WorldWideScience

Sample records for lunar polar craters

  1. Possible Mafic Patches in Scott Crater Highlight the Need for Resource Exploration on the Lunar South Polar Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.

    2007-01-01

    Possible areas of mafic material on the rim and floor of Scott crater (82.1 deg S, 48.5 deg E) are suggested by analysis of shadow-masked Clementine false-color-ratio images. Mafic materials common in mare and pyroclastic materials can produce more oxygen than can highlands materials, and mafic materials close to the south pole may be important for propellant production for a future lunar mission. If the dark patches are confirmed as mafic materials, this finding would suggest that other mafic patches may exist, even closer to the poles, which were originally mapped as purely anorthositic.

  2. Lunar Bouguer gravity anomalies - Imbrian age craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, J.; Phillips, R. J.

    1978-01-01

    The Bouguer gravity of mass anomalies associated with four Imbrian age craters, analyzed in the present paper, are found to differ considerably from the values of the mass anomalies associated with some young lunar craters. Of the Imbrian age craters, only Piccolomini exhibits a negative gravity anomaly (i.e., a low density region) which is characteristic of the young craters studied. The Bouguer gravity anomalies are zero for each of the remaining Imbrian age craters. Since, Piccolomini is younger, or at least less modified, than the other Imbrian age craters, it is suggested that the processes responsible for the post-impact modification of the Imbrian age craters may also be responsible for removing the negative mass anomalies initially associated with these features.

  3. Blocky craters: implications about the lunar megaregolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, T.W.; Roberts, W.J.; Hartmann, W.K.; Shorthill, R.W.; Zisk, S.H.

    1979-01-01

    Radar, infrared, and photogeologic properties of lunar craters have been studied to determine whether there is a systematic difference in blocky craters between the maria and terrae and whether this difference may be due to a deep megaregolith of pulverized material forming the terra surface, as opposed to a layer of semi-coherent basalt flows forming the mare surface. Some 1310 craters from about 4 to 100 km diameter have been catalogued as radar and/or infrared anomalies. In addition, a study of Apollo Orbital Photography confirmed that the radar and infrared anomalies are correlated with blocky rubble around the crater. Analysis of the radar and infrared data indicated systematic terra-mare differences. Fresh terra craters smaller than 12 km were less likely to be infrared and radar anomalies than comparable mare craters: but terra and mare craters larger than 12 km had similar infrared and radar signatures. Also, there are many terra craters which are radar bright but not infrared anomalies. The authors interpretation of these data is that while the maria are rock layers (basaltic flow units) where craters eject boulder fields, the terrae are covered by relatively pulverized megaregolith at least 2 km deep, where craters eject less rocky rubble. Blocky rubble, either in the form of actual rocks or partly consolidated blocks, contributes to the radar and infrared signatures of the crater. However, aging by impacts rapidly destroys these effects, possibly through burial by secondary debris or by disintegration of the blocks themselves, especially in terra regions. (Auth.)

  4. A lunar polar expedition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Richard; Staehle, Robert L.; Svitek, Tomas

    1992-09-01

    Advanced exploration and development in harsh environments require mastery of basic human survival skill. Expeditions into the lethal climates of Earth's polar regions offer useful lessons for tommorrow's lunar pioneers. In Arctic and Antarctic exploration, 'wintering over' was a crucial milestone. The ability to establish a supply base and survive months of polar cold and darkness made extensive travel and exploration possible. Because of the possibility of near-constant solar illumination, the lunar polar regions, unlike Earth's may offer the most hospitable site for habitation. The World Space Foundation is examining a scenario for establishing a five-person expeditionary team on the lunar north pole for one year. This paper is a status report on a point design addressing site selection, transportation, power, and life support requirements.

  5. Mafic Materials in Scott Crater? A Test for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.

    2007-01-01

    Clementine 750 nm and multispectral ratio data, along with Lunar Orbiter and radar data, were used to study the crater Scott in the lunar south polar region. The multispectral data provide evidence for mafic materials, impact melts, anorthositic materials, and a small pyroclastic deposit. High-resolution radar data and Lunar Orbiter photography for this area show differences in color and surface texture that correspond with the locations of the hypothesized mafic and anorthositic areas on the crater floor. This region provides a test case for the upcoming Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Verification of the existence of a mafic deposit at this location is relevant to future lunar resource utilization planning.

  6. The Microstructure of Lunar Micrometeorite Impact Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, S. K.; Keller, L. P.; Christoffersen, R.; Rahman, Z.

    2016-01-01

    The peak of the mass flux of impactors striking the lunar surface is made up of objects approximately 200 micrometers in diameter that erode rocks, comminute regolith grains, and produce agglutinates. The effects of these micro-scale impacts are still not fully understood. Much effort has focused on evaluating the physical and optical effects of micrometeorite impacts on lunar and meteoritic material using pulsed lasers to simulate the energy deposited into a substrate in a typical hypervelocity impact. Here we characterize the physical and chemical changes that accompany natural micrometeorite impacts into lunar rocks with long surface exposure to the space environment (12075 and 76015). Transmission electron microscope (TEM) observations were obtained from cross-sections of approximately 10-20 micrometers diameter craters that revealed important micro-structural details of micrometeorite impact processes, including the creation of npFe (sup 0) in the melt, and extensive deformation around the impact site.

  7. Size-Frequency Distribution of Small Lunar Craters: Widening with Degradation and Crater Lifetime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, B. A.

    2018-01-01

    The review and new measurements are presented for depth/diameter ratio and slope angle evolution during small ( D model. The uncertainty of crater retention age due to crater degradational widening is estimated. The collected and analyzed data are discussed to be used in the future updating of mechanical models for lunar crater aging.

  8. Extreme Access & Lunar Ice Mining in Permanently Shadowed Craters

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Results from the recent NASA Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, mission in 2010, indicate that water (H2O), ice and other useful volatiles...

  9. Space Solar Power Technology for Lunar Polar Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, Mark W.; Howell, Joe T.

    2004-01-01

    The technology for Laser-Photo-Voltaic Wireless Power Transistor (Laser-PV WPT) is being developed for lunar polar applications by Boeing and NASA Marshall Space Center. A lunar polar mission could demonstrate and validate Laser-PV WPT and other SSP technologies, while enabling access to cold, permanently shadowed craters that are believed to contain ice. Crater may hold frozen water and other volatiles deposited over billion of years, recording prior impact event on the moon (and Earth). A photo-voltaic-powered rover could use sunlight, when available, and laser light, when required, to explore a wide range of lunar terrain. The National Research Council recently found that a mission to the moon's south pole-Aitkir basin has priority for space science

  10. Hydrogen Distribution in the Lunar Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanin, A. B.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Bakhtin, B. N.; Bodnarik, J. G.; Boynton, W. V.; Chin, G.; Evans, L. G.; Harshmann, K.; Fedosov, F.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present a method of conversion of the lunar neutron counting rate measured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) instrument collimated neutron detectors, to water equivalent hydrogen (WEH) in the top approximately 1 m layer of lunar regolith. Polar maps of the Moon’s inferred hydrogen abundance are presented and discussed.

  11. Determination of lunar surface ages from crater frequency–size ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    and the images from Apollo missions have been calibrated from the lunar soil samples from Apollo and Luna landing sites (Head 1976; Neukum et al. 1975). ... Table 1 shows the ages as derived for the craters with errors. Mare Humorum is believed to be made up of six ring structures of 210, 340, 425, 570 and 1195km.

  12. Extreme Access & Lunar Ice Mining in Permanently Shadowed Craters Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.

    2014-01-01

    Results from the recent LCROSS mission in 2010, indicate that H2O ice and other useful volatiles such as CO, He, and N are present in the permanently shadowed craters at the poles of the moon. However, the extreme topography and steep slopes of the crater walls make access a significant challenge. In addition temperatures have been measured at 40K (-233 C) so quick access and exit is desirable before the mining robot cold soaks. The Global Exploration Roadmap lists extreme access as a necessary technology for Lunar Exploration.

  13. Observational constraints on the identification of shallow lunar magmatism : insights from floor-fractured craters

    OpenAIRE

    Jozwiak, Lauren; Head, James; Neumann, G. A.; Wilson, Lionel

    2017-01-01

    Floor-fractured craters are a class of lunar crater hypothesized to form in response to the emplacement of a shallow magmatic intrusion beneath the crater floor. The emplacement of a shallow magmatic body should result in a positive Bouguer anomaly relative to unaltered complex craters, a signal which is observed for the average Bouguer anomaly interior to the crater walls. We observe the Bouguer anomaly of floor-fractured craters on an individual basis using the unfiltered Bouguer gravity so...

  14. Detection of lunar floor-fractured craters using machine learning methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorey, C.

    2015-10-01

    About 200 Floor Fractured Craters (FFCs) have been identified by Schultz (1976) on the Moon, mainly around the lunar maria. These craters are a class of impact craters that are distinguished by having radi-ally and concentric floor-fractured networks and ab-normally shallow floors. In some cases, the uplift of the crater floor can be as large as 50% of the initial crater depth. These impact craters are interpreted to have undergone endogenous deformations after their formation.

  15. Detection and characterization of buried lunar craters with GRAIL data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sood, Rohan; Chappaz, Loic; Melosh, Henry J.; Howell, Kathleen C.; Milbury, Colleen; Blair, David M.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2017-06-01

    We used gravity mapping observations from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) to detect, characterize and validate the presence of large impact craters buried beneath the lunar maria. In this paper we focus on two prominent anomalies detected in the GRAIL data using the gravity gradiometry technique. Our detection strategy is applied to both free-air and Bouguer gravity field observations to identify gravitational signatures that are similar to those observed over buried craters. The presence of buried craters is further supported by individual analysis of regional free-air gravity anomalies, Bouguer gravity anomaly maps, and forward modeling. Our best candidate, for which we propose the informal name of Earhart Crater, is approximately 200 km in diameter and forms part of the northwestern rim of Lacus Somniorum, The other candidate, for which we propose the informal name of Ashoka Anomaly, is approximately 160 km in diameter and lies completely buried beneath Mare Tranquillitatis. Other large, still unrecognized, craters undoubtedly underlie other portions of the Moon's vast mare lavas.

  16. International Coordination of Lunar Polar Volatiles Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruener, J. E.; Suzuki, N. H.; Carpenter, J. D.

    2015-10-01

    The International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) has established a study team to coordinate the worldwide interest in lunar polar volatiles, and in particular water ice, in an effort to stimulate cooperation and collaboration.

  17. Space Solar Power Technology Demonstration for Lunar Polar Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, M. W.; Fikes, J. C.; Howell, J.; Mankins, J. C.; Howell, J.

