Vol. 13 (2010) > lrr-2010-7

doi: 10.12942/lrr-2010-7
Living Rev. Relativity 13 (2010), 7

Tests of Gravity Using Lunar Laser Ranging

1 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.

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Article Abstract

Lunar laser ranging (LLR) has been a workhorse for testing general relativity over the past four decades. The three retroreflector arrays put on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts and the French built arrays on the Soviet Lunokhod rovers continue to be useful targets, and have provided the most stringent tests of the Strong Equivalence Principle and the time variation of Newton’s gravitational constant. The relatively new ranging system at the Apache Point 3.5 meter telescope now routinely makes millimeter level range measurements. Incredibly, it has taken 40 years for ground station technology to advance to the point where characteristics of the lunar retroreflectors are limiting the precision of the range measurements. In this article, we review the gravitational science and technology of lunar laser ranging and discuss prospects for the future.

Keywords: General relativity, Tests of relativity

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Since a Living Reviews in Relativity article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Stephen M. Merkowitz,
"Tests of Gravity Using Lunar Laser Ranging",
Living Rev. Relativity 13,  (2010),  7. URL (cited on <date>):
http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2010-7

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2010-7
Title Tests of Gravity Using Lunar Laser Ranging
Author Stephen M. Merkowitz
Date accepted 30 September 2010, published 2 November 2010
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