Since we know they mapped the entire moon, you can see how much of the area we cannot view. Last Updated 10/15/2003 06:21:19 

Clementine Lunar Image Browser 1.5l

New version of the Navy Browser Last updated  01/31/2006 10:52:01 

SOURCE: NRL Navy Research Laboratory

Now available through NASA, CD's of Clementine images, all 1.8 million but they are only in black and white - Zorgon



Here are two more images from the sUSGS proving once and for all that the camera on board Clementine CAN AND DOES take real, normal, visible light spectrum images. The images below were taken while Clementine was on its way to the moon.




Department of Defense
  Released 07-24-2006

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) - News Transcript 

Presenter: Dr. Dwight Duston, Assistant Deputy for Technology, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization;

Tuesday, December 3, 1996 - 1:45 p.m. 

 Subject: Discovery of Ice on the Moon

 Dr. Dwight Duston, Assistant Deputy for Technology, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization;
 Dr. Paul Spudis, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Rice University;
 Dr. Stewart Nozette, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory; 
 Col. Pedro Rustan, USAF, Director, Small Satellite Program, National Reconnaissance Office;
 Christopher L. Lichtenberg, Head, RF Active System Section, Naval Research Laboratory; and 
 Col. Richard Bridges, USA, director, Defense Information, OASD(PA).

Abstract One: Re: Water Ice on the Moon

A: As I mentioned, what we can tell from looking at the radar return is roughly the area that is covered by this. Assuming it reflects ice like ice on Mercury -- making that assumption.That's been well looked at. Then in order to see this back scatter effect, this roadside reflector effect; it's estimated that we have to see some number of wavelengths of our radar into the ice. In reviewing the paper, several of the reviewers posited we probably need to see somewhere between 50 and 100 wavelengths. So our wavelength is about six inches.
 So at the thickest case, it's roughly 50 feet. 

 Q: That translates to what in volume? 

 A: We were very conservative in the press release, but if you take basically 100 square kilometers by roughly 50 feet, you get a volume of something like a quarter of a cubic mile, I
 think it's on that order. It's a considerable amount, but it's not a huge glacier or anything like that. 

 Q: Can you compare that with something you know? 

 A: It's a lake. A small lake. 

Abstract Two: Re: Clementine and Starwars

A: However, there is still a space-borne component to our theater and national missile defense architecture, and that is the space-based infrared satellite. That will allow us to dotracking, particularly in boost and in the mid-course phases of the trajectory of a ballistic missile. So all the technologies that were demonstrated on Clementine are technologies that we would hope would be either used or would be the grand-daddies of technologies that we would eventually use in our space surveillance platforms. So that part of the space
 architecture is still very much alive. 

 Q: But the role of the so-called Star Wars system now has shifted to more of a surveillance, as opposed to shooting something down... 

 A: No, it is still based on shooting down ballistic missiles by impact with interceptors. So this technology is important in order to track and pass the track files on to the interceptors in order to allow them to hit their targets. So it's very much a part of the architecture. 

Abstract Three: Re: Where is Clementine Now

Q: Where is Clementine now? 

 A: The spacecraft, as you know, from the name Clementine, is only supposed to be here for a short period of time and be lost and gone forever, so it was intended for a very short period of time after this lunar mission, did a rendezvous with the earth, and shortly after that was shifted by the moon's gravity and continued a flight which will bring it back near the earth about nine years from now. So it's an 11 year total flight around the sun. So basically it's moving like a little planet around the sun, and it will bring it back close to us in about nine years... It's two years since it left us so it will be another nine years before it's back. (2005) But it's not useful right now. The mission is finished. 

 Q: But unlike it's namesake, it's not lost and gone forever. It will be back? 

 A: It will be back...

Okay, so we have a lake on the Moon that is a hundred sqaure kilometers in area and 50 feet deep. Clementine WAS a Starwars program and its still out there...

Not bad for a little lost spacecraft...

Source Document Department of Defense Archives

Other Releated Clementine Information

Clementine ISAS - 1994-004C

Satellite Lauch Records

Join the live discussion on Anomalies on the Moon and on Mars 
at Above Top Secret Discussion Forum

John Lear's Moon Pictures on ATS


Revealed for the First Time Color Images of the Moon from Clementine Satellite

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Pegasus Research Consortium distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
~ MENU ~


Webpages  2001-2016
Blue Knight Productions