    2002-01-01

    A solar power generation station on a mountaintop near the moon's North or South pole can receive sunlight 708 hours per lunar day, for continuous power generation. Power can be beamed from this station over long distances using a laser-based wireless power transmission system and a photo-voltaic receiver. This beamed energy can provide warmth, electricity, and illumination for a robotic rover to perform scientific experiments in cold, dark craters where no other power source is practical. Radio-frequency power transmission may also be demonstrated in lunar polar applications to locate and recover sub-surface deposits of volatile material, such as water ice. High circular polarization ratios observed in data from Clementine spacecraft and Arecibo radar reflections from the moon's South pole suggest that water ice is indeed present in certain lunar polar craters. Data from the Lunar Prospector spacecraft's epi-thermal neutron spectrometer also indicate that hydrogen is present at the moon's poles. Space Solar Power technology enables investigation of these craters, which may contain a billion-year-old stratigraphic record of tremendous scientific value. Layers of ice, preserved at the moon's poles, could help us determine the sequence and composition of comet impacts on the moon. Such ice deposits may even include distinct strata deposited by secondary ejecta following significant Earth (ocean) impacts, linked to major extinctions of life on Earth. Ice resources at the moon's poles could provide water and air for human exploration and development of space as well as rocket propellant for future space transportation. Technologies demonstrated and matured via lunar polar applications can also be used in other NASA science missions (Valles Marineris. Phobos, Deimos, Mercury's poles, asteroids, etc.) and in future large-scale SSP systems to beam energy from space to Earth. Ground-based technology demonstrations are proceeding to mature the technology for such a near

  18. Polar lunar power ring: Propulsion energy resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloway, Graham Scott

    1990-01-01

    A ring shaped grid of photovoltaic solar collectors encircling a lunar pole at 80 to 85 degrees latitude is proposed as the primary research, development, and construction goal for an initial lunar base. The polar Lunar Power Ring (LPR) is designed to provide continuous electrical power in ever increasing amounts as collectors are added to the ring grid. The LPR can provide electricity for any purpose indefinitely, barring a meteor strike. The associated rail infrastructure and inherently expandable power levels place the LPR as an ideal tool to power an innovative propulsion research facility or a trans-Jovian fleet. The proposed initial output range is 90 Mw to 90 Gw.

  19. Geological mapping of lunar highland crater Lalande: Topographic configuration, morphology and cratering process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Ling, Zongcheng; Zhang, Jiang; Chen, Jian; Liu, ChangQing; Bi, Xiangyu

    2018-02-01

    Highland crater Lalande (4.45°S, 8.63°W; D = 23.4 km) is located on the PKT area of the lunar near side, southeast of the Mare Insularum. It is a complex crater in Copernican era and has three distinguishing features: high silicic anomaly, the highest Th abundance and special landforms on its floor. There are some low-relief bulges on the left of Lalande's floor with regular circle or ellipse shapes. They are ∼250-680 m wide and ∼30-91 m high with maximum flank slopes >20°. There are two possible scenarios for the formation of these low-relief bulges which are impact melt products or young silicic volcanic eruptions. We estimated the absolute model ages of the ejecta deposits, several melt ponds and the hummocky floor and determined the ratio of diameter and depth of the crater Lalande. In addition, we found some similar bugle features within other Copernican-aged craters and there were no volcanic source vents on Lalande's floor. Thus, we hypothesized that these low-relief bulges were most consistent with an origin of impact melts during the crater formation instead of small and young volcanic activities occurring on the floor. Based on Kaguya Terrain Camera (TC) ortho-mosaic and Digital Terrain Model (DTM) data produced by TC imagery in stereo, geological units and some linear features on the floor and wall of Lalande have been mapped. Eight geological units are organized by crater floor units: hummocky floor, central peak and low-relief bulges; and crater wall units: terraced walls, channeled and veneered walls, interior walls, mass wasting areas, blocky areas, and melt ponds. These geological units and linear features provided us a chance to understand some details of the cratering process and elevation differences on the floor. We proposed that subsidence due to melt cooling, late-stage wall collapse and rocks uplifted from beneath the surface could be the possible causes of the observed elevation differences on Lalande's floor.

  20. Illumination Conditions of the Lunar Polar Regions Using LOLA Topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Torrence, M. H.

    2011-01-01

    We use high-resolution altimetry data obtained by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to characterize present illumination conditions in the polar regions of the Moon. Compared to previous studies, both the spatial and temporal extent of the simulations are increased significantly, as well as the coverage (fill ratio) of the topographic maps used, thanks to the 28 Hz firing rate of the five-beam instrument. We determine the horizon elevation in a number of directions based on 240 m-resolution polar digital elevation models reaching down to 75 latitude. The illumination of both polar regions extending to 80 can be calculated for any geometry from those horizon longitudinal profiles. We validated our modeling with recent Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide-Angle Camera images. We assessed the extent of permanently shadowed regions (PSRs, defined as areas that never receive direct solar illumination), and obtained total areas generally larger than previous studies (12,866 and 16,055 km2, in the north and south respectively). We extended our direct illumination model to account for singly-scattered light, and found that every PSR does receive some amount of scattered light during the year. We conducted simulations over long periods (several 18.6-years lunar precession cycles) with a high temporal resolution (6 h), and identified the most illuminated locations in the vicinity of both poles. Because of the importance of those sites for exploration and engineering considerations, we characterized their illumination more precisely over the near future. Every year, a location near the Shackleton crater rim in the south polar region is sunlit continuously for 240 days, and its longest continuous period in total darkness is about 1.5 days. For some locations small height gains ( 10 m) can dramatically improve their average illumination and reduce the night duration, rendering some of those particularly attractive energy-wise as

  1. Lunar true polar wander inferred from polar hydrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegler, M A; Miller, R S; Keane, J T; Laneuville, M; Paige, D A; Matsuyama, I; Lawrence, D J; Crotts, A; Poston, M J

    2016-03-24

    The earliest dynamic and thermal history of the Moon is not well understood. The hydrogen content of deposits near the lunar poles may yield insight into this history, because these deposits (which are probably composed of water ice) survive only if they remain in permanent shadow. If the orientation of the Moon has changed, then the locations of the shadowed regions will also have changed. The polar hydrogen deposits have been mapped by orbiting neutron spectrometers, and their observed spatial distribution does not match the expected distribution of water ice inferred from present-day lunar temperatures. This finding is in contrast to the distribution of volatiles observed in similar thermal environments at Mercury's poles. Here we show that polar hydrogen preserves evidence that the spin axis of the Moon has shifted: the hydrogen deposits are antipodal and displaced equally from each pole along opposite longitudes. From the direction and magnitude of the inferred reorientation, and from analysis of the moments of inertia of the Moon, we hypothesize that this change in the spin axis, known as true polar wander, was caused by a low-density thermal anomaly beneath the Procellarum region. Radiogenic heating within this region resulted in the bulk of lunar mare volcanism and altered the density structure of the Moon, changing its moments of inertia. This resulted in true polar wander consistent with the observed remnant polar hydrogen. This thermal anomaly still exists and, in part, controls the current orientation of the Moon. The Procellarum region was most geologically active early in lunar history, which implies that polar wander initiated billions of years ago and that a large portion of the measured polar hydrogen is ancient, recording early delivery of water to the inner Solar System. Our hypothesis provides an explanation for the antipodal distribution of lunar polar hydrogen, and connects polar volatiles to the geologic and geophysical evolution of the Moon

  2. Lunar Impact Basins: Stratigraphy, Sequence and Ages from Superposed Impact Crater Populations Measured from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, C. I.; Head, J. W.; Kadish, S. J.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2012-01-01

    Impact basin formation is a fundamental process in the evolution of the Moon and records the history of impactors in the early solar system. In order to assess the stratigraphy, sequence, and ages of impact basins and the impactor population as a function of time, we have used topography from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to measure the superposed impact crater size-frequency distributions for 30 lunar basins (D = 300 km). These data generally support the widely used Wilhelms sequence of lunar basins, although we find significantly higher densities of superposed craters on many lunar basins than derived by Wilhelms (50% higher densities). Our data also provide new insight into the timing of the transition between distinct crater populations characteristic of ancient and young lunar terrains. The transition from a lunar impact flux dominated by Population 1 to Population 2 occurred before the mid-Nectarian. This is before the end of the period of rapid cratering, and potentially before the end of the hypothesized Late Heavy Bombardment. LOLA-derived crater densities also suggest that many Pre-Nectarian basins, such as South Pole-Aitken, have been cratered to saturation equilibrium. Finally, both crater counts and stratigraphic observations based on LOLA data are applicable to specific basin stratigraphic problems of interest; for example, using these data, we suggest that Serenitatis is older than Nectaris, and Humboldtianum is younger than Crisium. Sample return missions to specific basins can anchor these measurements to a Pre-Imbrian absolute chronology.

  3. Implications of a Caldera Origin of the Lunar Crater Copernicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, J.

    2007-12-01

    The forthcoming renaissance in lunar exploration will focus on many objectives such as Copernicus. Copernicus appears to be a caldera for at least 8 reasons. If a caldera we see (1) transient activity (2) no overturned impact flap at the crater margins (3) internal sinuous leveed lava flow channels (4) a lava covered floor (5) terraces of different ages (6) multiple central volcanoes, one showing a directed volcanic blast (7) olivine-rich komatiitic lavas on central volcanoes and (8) magmatic inflation/deflation on caldera flanks localizing craterlets and extinct fumaroles in "loop" patterns. Regarding (6), directed volcanic blasts can remove a segment of the volcano wall as evidenced in terrestrial analogs at Mt. St. Helens and Bezymianny. Impact mechanisms to produce this feature in Copernicus are contrived. For (7) Clementine spectral data show a high olivine content of the central mountains on Copernicus which I interpret as forsteritic spinifex mineralization in komatiitic lavas and not as impact rebound of olivine-rich deep seated rocks. (8) MacDonald (1956) documented loop patterns on the flank of Halemaumau in Hawaii defining arcuate fractures localizing fumaroles and craterlets. Inflation/deflation of subjacent magma bodies are interpreted as the cause for these loops. Inflation/deflation mechanisms on caldera flanks are common around terrestrial calderas. "Loop" patterns on the flank of Copernicus localizing "gouge" craterlets have been interpreted as ballistic features resulting from the meteorite impact of this crater. Questioned is the logic of a linear N26E trending array of fragments within Copernicus to serve as a source of ballistic projectiles to form the loops localizing conjugate craterlets. The fused craterlet axes on the lunar loops do not point back to a presumed impact center in Copernicus. The axes are oriented parallel to a regional northwest (N35-60W) fracture zone. Implications for an endogenic origin of Copernicus would involve

  4. A model for the dynamics of crater-centered intrusion: Application to lunar floor-fractured craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorey, Clément; Michaut, Chloé

    2014-01-01

    Lunar floor-fractured craters are a class of craters modified by post-impact mechanisms. They are defined by distinctive shallow floors that are convex or plate-like, sometimes with a wide floor moat bordering the wall region. Radial, concentric, and polygonal floor fractures suggest an endogenous process of modification. Two mechanisms have been proposed to account for such deformations: viscous relaxation and spreading of a magma intrusion at depth below the crater. To test the second assumption and bring more constraints on the intrusion process, we develop a model for the dynamics of magma spreading below an elastic overlying layer with a crater-like topography. As predicted in earlier more qualitative studies, the increase in lithostatic pressure at the crater wall zone prevents the intrusion from spreading laterally, leading to the thickening of the intrusion. Additionally, our model shows that the final crater floor appearance after the uplift, which can be convex or flat, with or without a circular moat bordering the wall zone, depends on the elastic thickness of the layer overlying the intrusion and on the crater size. Our model provides a simple formula to derive the elastic thickness of the overlying layer hence a minimum estimate for the intrusion depth. Finally, our model suggests that crust redistribution by cratering must have controlled magma ascent below most of these craters.

