(AP) -- NASA's new lunar probe launched less than a week ago has already sent back some shots of the moon.
The satellite swung by the moon Tuesday and took pictures for an hour, passing within 2,000 miles. Now, it's well past the moon in an elongated orbit around Earth. In October, it will slam into a crater at the moon's south pole.
A second spacecraft launched aboard the same rocket is now circling the moon. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is expected to provide a precise 3-D map of the moon and help pinpoint safe landing spots for astronauts.
The two spacecraft are part of NASA's effort to return astronauts to the moon by 2020.
On the Net:
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrives at space station