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Apache Point Site News

First year of Apache Point Lunar Laser Ranging data released under NASA stewardship
February 11, 2022

In 2021, the Apache Point Lunar Laser Ranging station became part of the NASA Space Geodesy Network with New Mexico State University responsible for the on-site day-to-day operations and maintenance of the system. Over the past year, the NASA team worked with the former APOLLO team to establish best practices regarding observation and reduction of raw data into normal points, including the development of a new quality control process to identify centimeter-level biases in lunar laser ranging data. The new process helps to eliminate erroneous normal points and systematic biases prior to data publication. NASA Postdoctoral Fellow Nicholas Colmenares (one of the primary members of the former APOLLO group) led the development of the data procedures and archival of the data in the new version 2 of the Consolidated Range Data (CRD) format. The full set of 2021 data is now available from the Crustal Dynamics Data Information System (CDDIS) at https://cddis.nasa.gov/Data_and_Derived_Products/SLR/Lunar_laser_ranging_data.html.