  5. Characterizing dark mantle deposits in the lunar crater Alphonsus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkuratov, Y. G.; Ivanov, M. A.; Korokhin, V. V.; Kaydash, V. G.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Videen, G.; Hradyska, L. V.; Velikodsky, Y. I.; Marchenko, G. P.

    2018-04-01

    We analyze available remote-sensing data of the crater Alphonsus, focusing on the analysis of the crater's dark mantle deposits (DMDs), which includes images from NASA Clementine and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Japanese Selene (Kaguya), and Indian Chandrayaan-1 missions. The Alphonsus DMDs are gentle-sloped flat hills with typical heights of several meters, which are presented with pyroclastic materials. Our determination of the absolute ages of the Alphonsus DMDs by the technique of crater size-frequency distributions shows that they are ∼200-400 m.y. old. However, being geologically young, the Alphonsus DMDs are not seen in OMAT maps. The DMDs have noticeably lower content of TiO2 (2-3%) than the mare regions to the west (>4%). The assessment of total pyroxene shows it has a higher abundance in the DMDs, although LRO Diviner measurements of the Chirstiansen feature suggest, rather, a high abundance of olivine. The DMDs pyroclastic material has no signs of OH/H2O compounds. We may suggest that this characteristic of the DMDs either relates to their impact reworking and loss of the OH/H2O compounds or to the non-water volatiles as the driving agent of the pyroclastic activity. The compositional assessments of the DMDs may be flawed from contamination with the surrounding material due to horizontal and vertical transportation due to impacts. This effect probably can be observed in LROC NAC images of high resolution. A very dark material outcropping on the slopes of the vent depression is seen due to renovation of the regolith on the steep walls of the depression. Thus, at smaller phase angles, the pyroclastic material is dark and at larger phase angles it appears almost like the surrounding material. This means that the phase dependence of the outcropping dark material is shallow; i.e. the dark surface is smoother than its surroundings. This may suggest venting of gases resulting in fluidization of the granular pyroclastic material of the deposit.

  6. LU60645GT and MA132843GT Catalogues of Lunar and Martian Impact Craters Developed Using a Crater Shape-based Interpolation Crater Detection Algorithm for Topography Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salamuniccar, Goran; Loncaric, Sven; Mazarico, Erwan Matias

    2012-01-01

    For Mars, 57,633 craters from the manually assembled catalogues and 72,668 additional craters identified using several crater detection algorithms (CDAs) have been merged into the MA130301GT catalogue. By contrast, for the Moon the most complete previous catalogue contains only 14,923 craters. Two recent missions provided higher-quality digital elevation maps (DEMs): SELENE (in 1/16° resolution) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (we used up to 1/512°). This was the main motivation for work on the new Crater Shape-based interpolation module, which improves previous CDA as follows: (1) it decreases the number of false-detections for the required number of true detections; (2) it improves detection capabilities for very small craters; and (3) it provides more accurate automated measurements of craters' properties. The results are: (1) LU60645GT, which is currently the most complete (up to D>=8 km) catalogue of Lunar craters; and (2) MA132843GT catalogue of Martian craters complete up to D>=2 km, which is the extension of the previous MA130301GT catalogue. As previously achieved for Mars, LU60645GT provides all properties that were provided by the previous Lunar catalogues, plus: (1) correlation between morphological descriptors from used catalogues; (2) correlation between manually assigned attributes and automated measurements; (3) average errors and their standard deviations for manually and automatically assigned attributes such as position coordinates, diameter, depth/diameter ratio, etc; and (4) a review of positional accuracy of used datasets. Additionally, surface dating could potentially be improved with the exhaustiveness of this new catalogue. The accompanying results are: (1) the possibility of comparing a large number of Lunar and Martian craters, of e.g. depth/diameter ratio and 2D profiles; (2) utilisation of a method for re-projection of datasets and catalogues, which is very useful for craters that are very close to poles; and (3) the extension of the

  7. Extraction of Water from Polar Lunar Permafrost with Microwaves - Dielectric Property Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ethridge, Edwin C.; Kaukler, William

    2009-01-01

    Remote sensing indicates the presence of hydrogen rich regions associated with the lunar poles. The logical hypothesis is that there is cryogenically trapped water ice located in craters at the lunar poles. Some of the craters have been in permanent darkness for a billion years. The presence of water at the poles as well as other scientific advantages of a polar base, have influenced NASA plans for the lunar outpost. The lunar outpost has water and oxygen requirements on the order of 1 ton per year scaling up to as much as 10 tons per year. Microwave heating of the frozen permafrost has unique advantages for water extraction. Proof of principle experiments have successfully demonstrated that microwaves will couple to the cryogenic soil in a vacuum and the sublimed water vapor can be successfully captured on a cold trap. The dielectric properties of lunar soil will determine the hardware requirements for extraction processes. Microwave frequency dielectric property measurements of lunar soil simulant have been measured.

  8. Geological Mapping of Impact Melt Deposits at Lunar Complex Craters: New Insights into Morphological Diversity, Distribution and the Cratering Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhingra, D.; Head, J. W., III; Pieters, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    We have completed high resolution geological mapping of impact melt deposits at the young lunar complex craters (wall and rim impact melt units and their relation to floor units have also been mapped. Among the distinctive features of these impact melt deposits are: 1) Impact Melt Wave Fronts: These are extensive (sometimes several kilometers in length) and we have documented their occurrence and distribution in different parts of the crater floor at Jackson and Tycho. These features emphasize melt mobility and style of emplacement during the modification stage of the craters. 2) Variations in Floor Elevations: Spatially extensive and coherent sections of crater floors have different elevations at all the three craters. The observed elevation differences could be caused by subsidence due to cooling of melt and/or structural failure, together with a contribution from regional slope. 3) Melt-Covered Megablocks: We also observe large blocks/rock-fragments (megablocks) covered in impact melt, which could be sections of collapsed wall or in some cases, subdued sections of central peaks. 4) Melt-Covered Central Peaks: Impact melt has also been mapped on the central peaks but varies in spatial extent among the craters. The presence of melt on peaks must be taken into account when interpreting peak mineralogy as exposures of deeper crust. 5) Boulder Distribution: Interesting trends are observed in the distribution of boulder units of various sizes; some impact melt units have spatially extensive boulders, while boulder distribution is very scarce in other units on the floor. We interpret these distributions to be influenced by a) the differential collapse of the crater walls during the modification stage, and b) the amount of relative melt volume retained in different parts of the crater floor. These observations provide important documentation of the morphological diversity and better understanding of the emplacement and final distribution of impact melt deposits.

  9. Characterization of the Morphometry of Impact Craters Hosting Polar Deposits in Mercury's North Polar Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talpe Matthieu; Zuber, Maria T.; Yang, Di; Neumann, Gregory A.; Solomon, Sean C.; Mazarico, Erwan; Vilas, Faith

    2012-01-01

    Earth-based radar images of Mercury show radar-bright material inside impact craters near the planet s poles. A previous study indicated that the polar-deposit-hosting craters (PDCs) at Mercury s north pole are shallower than craters that lack such deposits. We use data acquired by the Mercury Laser Altimeter on the MESSENGER spacecraft during 11 months of orbital observations to revisit the depths of craters at high northern latitudes on Mercury. We measured the depth and diameter of 537 craters located poleward of 45 N, evaluated the slopes of the northern and southern walls of 30 PDCs, and assessed the floor roughness of 94 craters, including nine PDCs. We find that the PDCs appear to have a fresher crater morphology than the non-PDCs and that the radar-bright material has no detectable influence on crater depths, wall slopes, or floor roughness. The statistical similarity of crater depth-diameter relations for the PDC and non-PDC populations places an upper limit on the thickness of the radar-bright material (< 170 m for a crater 11 km in diameter) that can be refined by future detailed analysis. Results of the current study are consistent with the view that the radar-bright material constitutes a relatively thin layer emplaced preferentially in comparatively young craters.

  10. Diviner lunar radiometer observations of cold traps in the moon's south polar region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paige, D.A.; Siegler, M.A.; Zhang, J.A.; Hayne, P.O.; Foote, E.J.; Bennett, K.A.; Vasavada, A.R.; Greenhagen, B.T.; Schofield, J.T.; McCleese, D.J.; Foote, M.C.; DeJong, E.; Bills, B.G.; Hartford, W.; Murray, B.C.; Allen, C.C.; Snook, K.; Soderblom, L.A.; Calcutt, S.; Taylor, F.W.; Bowles, N.E.; Bandfield, J.L.; Elphic, R.; Ghent, R.; Glotch, T.D.; Wyatt, M.B.; Lucey, P.G.

    2010-01-01

    Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment surface-temperature maps reveal the existence of widespread surface and near-surface cryogenic regions that extend beyond the boundaries of persistent shadow. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) struck one of the coldest of these regions, where subsurface temperatures are estimated to be 38 kelvin. Large areas of the lunar polar regions are currently cold enough to cold-trap water ice as well as a range of both more volatile and less volatile species. The diverse mixture of water and high-volatility compounds detected in the LCROSS ejecta plume is strong evidence for the impact delivery and cold-trapping of volatiles derived from primitive outer solar system bodies.

  11. Stratigraphy, Sequence, and Crater Populations of Lunar Impact Basins from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data: Implications for the Late Heavy Bombardment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, C. I.; Head, J. W.; Kadish, S. J.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2012-01-01

    New measurements of the topography of the Moon from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)[1] provide an excellent base-map for analyzing the large crater population (D.20 km)of the lunar surface [2, 3]. We have recently used this data to calculate crater size-frequency distributions (CSFD) for 30 lunar impact basins, which have implications for their stratigraphy and sequence. These data provide an avenue for assessing the timing of the transitions between distinct crater populations characteristic of ancient and young lunar terrains, which has been linked to the late heavy bombardment (LHB). We also use LOLA data to re-examine relative stratigraphic relationships between key lunar basins.

  12. Experience of modeling relief of impact lunar crater Aitken based on high-resolution orbital images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhametshin, Ch R.; Semenov, A. A.; Shpekin, M. I.

    2018-05-01

    The paper presents the author’s results of modeling the relief of lunar Aitken crater on the basis of high-resolution orbital images. The images were taken in the frame of the “Apollo” program in 1971-1972 and delivered to the Earth by crews of “Apollo-15” and “Apollo-17”. The authors used the images obtained by metric and panoramic cameras. The main result is the careful study of the unusual features of Aitken crater on models created by the authors with the computer program, developed by “Agisoft Photoscan”. The paper shows what possibilities are opened with 3D models in the study of the structure of impact craters on the Moon. In particular, for the first time, the authors managed to show the structure of the glacier-like tongue in Aitken crater, which is regarded as one of the promising areas of the Moon for the forthcoming expeditions.

  13. Geomorphometric analysis of selected Martian craters using polar coordinate transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magyar, Zoltán; Koma, Zsófia; Székely, Balázs

    2016-04-01

    Centrally symmetric landform elements are very common features on the surface of the planet Mars. The most conspicuous ones of them are the impact craters of various size. However, a closer look on these features reveals that they show often asymmetric patterns as well. These are partially related to the geometry of the trajectory of the impacting body, but sometimes it is a result of surface processes (e.g., freeze/thaw cycles, mass movements). Geomorphometric studies have already been carried out to reveal these pecularities. Our approach, the application of polar coordinate transformation (PCT) very sensitively enhances the non-radial and non-circular shapes. We used digital terrain models (DTMs) derived from the ESA Mars Express HRSC imagery. The original DTM or its derivatives (e.g. slope angle or aspect) are PCT transformed. We analyzed the craters inter alia with scattergrams in polar coordinates. The resulting point cloud can be used directly for the analysis, but in some cases an interpolation should be applied to enhance certain non-circular features (especially in case of smaller craters). Visual inspection of the crater slopes, coloured by the aspect, reveals smaller features. Some of them are processing artefacts, but many of them are related to local undulations in the topography or indications of mass movements. In many cases the undulations of the crater rim are due to erosional processes. The drawbacks of the technology are related to the uneven resolution of the projected image: features in the crater centre should be left out from the analysis because PCT has a low resolution around the projection center. Furthermore, the success of the PCT depends on the correct definition of the projection centre: erroneously centered images are not suitable for analysis. The PCT transformed images are also suitable for radial averaging and calculation of standard deviations, resulting in typical, comparable craters shapes. These studies may lead to a deeper

  14. Constraints on the Volatile Distribution Within Shackleton Crater at the Lunar South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuber, Maria T.; Head, James W.; Smith, David E.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Torrence, Mark H.; Aharonson, Oded; Tye, Alexander R.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Rosenburg, Margaret A.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Shackleton crater is nearly coincident with the Moon's south pole. Its interior receives almost no direct sunlight and is a perennial cold trap, making Shackleton a promising candidate location in which to seek sequestered volatiles. However, previous orbital and Earth-based radar mapping and orbital optical imaging have yielded conflicting interpretations about the existence of volatiles. Here we present observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, revealing Shackleton to be an ancient, unusually well-preserved simple crater whose interior walls are fresher than its floor and rim. Shackleton floor deposits are nearly the same age as the rim, suggesting that little floor deposition has occurred since the crater formed more than three billion years ago. At a wavelength of 1,064 nanometres, the floor of Shackleton is brighter than the surrounding terrain and the interiors of nearby craters, but not as bright as the interior walls. The combined observations are explicable primarily by downslope movement of regolith on the walls exposing fresher underlying material. The relatively brighter crater floor is most simply explained by decreased space weathering due to shadowing, but a one-micrometre-thick layer containing about 20 per cent surficial ice is an alternative possibility.

  15. Characteristics of small young lunar impact craters focusing on current production and degradation on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kereszturi, Akos; Steinmann, Vilmos

    2017-11-01

    Analysing the size-frequency distribution of very small lunar craters (sized below 100 m including ones below 10 m) using LROC images, spatial density and related age estimations were calculated for mare and terra terrains. Altogether 1.55 km2 area was surveyed composed of 0.1-0.2 km2 units, counting 2784 craters. The maximal areal density was present at the 4-8 m diameter range at every analysed terrain suggesting the bombardment is areally relatively homogeneous. Analysing the similarities and differences between various areas, the mare terrains look about two times older than the terra terrains using ages ranged between 13 and 20 Ma for mare, 4-6 Ma for terra terrains. Substantial fluctuation (min: 936 craters/km2, max: 2495 craters/km2) was observed without obvious source of nearby secondaries or fresh ejecta blanket produced fresh crater. Randomness analysis and visual inspection also suggested no secondary craters or ejecta blanket from fresh impact could contribute substantially in the observed heterogeneity of the areal distribution of small craters - thus distant secondaries or even other, poorly known resurfacing processes should be considered in the future. The difference between the terra/mare ages might come only partly from the easier identification of small craters on smooth mare terrains, as the differences were observed for larger (30-60 m diameter) craters too. Difference in the target hardness could more contribute in this effect. It was possible to separate two groups of small craters based on their appearance: a rimmed thus less eroded, and a rimless thus more eroded one. As the separate usage of different morphology groups of craters for age estimation at the same area is not justifiable, this was used only for comparison. The SFD curves of these two groups showed characteristic differences: the steepness of the fresh craters' SFD curves are similar to each other and were larger than the isochrones. The eroded craters' SFD curves also resemble

  16. CRaTER: The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation Experiment on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

    OpenAIRE

    Spence, H. E.; Case, A. W.; Golightly, M. J.; Heine, T.; Larsen, B. A.; Blake, J. B.; Caranza, P.; Crain, W. R.; George, J.; Lalic, M.; Lin, A.; Looper, M. D.; Mazur, J. E.; Salvaggio, D.; Kasper, J. C.

    2009-01-01

    The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) characterizes the radiation environment to be experienced by humans during future lunar missions. CRaTER measures the effects of ionizing energy loss in matter due to penetrating solar energetic protons (SEP) and galactic cosmic rays (GCR), specifically in silicon solid-state detectors and after interactions with tissue-equivalent plastic (TEP), a synthetic analog of human tissue. The CRaT...

  17. Observational Constraints on the Identification of Shallow Lunar Magmatism: Insights from Floor-Fractured Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jozwiak, L. M.; Head, J. W., III; Neumann, G. A.; Wilson, L.

    2016-01-01

    Floor-fractured craters are a class of lunar crater hypothesized to form in response to the emplacement of a shallow magmatic intrusion beneath the crater floor. The emplacement of a shallow magmatic body should result in a positive Bouguer anomaly relative to unaltered complex craters, a signal which is observed for the average Bouguer anomaly interior to the crater walls. We observe the Bouguer anomaly of floor-fractured craters on an individual basis using the unfiltered Bouguer gravity solution from GRAIL and also a degree 100-600 band-filtered Bouguer gravity solution. The low-magnitude of anomalies arising from shallow magmatic intrusions makes identification using unfiltered Bouguer gravity solutions inconclusive. The observed anomalies in the degree 100-600 Bouguer gravity solution are spatially heterogeneous, although there is spatial correlation between volcanic surface morphologies and positive Bouguer anomalies. We interpret these observations to mean that the spatial heterogeneity observed in the Bouguer signal is the result of variable degrees of magmatic degassing within the intrusions.

  18. Trajectory Design for the Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Anthony L.; Dunham, David W.

    2017-01-01

    The presented trajectory was designed for the Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper (LunaH-Map) 6U CubeSat, which was awarded a ride on NASAs Space Launch System (SLS) with Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) via NASAs 2015 SIMPLEX proposal call. After deployment from EM-1s upper stage (which is planned to enter heliocentric space via a lunar flyby), the LunaH-Map CubeSat will alter its trajectory via its low-thrust ion engine to target a lunar flyby that yields a Sun-Earth-Moon weak stability boundary transfer to set up a ballistic lunar capture. Finally, the orbit energy is lowered to reach the required quasi-frozen science orbit with periselene above the lunar south pole.

  19. Lunar Polar Cold Traps: Spatial Distribution and Temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paige, David A.; Siegler, M.; Lawrence, D. J.

    2006-09-01

    We have developed a ray-tracing and radiosity model that can accurately calculate lunar surface and subsurface temperatures for arbitrary topography. Using available digital elevation models for the lunar north and south polar regions derived from Clementine laser altimeter and image data, as well as ground-based radar data, we have calculated lunar surface and subsurface temperatures at 2 km resolution that include full effects of indirect solar and infrared radiation due to topography. We compare our thermal model results with maps of epithermal neutron flux measured by Lunar Prospector. When we use the ray tracing and thermal model to account for the effects of temperature and topography on the neutron measurements, our results show that the majority of the moon's polar cold traps are not filled with water ice.

  20. How old are lunar lobate scarps? 1. Seismic resetting of crater size-frequency distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bogert, Carolyn H.; Clark, Jaclyn D.; Hiesinger, Harald; Banks, Maria E.; Watters, Thomas R.; Robinson, Mark S.

    2018-05-01

    Previous studies have estimated the ages of lunar lobate scarps, some of the youngest tectonic landforms on the Moon, based on the estimated life-times of their fresh morphologies and associated small graben, using crater degradation ages, or via buffered and traditional crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) measurements. Here, we reexamine five scarps previously dated by Binder and Gunga (1985) with crater degradation ages to benchmark the evaluation of both the buffered and traditional CSFD approaches for determination of absolute model ages (AMAs) at scarps. Both CSFD methods yield similar ages for each individual scarp, indicating that fault activity not only can be measured on the scarp itself, but also in the surrounding terrain - an indication that tectonic activity causes surface renewal both adjacent to and even kilometers distant from scarps. Size-frequency variations in the regions surrounding the scarps are thus useful for studying the extent and severity of the ground motion caused by coseismic slip events during scarp formation. All age determination approaches continue to indicate that lunar lobate scarps were active in the late Copernican, with some scarps possibly experiencing activity within the last 100 Ma.

  1. Mapping Landslides in Lunar Impact Craters Using Chebyshev Polynomials and Dem's

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yordanov, V.; Scaioni, M.; Brunetti, M. T.; Melis, M. T.; Zinzi, A.; Giommi, P.

    2016-06-01

    Geological slope failure processes have been observed on the Moon surface for decades, nevertheless a detailed and exhaustive lunar landslide inventory has not been produced yet. For a preliminary survey, WAC images and DEM maps from LROC at 100 m/pixels have been exploited in combination with the criteria applied by Brunetti et al. (2015) to detect the landslides. These criteria are based on the visual analysis of optical images to recognize mass wasting features. In the literature, Chebyshev polynomials have been applied to interpolate crater cross-sections in order to obtain a parametric characterization useful for classification into different morphological shapes. Here a new implementation of Chebyshev polynomial approximation is proposed, taking into account some statistical testing of the results obtained during Least-squares estimation. The presence of landslides in lunar craters is then investigated by analyzing the absolute values off odd coefficients of estimated Chebyshev polynomials. A case study on the Cassini A crater has demonstrated the key-points of the proposed methodology and outlined the required future development to carry out.

  2. How Old are Lunar Lobate Scarps? 1. Seismic Resetting of Crater Size-Frequency Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Der Bogert, Carolyn H.; Clark, Jaclyn D.; Hiesinger, Harald; Banks, Maria E.; Watters, Thomas R.; Robinson, Mark S.

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies have estimated the ages of lunar lobate scarps, some of the youngest tectonic landforms on the Moon, based on the estimated life-times of their fresh morphologies and associated small graben, using crater degradation ages, or via buffered and traditional crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) measurements. Here, we reexamine five scarps previously dated by Binder and Gunga (1985) with crater degradation ages to benchmark the evaluation of both the buffered and traditional CSFD approaches for determination of absolute model ages (AMAs) at scarps. Both CSFD methods yield similar ages for each individual scarp, indicating that fault activity not only can be measured on the scarp itself, but also in the surrounding terrain - an indication that tectonic activity causes surface renewal both adjacent to and even kilometers distant from scarps. Size-frequency variations in the regions surrounding the scarps are thus useful for studying the extent and severity of the ground motion caused by coseismic slip events during scarp formation. All age determination approaches continue to indicate that lunar lobate scarps were active in the late Copernican, with some scarps possibly experiencing activity within the last 100 Ma.

  3. Geometric interpretation of the ratio of overall diameter to rim crest diameter for lunar and terrestrial craters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal, B. S.; Wickman, F. E.

    1973-01-01

    An empirical linear relationship has been established by Pike (1967) between the overall diameter and the rim crest diameter for rimmed, flat-floored as well as bowl-shaped, lunar and terrestrial craters formed by impact and explosion. A similar relationship for experimentally formed fluidization craters has been established by Siegal (1971). This relationship is examined in terms of the geometry of the crater and the slope angles of loose materials. The parameter varies from 1.40 to 1.65 and is found to be dependent on mean interior flat floor radius, exterior and interior rim slope angles, angle of aperture of the crater cone, and the volume fraction of crater void accounted for in the rim. The range of the observed parameter can be understood in terms of simple crater geometry by realistic values of the five parameters.

  4. Space Solar Power Technology Demonstration for Lunar Polar Applications: Laser-Photovoltaic Wireless Power Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, M. W.; Fikes, J. C.; Howell, J.; Mankins, J. C.; Howell, Joe T. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Space Solar Power technology offers unique benefits for near-term NASA space science missions, which can mature this technology for other future applications. "Laser-Photo-Voltaic Wireless Power Transmission" (Laser-PV WPT) is a technology that uses a laser to beam power to a photovoltaic receiver, which converts the laser's light into electricity. Future Laser-PV WPT systems may beam power from Earth to satellites or large Space Solar Power satellites may beam power to Earth, perhaps supplementing terrestrial solar photo-voltaic receivers. In a near-term scientific mission to the moon, Laser-PV WPT can enable robotic operations in permanently shadowed lunar polar craters, which may contain ice. Ground-based technology demonstrations are proceeding, to mature the technology for this initial application, in the moon's polar regions.

  5. Crystallisation condition of the Quaternary basanites of volcanic centre Black Rock, monogenetic field Lunar Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turova, Mariia; Plechov, Pavel; Scherbakov, Vasily; Larin, Nikolay

    2017-04-01

    The Lunar Crater volcanic field is located in a tension zone Basin and Range Province (USA). This tension is connected with dives oceanic plate under the continental plate [1]. Lunar Crater consists of flows basalt, basanite, trachybasalt has a different age [2]. In this work we investigate the youngest rock - basanite. The basanite is highly crystalline consisting of about megacrysts (3-10 cm) 30-60 wt% phenocrysts ( 800-1500 µm) and microphenocrysts (100-800 µm) and 40-60% microlites (Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. - 1981. - T. 300. - №. 1454. - C. 407-434. 2. Wood, X., and Keinle, Y., 1990, Volcanoes of North America: Cambridge,United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 354 p. 3. Nimis P. Clinopyroxene geobarometry of magmatic rocks. Part 2. Structural geobarometers for basic to acid, tholeiitic and mildly alkaline magmatic systems //Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. - 1999. - T. 135. - №. 1. - C. 62-74. 4. Ballhaus C., Berry R. F., Green D. H. High pressure experimental calibration of the olivine-orthopyroxene-spinel oxygen geobarometer: implications for the oxidation state of the upper mantle //Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. - 1991. - T. 107. - №. 1. - C. 27-40.

  6. Toward an International Lunar Polar Volatiles Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruener, J. E.; Suzuki, N. H.; Carpenter, J. D.

    2015-01-01

    Fourteen international space agencies are participating in the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG), working together to advance a long-range human space exploration strategy. The ISECG is a voluntary, non-binding international coordination mechanism through which individual agencies may exchange information regarding interests, objectives, and plans in space exploration with the goal of strengthening both individual exploration programs as well as the collective effort. The ISECG has developed a Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) that reflects the coordinated international dialog and continued preparation for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit - beginning with the Moon and cis-lunar space, and continuing to near-Earth asteroids, and Mars. Space agencies agree that human space exploration will be most successful as an international endeavor, given the challenges of these missions. The roadmap demonstrates how initial capabilities can enable a variety of missions in the lunar vicinity, responding to individual and common goals and objectives, while contributing to building partnerships required for sustainable human space exploration that delivers value to the public.

  7. Energy conversion evolution at lunar polar sites

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    robotic and human surface bases. Sunlight is nearly ... orientation and precession of its spin axis rela- tive to its orbit ... atoms, most likely hydrogen, that many people immediately .... to find out the real meaning of the excess polar hydrogen.

  8. Evidence for Surface Water Ice in the Lunar Polar Regions Using Reflectance Measurements from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and Temperature Measurements from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Elizabeth A.; Lucey, Paul G.; Lemelin, Myriam; Greenhagen, Benjamin T.; Siegler, Matthew A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Aharonson, Oded; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Hayne, Paul O.; Neumann, Gregory A.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We find that the reflectance of the lunar surface within 5 deg of latitude of theSouth Pole increases rapidly with decreasing temperature, near approximately 110K, behavior consistent with the presence of surface water ice. The North polar region does not show this behavior, nor do South polar surfaces at latitudes more than 5 deg from the pole. This South pole reflectance anomaly persists when analysis is limited to surfaces with slopes less than 10 deg to eliminate false detection due to the brightening effect of mass wasting, and also when the very bright south polar crater Shackleton is excluded from the analysis. We also find that south polar regions of permanent shadow that have been reported to be generally brighter at 1064 nm do not show anomalous reflectance when their annual maximum surface temperatures are too high to preserve water ice. This distinction is not observed at the North Pole. The reflectance excursion on surfaces with maximum temperatures below 110K is superimposed on a general trend of increasing reflectance with decreasing maximum temperature that is present throughout the polar regions in the north and south; we attribute this trend to a temperature or illumination-dependent space weathering effect (e.g. Hemingway et al. 2015). We also find a sudden increase in reflectance with decreasing temperature superimposed on the general trend at 200K and possibly at 300K. This may indicate the presence of other volatiles such as sulfur or organics. We identified and mapped surfaces with reflectances so high as to be unlikely to be part of an ice-free population. In this south we find a similar distribution found by Hayne et al. 2015 based on UV properties. In the north a cluster of pixels near that pole may represent a limited frost exposure.

  9. Evidence for surface water ice in the lunar polar regions using reflectance measurements from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and temperature measurements from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Elizabeth A.; Lucey, Paul G.; Lemelin, Myriam; Greenhagen, Benjamin T.; Siegler, Matthew A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Aharonson, Oded; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Hayne, Paul O.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Paige, David A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2017-08-01

    We find that the reflectance of the lunar surface within 5° of latitude of the South Pole increases rapidly with decreasing temperature, near ∼110 K, behavior consistent with the presence of surface water ice. The North polar region does not show this behavior, nor do South polar surfaces at latitudes more than 5° from the pole. This South pole reflectance anomaly persists when analysis is limited to surfaces with slopes less than 10° to eliminate false detection due to the brightening effect of mass wasting, and also when the very bright south polar crater Shackleton is excluded from the analysis. We also find that south polar regions of permanent shadow that have been reported to be generally brighter at 1064 nm do not show anomalous reflectance when their annual maximum surface temperatures are too high to preserve water ice. This distinction is not observed at the North Pole. The reflectance excursion on surfaces with maximum temperatures below 110 K is superimposed on a general trend of increasing reflectance with decreasing maximum temperature that is present throughout the polar regions in the north and south; we attribute this trend to a temperature or illumination-dependent space weathering effect (e.g. Hemingway et al., 2015). We also find a sudden increase in reflectance with decreasing temperature superimposed on the general trend at 200 K and possibly at 300 K. This may indicate the presence of other volatiles such as sulfur or organics. We identified and mapped surfaces with reflectances so high as to be unlikely to be part of an ice-free population. In this south we find a similar distribution found by Hayne et al. (2015) based on UV properties. In the north a cluster of pixels near that pole may represent a limited frost exposure.

  10. Surface erosion and sedimentation caused by ejecta from the lunar crater Tycho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkuratov, Y.; Basilevsky, A.; Kaydash, V.; Ivanov, B.; Korokhin, V.; Videen, G.

    2018-02-01

    We use Kaguya MI images acquired at wavelengths 415, 750, and 950 nm to map TiO2 and FeO content and the parameter of optical maturity OMAT in lunar regions Lubiniezky E and Taurus-Littrow with a spatial resolution of 20 m using the Lucey method [Lucey et al., JGR 2000, 105. 20,297]. We show that some ejecta from large craters, such as Tycho and Copernicus may cause lunar surface erosion, transportation of the eroded material and its sedimentation. The traces of the erosion resemble wind tails observed on Earth, Mars, and Venus, although the Moon has no atmosphere. The highland material of the local topographic prominences could be mobilized by Tycho's granolometrically fine ejecta and caused by its transportation along the ejecta way to adjacent mare areas and subsequent deposition. The tails of mobilized material reveal lower abundances of Ti and Fe than the surrounding mare surface. We have concluded that high-Ti streaks also seen in the Lubiniezky E site, which show unusual combinations of the TiO2 and FeO content on the correlation diagram, could be the result of erosion by Tycho's ejecta too. In these locations, Tycho's material did not form a consolidated deposit, but resulted in erosion of the mare surface material that became intermixed, consequently, diluting the ejecta. The Taurus-Littrow did provide evidence of the mechanical effect of Tycho's ejecta on the local landforms (landslide, secondary craters) and do not show the compositional signature of Tycho's ejecta probably due to intermixing with local materials and dilution.

  11. Origin of discrepancies between crater size-frequency distributions of coeval lunar geologic units via target property contrasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bogert, C. H.; Hiesinger, H.; Dundas, C. M.; Krüger, T.; McEwen, A. S.; Zanetti, M.; Robinson, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Recent work on dating Copernican-aged craters, using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Camera data, re-encountered a curious discrepancy in crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) measurements that was observed, but not understood, during the Apollo era. For example, at Tycho, Copernicus, and Aristarchus craters, CSFDs of impact melt deposits give significantly younger relative and absolute model ages (AMAs) than impact ejecta blankets, although these two units formed during one impact event, and would ideally yield coeval ages at the resolution of the CSFD technique. We investigated the effects of contrasting target properties on CSFDs and their resultant relative and absolute model ages for coeval lunar impact melt and ejecta units. We counted craters with diameters through the transition from strength- to gravity-scaling on two large impact melt deposits at Tycho and King craters, and we used pi-group scaling calculations to model the effects of differing target properties on final crater diameters for five different theoretical lunar targets. The new CSFD for the large King Crater melt pond bridges the gap between the discrepant CSFDs within a single geologic unit. Thus, the observed trends in the impact melt CSFDs support the occurrence of target property effects, rather than self-secondary and/or field secondary contamination. The CSFDs generated from the pi-group scaling calculations show that targets with higher density and effective strength yield smaller crater diameters than weaker targets, such that the relative ages of the former are lower relative to the latter. Consequently, coeval impact melt and ejecta units will have discrepant apparent ages. Target property differences also affect the resulting slope of the CSFD, with stronger targets exhibiting shallower slopes, so that the final crater diameters may differ more greatly at smaller diameters. Besides their application to age dating, the CSFDs may provide additional information about the

  12. 3d morphometric analysis of lunar impact craters: a tool for degradation estimates and interpretation of maria stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivaldi, Valerio; Massironi, Matteo; Ninfo, Andrea; Cremonese, Gabriele

    2015-04-01

    In this study we have applied 3D morphometric analysis of impact craters on the Moon by means of high resolution DTMs derived from LROC (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera) NAC (Narrow Angle Camera) (0.5 to 1.5 m/pixel). The objective is twofold: i) evaluating crater degradation and ii) exploring the potential of this approach for Maria stratigraphic interpretation. In relation to the first objective we have considered several craters with different diameters representative of the four classes of degradation being C1 the freshest and C4 the most degraded ones (Arthur et al., 1963; Wilhelms, 1987). DTMs of these craters were elaborated according to a multiscalar approach (Wood, 1996) by testing different ranges of kernel sizes (e.g. 15-35-50-75-100), in order to retrieve morphometric variables such as slope, curvatures and openness. In particular, curvatures were calculated along different planes (e.g. profile curvature and plan curvature) and used to characterize the different sectors of a crater (rim crest, floor, internal slope and related boundaries) enabling us to evaluate its degradation. The gradient of the internal slope of different craters representative of the four classes shows a decrease of the slope mean value from C1 to C4 in relation to crater age and diameter. Indeed degradation is influenced by gravitational processes (landslides, dry flows), as well as space weathering that induces both smoothing effects on the morphologies and infilling processes within the crater, with the main results of lowering and enlarging the rim crest, and shallowing the crater depth. As far as the stratigraphic application is concerned, morphometric analysis was applied to recognize morphologic features within some simple craters, in order to understand the stratigraphic relationships among different lava layers within Mare Serenitatis. A clear-cut rheological boundary at a depth of 200 m within the small fresh Linnè crater (diameter: 2.22 km), firstly hypothesized

  13. Regolith thickness at the Chang'E-3 landing site from the Lunar Penetrating Radar and impact craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fa, W.; Zhu, M.-H.; Liu, T.

    2015-10-01

    The Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar (LPR) observations reveal a newly formed regolith layer (<1 m), an ejecta layer (~2-6 m), and a palaeoregolith layer (~4-9 m) from the surface to a depth of ~ 20 m. The thicknesses of the newly formed regolith layer and the palaeoregolith layer are consistent with the estimations based on the excavation depth and morphology of small fresh craters.

  14. Terrestrial analogs to lunar sinuous rilles - Kauhako Crater and channel, Kalaupapa, Molokai, and other Hawaiian lava conduit systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coombs, C.R.; Hawke, B.R.; Wilson, L.

    1990-01-01

    Two source vents, one explosive and one effusive erupted to form a cinder cone and low lava shield that together compose the Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai, Hawaii, A 50-100-m-wide channel/tube system extends 2.3 km northward from kauhako crater in the center of the shield. Based on modeling, a volume of up to about 0.2 cu km of lava erupted at a rate of 260 cu m/sec to flow through the Kauhako conduit system in one of the last eruptive episodes on the peninsula. Channel downcutting by thermal erosion occurred at a rate of about 10 micron/sec to help form the 30-m-deep conduit. Two smaller, secondary tube systems formed east of the main lava channel/tube. Several other lava conduit systems on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii were also compared to the Kauhako and lunar sinuous rille systems. These other lava conduits include Whittington, Kupaianaha, and Mauna Ulu lava tubes. Morphologically, the Hawaiian tube systems studied are very similar to lunar sinuous rilles in that they have deep head craters, sinuous channels, and gentle slopes. Thermal erosion is postulated to be an important factor in the formation of these terrestrial channel systems and by analogy is inferred to be an important process involved in the formation of lunar sinuous rilles. 28 refs

  15. Hybrid optical navigation by crater detection for lunar pin-point landing: trajectories from helicopter flight tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo, Guilherme F.; Maass, Bolko; Krüger, Hans; Theil, Stephan

    2018-01-01

    Accurate autonomous navigation capabilities are essential for future lunar robotic landing missions with a pin-point landing requirement, since in the absence of direct line of sight to ground control during critical approach and landing phases, or when facing long signal delays the herein before mentioned capability is needed to establish a guidance solution to reach the landing site reliably. This paper focuses on the processing and evaluation of data collected from flight tests that consisted of scaled descent scenarios where the unmanned helicopter of approximately 85 kg approached a landing site from altitudes of 50 m down to 1 m for a downrange distance of 200 m. Printed crater targets were distributed along the ground track and their detection provided earth-fixed measurements. The Crater Navigation (CNav) algorithm used to detect and match the crater targets is an unmodified method used for real lunar imagery. We analyze the absolute position and attitude solutions of CNav obtained and recorded during these flight tests, and investigate the attainable quality of vehicle pose estimation using both CNav and measurements from a tactical-grade inertial measurement unit. The navigation filter proposed for this end corrects and calibrates the high-rate inertial propagation with the less frequent crater navigation fixes through a closed-loop, loosely coupled hybrid setup. Finally, the attainable accuracy of the fused solution is evaluated by comparison with the on-board ground-truth solution of a dual-antenna high-grade GNSS receiver. It is shown that the CNav is an enabler for building autonomous navigation systems with high quality and suitability for exploration mission scenarios.

  16. Robust Exploration and Commercial Missions to the Moon Using LANTR Propulsion and In-Situ Propellants Derived From Lunar Polar Ice (LPI) Deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Ryan, Stephen W.; Burke, Laura M.; McCurdy, David R.; Fittje, James E.; Joyner, Claude R.

    2017-01-01

    Since the 1960s, scientists have conjectured that water icecould survive in the cold, permanently shadowed craters located at the Moons poles Clementine (1994), Lunar Prospector (1998),Chandrayaan-1 (2008), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite(LCROSS) (2009) lunar probes have provided data indicating the existence of large quantities of water ice at the lunar poles The Mini-SAR onboard Chandrayaan-1discovered more than 40 permanently shadowed craters near the lunar north pole that are thought to contain 600 million metric tons of water ice. Using neutron spectrometer data, the Lunar Prospector science team estimated a water ice content (1.5 +-0.8 wt in the regolith) found in the Moons polar cold trap sand estimated the total amount of water at both poles at 2 billion metric tons Using Mini-RF and spectrometry data, the LRO LCROSS science team estimated the water ice content in the regolith in the south polar region to be 5.6 +-2.9 wt. On the basis of the above scientific data, it appears that the water ice content can vary from 1-10 wt and the total quantity of LPI at both poles can range from 600 million to 2 billion metric tons NTP offers significant benefits for lunar missions and can take advantage of the leverage provided from using LDPs when they become available by transitioning to LANTR propulsion. LANTR provides a variablethrust and Isp capability, shortens burn times and extends engine life, and allows bipropellant operation The combination of LANTR and LDP has performance capability equivalent to that of a hypothetical gaseousfuel core NTR (effective Isp 1575 s) and can lead to a robust LTS with unique mission capabilities that include short transit time crewed cargo transports and routine commuter flights to the Moon The biggest challenge to making this vision a reality will be the production of increasing amounts of LDP andthe development of propellant depots in LEO, LLO and LPO. An industry

  17. Lower-Cost, Relocatable Lunar Polar Lander and Lunar Surface Sample Return Probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, G. Michael; Garvin, James B.; Burt, I. Joseph; Karpati, Gabe

    2011-01-01

    Key science and exploration objectives of lunar robotic precursor missions can be achieved with the Lunar Explorer (LEx) low-cost, robotic surface mission concept described herein. Selected elements of the LEx concept can also be used to create a lunar surface sample return mission that we have called Boomerang

  18. Cold-Based Glaciation on Mercury: Accumulation and Flow of Ice in Permanently-Shadowed Circum-Polar Crater Interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fastook, J. L.; Head, J. W.

    2018-05-01

    Examining the potential for dynamic flow of ice deposits in permanently-shadowed craters, it is determined that the cold environment of the polar craters yields very small velocities and deformation is minimal on a time scale of millions of years.

  19. The Age of Lunar South Circumpolar Craters Haworth, Shoemaker, Faustini, and Shackleton: Implications for Regional Geology, Surface Processes, and Volatile Sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tye, A. R.; Fassett, C. I.; Head, J. W.; Mazarico, E.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2015-01-01

    The interiors of the lunar south circumpolar craters Haworth, Shoemaker, Faustini, and Shackleton contain permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) and have been interpreted to contain sequestered volatiles including water ice. Altimetry data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter provide a new means of examining the permanently shadowed interiors of these craters in unprecedented detail. In this study, we used extremely high-resolution gridded LOLA data of Haworth, Shoemaker, Faustini, and Shackleton to determine the size-frequency distributions and the spatial density of craters superposing their rims, inner slopes, and floors. Based on their population of superposed D greater than or equal to 2 km craters, Haworth, Shoemaker, and Faustini have pre-Nectarian formation ages. Shackleton is interpreted as having a Late Imbrian age on the basis of craters with diameter D greater than or equal to 0.5 km superposed on its rim. The local density of craters with sub-km diameters across our study area is strongly dependent on slope; because of its steep interior slopes, the lifetime of craters on the interior of Shackleton is limited. The slope-dependence of the small crater population implies that the population in this size range is controlled primarily by the rate at which craters are destroyed. This is consistent with the hypothesis that crater removal and resurfacing is a result of slopedependent processes such as diffusive mass wasting and seismic shaking, linked to micrometeorite and meteorite bombardment. Epithermal neutron flux data and UV albedo data show that these circumpolar PSRs, particularly Shoemaker, may have approximately 1-2% water ice by mass in their highly porous surface regolith, and that Shoemaker may have approximately 5% or more water ice by mass in the near subsurface. The ancient formation ages of Shoemaker, Faustini and Haworth, and the Late Imbrian (approximately 3.5 Ga) crater retention ages of their

  20. Lunar floor-fractured craters as magmatic intrusions: Geometry, modes of emplacement, associated tectonic and volcanic features, and implications for gravity anomalies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jozwiak, Lauren M.; Head, James W.; Wilson, Lionel

    2015-03-01

    Lunar floor-fractured craters are a class of 170 lunar craters with anomalously shallow, fractured floors. Two end-member processes have been proposed for the floor formation: viscous relaxation, and subcrater magmatic intrusion and sill formation. Recent morphometric analysis with new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and image (LROC) data supports an origin related to shallow magmatic intrusion and uplift. We find that the distribution and characteristics of the FFC population correlates strongly with crustal thickness and the predicted frequency distribution of overpressurization values of magmatic dikes. For a typical nearside lunar crustal thickness, dikes with high overpressurization values favor surface effusive eruptions, medium values favor intrusion and sill formation, and low values favor formation of solidified dikes concentrated lower in the crust. We develop a model for this process, make predictions for the morphologic, morphometric, volcanic, and geophysical consequences of the process and then compare these predictions with the population of observed floor-fractured craters. In our model, the process of magmatic intrusion and sill formation begins when a dike propagates vertically towards the surface; as the dike encounters the underdense brecciated region beneath the crater, the magmatic driving pressure is insufficient to continue vertical propagation, but pressure in the stalled dike exceeds the local lithostatic pressure. The dike then begins to propagate laterally forming a sill which does not propagate past the crater floor region because increased overburden pressure from the crater wall and rim crest pinch off the dike at this boundary; the sill then continues to inflate, further raising and fracturing the brittle crater floor. When the intrusion diameter to intrusion depth ratio is smaller than a critical value, the intrusion assumes a laccolith shape with a domed central region. When the ratio exceeds a critical value

  1. Dark Material at the Surface of Polar Crater Deposits on Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Gregory A.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Sun, Xiaoli; Mazarico, Erwan; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Solomon, Sean C.; Paige, Daid A.

    2012-01-01

    Earth-based radar measurements [1-3] have yielded images of radar-bright material at the poles of Mercury postulated to be near-surface water ice residing in cold traps on the permanently shadowed floors of polar impact craters. The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on board the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has now mapped much of the north polar region of Mercury [4] (Fig. 1). Radar-bright zones lie within polar craters or along poleward-facing scarps lying mainly in shadow. Calculations of illumination with respect to solid-body motion [5] show that at least 0.5% of the surface area north of 75deg N lies in permanent shadow, and that most such permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) coincide with radar-bright regions. MLA transmits a 1064-nm-wavelength laser pulse at 8 Hz, timing the leading and trailing edges of the return pulse. MLA can in some cases infer energy and thereby surface reflectance at the laser wavelength from the returned pulses. Surficial exposures of water ice would be optically brighter than the surroundings, but persistent surface water ice would require temperatures over all seasons to remain extremely low (Mercury s eccentric orbit, 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, and near-zero obliquity generally do not support such conditions in all permanently shadowed craters but suggest that water ice buried near the surface ( 1 Gy. We describe measurements of reflectivity derived from MLA pulse returns. These reflectivity data show that surface materials in the shadowed regions are darker than their surroundings, enough to strongly attenuate or extinguish laser returns. Such measurements appear to rule out widespread surface exposures of water ice. We consider explanations for the apparent low reflectivity of these regions involving other types of volatile deposit.

  2. Lunar Water Resource Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony C.

    2008-01-01

    In cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency, the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, Inc., the Carnegie-Mellon University, JPL, and NEPTEC, NASA has undertaken the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project called RESOLVE. This project is a ground demonstration of a system that would be sent to explore permanently shadowed polar lunar craters, drill into the regolith, determine what volatiles are present, and quantify them in addition to recovering oxygen by hydrogen reduction. The Lunar Prospector has determined these craters contain enhanced hydrogen concentrations averaging about 0.1%. If the hydrogen is in the form of water, the water concentration would be around 1%, which would translate into billions of tons of water on the Moon, a tremendous resource. The Lunar Water Resource Demonstration (LWRD) is a part of RESOLVE designed to capture lunar water and hydrogen and quantify them as a backup to gas chromatography analysis. This presentation will briefly review the design of LWRD and some of the results of testing the subsystem. RESOLVE is to be integrated with the Scarab rover from CMIJ and the whole system demonstrated on Mauna Kea on Hawaii in November 2008. The implications of lunar water for Mars exploration are two-fold: 1) RESOLVE and LWRD could be used in a similar fashion on Mars to locate and quantify water resources, and 2) electrolysis of lunar water could provide large amounts of liquid oxygen in LEO, leading to lower costs for travel to Mars, in addition to being very useful at lunar outposts.

  3. Mineralogy and Iron Content of the Lunar Polar Regions Using the Kaguya Spectral Profiler and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemelin, M.; Lucey, P. G.; Trang, D.; Jha, K.

    2016-12-01

    The lunar polar regions are of high scientific interest, but the extreme lighting conditions have made quantitative analyses using reflectance spectra difficult; some regions are in permanent shadow, and flat surfaces are difficult to correct photometrically due to the extreme grazing incidence and low signal available. Thus, most mineral maps derived from visible and near infrared reflectance spectra have been constrained to within 50° in latitude. The mineralogy of the polar regions, or 44% of the lunar surface, is almost entirely unknown. A few studies have provided compositional analysis based on the spectral shape (where strong absorption bands were present) of lithologies dominated by one or two minerals. In this study, we take a novel approach and use strong signal and well-calibrated reflectance acquired by two different instruments, the Kaguya Spectra Profiler (SP) and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), in order to derive the first FeO and mineral maps of the polar regions at a spatial resolution of 1 km per pixel. We use reflectance ratios from SP and calibrated reflectance data from LOLA to derive the first polar maps of FeO, which are within 2 wt.% of the FeO measured by the Lunar Prospector Gamma-Ray spectrometer up to 85° in latitude. We then use the reflectance data from SP and Hapke radiative transfer model to compute the abundance of olivine, low-calcium pyroxene, high-calcium pyroxene and plagioclase, using FeO as a constraint. The radiative transfer model yields an error in mineral abundances of 9 wt.%. We use the mineral maps to study the composition of 27 central peaks and 5 basin rings in the polar regions, and relate their composition to their depth of origin in the lunar crust. We find that the central peaks and basin rings in Feldspathic Highlands Terrane are mostly anorthositic in composition, with modal plagioclase content ranging between 66 and 92 wt.%. The central peaks and basin rings in the South Pole-Aitken basin are noritic

  4. Rock spatial densities on the rims of the Tycho secondary craters in Mare Nectaris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Michael, G. G.; Kozlova, N. A.

    2018-04-01

    The aim of this work is to check whether the technique of estimation of age of small lunar craters based on spatial density of rock boulders on their rims described in Basilevsky et al. (2013, 2015b) and Li et al. (2017) for the craters rock counts on the rims of four craters having diameters 1000, 1100, 1240 and 1400 m located in Mare Nectaris. These craters are secondaries of the primary crater Tycho, whose age was found to be 109 ± 4 Ma (Stoffler and Ryder, 2001) so this may be taken as the age of the four craters, too. Using the dependence of the rock spatial densities at the crater rims on the crater age for the case of mare craters (Li et al., 2017) our measured rock densities correspond to ages from ∼100 to 130 Ma. These estimates are reasonably close to the given age of the primary crater Tycho. This, in turn, suggests that this technique of crater age estimation is applicable to craters up to ∼1.5 km in diameter. For the four considered craters we also measured their depth/diameter ratios and the maximum angles of the crater inner slopes. For the considered craters it was found that with increasing crater diameter, the depth/diameter ratios and maximum angles of internal slopes increase, but the values of these parameters for specific craters may deviate significantly from the general trends. The deviations probably result from some dissimilarities in the primary crater geometries, that may be due to crater to crater differences in characteristics of impactors (e.g., in their bulk densities) and/or differences in the mechanical properties of the target. It may be possible to find secondaries of crater Tycho in the South pole area and, if so, they may be studied to check the specifics and rates of the rock boulder degradation in the lunar polar environment.

  5. Real-Time Science Operations to Support a Lunar Polar Volatiles Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Mattes, Greg; Ennico, Kimberly; Fritzler, Erin; Marinova, Margarita M.; McMurray, Robert; Morse, Stephanie; Roush, Ted L.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Future human exploration of the Moon will likely rely on in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to enable long duration lunar missions. Prior to utilizing ISRU on the Moon, the natural resources (in this case lunar volatiles) must be identified and characterized, and ISRU demonstrated on the lunar surface. To enable future uses of ISRU, NASA and the CSA are developing a lunar rover payload that can (1) locate near subsurface volatiles, (2) excavate and analyze samples of the volatile-bearing regolith, and (3) demonstrate the form, extractability and usefulness of the materials. Such investigations are important both for ISRU purposes and for understanding the scientific nature of these intriguing lunar volatile deposits. Temperature models and orbital data suggest near surface volatile concentrations may exist at briefly lit lunar polar locations outside persistently shadowed regions. A lunar rover could be remotely operated at some of these locations for the approx. 2-14 days of expected sunlight at relatively low cost. Due to the limited operational time available, both science and rover operations decisions must be made in real time, requiring immediate situational awareness, data analysis, and decision support tools. Given these constraints, such a mission requires a new concept of operations. In this paper we outline the results and lessons learned from an analog field campaign in July 2012 which tested operations for a lunar polar rover concept. A rover was operated in the analog environment of Hawaii by an off-site Flight Control Center, a rover navigation center in Canada, a Science Backroom at NASA Ames Research Center in California, and support teams at NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas and NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. We find that this type of mission requires highly efficient, real time, remotely operated rover operations to enable low cost, scientifically relevant exploration of the distribution and nature of lunar polar volatiles. The field

  6. Exospheric transport restrictions on water ice in lunar polar traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, R. R., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    There is little doubt that at least 10 exp 17 g of water has accreted on the moon as a result of the reduction of ferric iron at the regolith surface by solar wind protons, the vaporization of chondrites, and perhaps comet impacts. Lacking an efficient escape mechanism, most of this water (or its progeny) is probably on the moon now. If the water were to have migrated to permanently shaded cold traps near the lunar poles, ice deposts with densities greater than 1000 g/sq cm would cover the traps, providing accessible resources. However, exospheric transport considerations suggest that the actual amount of water ice in the cold traps is probably too small to be of practical interest. The alternative is global assimilation of most of the water into the regolith, a process that must account for about 30 micromoles of water per gram of soil.

  7. First results from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) Field Campaign, a Lunar Polar Rover Mission Analog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Colaprete, A.; Cook, A.; Deans, M. C.; Elphic, R. C.; Lim, D. S. S.; Skok, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal to produce critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. MVP will feed science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. MVP achieves these goals through a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural and a priori unknown environment within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon. The MVP field site is the Mojave Desert, selected for its low, naturally occurring water abundance. The Mojave typically has on the order of 2-6% water, making it a suitable lunar analog for this field test. MVP uses the Near Infrared and Visible Spectrometer Subsystem (NIRVSS), Neutron Spectrometer Subsystem (NSS), and a downward facing GroundCam camera on the KREX-2 rover to investigate the relationship between the distribution of volatiles and soil crust variation. Through this investigation, we mature robotic in situ instruments and concepts of instrument operations, improve ground software tools for real time science, and carry out publishable research on the water cycle and its connection to geomorphology and mineralogy in desert environments. A lunar polar rover mission is unlike prior space missions and requires a new concept of operations. The rover must navigate 3-5 km of terrain and examine multiple sites in in just ~6 days. Operational decisions must be made in real time, requiring constant situational awareness, data analysis and rapid turnaround decision support tools. This presentation will focus on the first science results and operational architecture findings from the MVP field deployment relevant to a lunar polar rover mission.

  8. Earth orientation from lunar laser ranging and an error analysis of polar motion services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickey, J. O.; Newhall, X. X.; Williams, J. G.

    1985-01-01

    Lunar laser ranging (LLR) data are obtained on the basis of the timing of laser pulses travelling from observatories on earth to retroreflectors placed on the moon's surface during the Apollo program. The modeling and analysis of the LLR data can provide valuable insights into earth's dynamics. The feasibility to model accurately the lunar orbit over the full 13-year observation span makes it possible to conduct relatively long-term studies of variations in the earth's rotation. A description is provided of general analysis techniques, and the calculation of universal time (UT1) from LLR is discussed. Attention is also given to a summary of intercomparisons with different techniques, polar motion results and intercomparisons, and a polar motion error analysis.

  9. Mid-Latitude versus Polar-Latitude Transitional Impact Craters: Geometric Properties from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Observations and Viking Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, A.; Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.

    1998-01-01

    One intriguing aspect of martian impact crater morphology is the change of crater cavity and ejecta characteristics from the mid-latitudes to the polar regions. This is thought to reflect differences in target properties such as an increasing presence of ice in the polar regions. Previous image-based efforts concerning martian crater morphology has documented some aspects of this, but has been hampered by the lack of adequate topography data. Recent Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic profiles provide a quantitative perspective for interpreting the detailed morphologies of martian crater cavities and ejecta morphology. This study is a preliminary effort to quantify the latitude-dependent differences in morphology with the goal of identifying target-dependent and crater modification effects from the combined of images and MOLA topography. We combine the available MOLA profiles and the corresponding Viking Mars Digital Image Mosaics (MDIMS), and high resolution Viking Orbiter images to focus on two transitional craters; one on the mid-latitudes, and one in the North Polar region. One MOLA pass (MGS Orbit 34) traverses the center of a 15.9 km diameter fresh complex crater located at 12.8degN 83.8degE on the Hesperian ridge plains unit (Hvr). Viking images, as well as MOLA data, show that this crater has well developed wall terraces and a central peak with 429 m of relative relief. Three MOLA passes have been acquired for a second impact crater, which is located at 69.5degN 41degE on the Vastitas Borealis Formation. This fresh rampart crater lacks terraces and central peak structures and it has a depth af 579 m. Correlation between images and MOLA topographic profiles allows us to construct basic facies maps of the craters. Eight main units were identified, four of which are common on both craters.

  10. A Closer Look at Some of Mercury's North Polar Deposits: Three Craters that Could Have Extensive Surface Ice but Don't?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabot, N. L.; Neumann, G. A.; Ernst, C. M.; Mazarico, E. M.; Shread, E. E.

    2018-05-01

    We investigate three of Mercury's north polar craters that are predicted from their thermal conditions to be conducive to the presence of extensive water ice at the surface, but that may lack such ice.

  11. An In-Depth Look At the Lunar Crater Copernicus: Exposed Mineralogy by High-Resolution Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Highlights ?We present an in-depth study of Copernicus crater. ? First publication based on new NIR data from the SIR-2 mission to the Moon. ? New NIR spectral classification of surface materials within the crater. ? Highly detailed mapping of spectrally-prominent mineral species. Abstract Newly acquired, sequentially spaced, high resolution near-infrared spectra across the central section of crater Copernicus? interior have been analysed using a r...

  12. Introduction of JAXA Lunar and Planetary Exploration Data Analysis Group: Landing Site Analysis for Future Lunar Polar Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otake, H.; Ohtake, M.; Ishihara, Y.; Masuda, K.; Sato, H.; Inoue, H.; Yamamoto, M.; Hoshino, T.; Wakabayashi, S.; Hashimoto, T.

    2018-04-01

    JAXA established JAXA Lunar and Planetary Exploration Data Analysis Group (JLPEDA) at 2016. Our group has been analyzing lunar and planetary data for various missions. Here, we introduce one of our activities.

  13. Lunar Topography: Results from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Gregory; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Mazarico, Erwan

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been operating nearly continuously since July 2009, accumulating over 6 billion measurements from more than 2 billion in-orbit laser shots. LRO's near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, with full coverage at the equator from more than 12000 orbital tracks averaging less than 1 km in spacing at the equator. LRO has obtained a global geodetic model of the lunar topography with 50-meter horizontal and 1-m radial accuracy in a lunar center-of-mass coordinate system, with profiles of topography at 20-m horizontal resolution, and 0.1-m vertical precision. LOLA also provides measurements of reflectivity and surface roughness down to its 5-m laser spot size. With these data LOLA has measured the shape of all lunar craters 20 km and larger. In the proposed extended mission commencing late in 2012, LOLA will concentrate observations in the Southern Hemisphere, improving the density of the polar coverage to nearly 10-m pixel resolution and accuracy to better than 20 m total position error. Uses for these data include mission planning and targeting, illumination studies, geodetic control of images, as well as lunar geology and geophysics. Further improvements in geodetic accuracy are anticipated from the use of re ned gravity fields after the successful completion of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission in 2012.

  14. Electrical Evolution of a Dust Plume from a Low Energy Lunar Impact: A Model Analog to LCROSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, W. M.; Stubbs, T. J.; Jackson, T. L.; Colaprete, A.; Heldmann, J. L.; Schultz, P. H.; Killen, R. M.; Delory, G. T.; Halekas, J. S.; Marshall, J. R.; hide

    2011-01-01

    A Monte Carlo test particle model was developed that simulates the charge evolution of micron and sub-micron sized dust grains ejected upon low-energy impact of a moderate-size object onto a lunar polar crater floor. Our analog is the LCROSS impact into Cabeus crater. Our primary objective is to model grain discharging as the plume propagates upwards from shadowed crater into sunlight.

  15. A New Lunar Topographic Map of the Moon by KAGUYA-LALT: The First Precise Topography of the Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, H.; Ishihara, Y.; Noda, H.; Goossens, S.; Tazawa, S.; Kawano, N.; Sasaki, S.; Oberst, J.

    2008-12-01

    The Japanese lunar explorer KAGUYA (SELENE) was launched successfully on September 14th, 2007. A laser altimeter (LALT) is on board the main orbiter of KAGUYA. The objectives of LALT are (1) determination of lunar global figure, (2) studies in internal structure and surface processes, (3) exploration of the lunar pole regions, and (4) reduction of lunar occultation data. LALT transmits laser pulses whose time width is about 20 nano-seconds and pulse interval is 1 second. Range accuracy is up to 5m. The range data are transformed to the topography of the moon with the aid of position and attitude data of the main orbiter. From the end of December 2007, LALT started continuous operation and a global topography map with unprecedented resolution was produced. Lunar mean radius is estimated as 1737.15±0.01 km and the COM-COF offset is 1.94 km based on the spherical harmonic model STM359_grid-02 derived from LALT topography. The amplitude of the power spectrum of STM359_grid-02 is larger than that of the previous model at L>30 degrees, which may reflect the process of basin formation and/or crustal evolution. In the polar regions where previous CLEMENTINE altimeter did not cover, many topographic features that were difficult to see on the imagery from spacecraft or ground based radar are discovered. The sunlit rate in the lunar polar regions is estimated by using the polar topographic map made from LALT topography. We found that i) the highest sunlit rate is 93~96 % in both polar regions and ii) the eternal shadow area is smaller than previous estimations. These results will be of great use for the planning of the lunar polar exploration in near future.

  16. Lunar polar rover science operations: Lessons learned and mission architecture implications derived from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) terrestrial field campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Lim, Darlene; Deans, Matthew; Cook, Amanda; Roush, Ted; Skok, J. R.; Button, Nicole E.; Karunatillake, S.; Stoker, Carol; Marquez, Jessica J.; Shirley, Mark; Kobayashi, Linda; Lees, David; Bresina, John; Hunt, Rusty

    2016-08-01

    The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal of producing critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. Specifically, MVP focuses on studying a lunar mission analog to characterize the form and distribution of lunar volatiles. Although lunar volatiles are known to be present near the poles of the Moon, the three dimensional distribution and physical characteristics of lunar polar volatiles are largely unknown. A landed mission with the ability to traverse the lunar surface is thus required to characterize the spatial distribution of lunar polar volatiles. NASA's Resource Prospector (RP) mission is a lunar polar rover mission that will operate primarily in sunlit regions near a lunar pole with near-real time operations to characterize the vertical and horizontal distribution of volatiles. The MVP project was conducted as a field campaign relevant to the RP lunar mission to provide science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. To achieve these goals, the MVP project conducted a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural environment with an unknown volatile distribution within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon.

  17. Lunar floor-fractured craters: Modes of dike and sill emplacement and implications of gas production and intrusion cooling on surface morphology and structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Lionel; Head, James W.

    2018-05-01

    Lunar floor-fractured craters (FFCs) represent the surface manifestation of a class of shallow crustal intrusions in which magma-filled cracks (dikes) rising to the surface from great depth encounter contrasts in host rock lithology (breccia lens, rigid solidified melt sheet) and intrude laterally to form a sill, laccolith or bysmalith, thereby uplifting and deforming the crater floor. Recent developments in the knowledge of lunar crustal thickness and density structure have enabled important revisions to models of the generation, ascent and eruption of magma, and new knowledge about the presence and behavior of magmatic volatiles has provided additional perspectives on shallow intrusion processes in FFCs. We use these new data to assess the processes that occur during dike and sill emplacement with particular emphasis on tracking the fate and migration of volatiles and their relation to candidate venting processes. FFCs result when dikes are capable of intruding close to the surface, but fail to erupt because of the substructure of their host impact craters, and instead intrude laterally after encountering a boundary where an increase in ductility (base of breccia lens) or rigidity (base of solidified melt sheet) occurs. Magma in dikes approaching the lunar surface experiences increasingly lower overburden pressures: this enhances CO gas formation and brings the magma into the realm of the low pressure release of H2O and sulfur compounds, both factors adding volatiles to those already collected in the rising low-pressure part of the dike tip. High magma rise velocity is driven by the positive buoyancy of the magma in the part of the dike remaining in the mantle. The dike tip overshoots the interface and the consequent excess pressure at the interface drives the horizontal flow of magma to form the intrusion and raise the crater floor. If sill intrusion were controlled by the physical properties at the base of the melt sheet, dikes would be required to approach to

  18. Prospective Ukrainian lunar orbiter mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkuratov, Y.; Litvinenko, L.; Shulga, V.; Yatskiv, Y.; Kislyuk, V.

    Ukraine has launch vehicles that are able to deliver about 300 kg to the lunar orbit. Future Ukrainian lunar program may propose a polar orbiter. This orbiter should fill principal information gaps in our knowledge about the Moon after Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions and the future missions, like Smart-1, Lunar-A, and Selene. We consider that this can be provided by radar studies of the Moon with supporting optical polarimetric observations from lunar polar orbit. These experiments allow one to better understand global structure of the lunar surface in a wide range of scales, from microns to kilometers. We propose three instruments for the prospective lunar orbiter. They are: a synthetic aperture imaging radar (SAR), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and imaging polarimeter (IP). The main purpose of SAR is to study with high resolution (50 m) the permanently shadowed sites in the lunar polar regions. These sites are cold traps for volatiles, and have a potential of resource utilization. Possible presence of water ice in the regolith in the sites makes them interesting for permanent manned bases on the Moon. Radar imaging and mapping of other interesting regions could be also planned. Multi-frequencies multi-polarization soun d ing of the lunar surface with GPR can provide information about internal structure of the lunar surface from meters to several hundred meters deep. GPR can be used for measuring the megaregolith layer properties, detection of cryptomaria, and studies of internal structure of the largest craters. IP will be a CCD camera with an additional suite of polarizers. Modest spatial resolution (100 m) should provide a total coverage or a large portion of the lunar surface in oblique viewing basically at large phase angles. Polarization degree at large (>90°) phase angles bears information about characteristic size of the regolith particles. Additional radiophysical experiments are considered with the use of the SAR system, e.g., bistatic radar

  19. Lunar Polar In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) as a Stepping Stone for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.

    2013-01-01

    A major emphasis of NASA is to extend and expand human exploration across the solar system. While specific destinations are still being discussed as to what comes first, it is imperative that NASA create new technologies and approaches that make space exploration affordable and sustainable. Critical to achieving affordable and sustainable exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) are the development of technologies and approaches for advanced robotics, power, propulsion, habitats, life support, and especially, space resource utilization systems. Space resources and how to use them, often called In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), can have a tremendous beneficial impact on robotic and human exploration of the Moon, Mars, Phobos, and Near Earth Objects (NEOs), while at the same time helping to solve terrestrial challenges and enabling commercial space activities. The search for lunar resources, demonstration of extraterrestrial mining, and the utilization of resource-derived products, especially from polar volatiles, can be a stepping stone for subsequent human exploration missions to other destinations of interest due to the proximity of the Moon, complimentary environments and resources, and the demonstration of critical technologies, processes, and operations. ISRU and the Moon: There are four main areas of development interest with respect to finding, obtaining, extracting, and using space resources: Prospecting for resources, Production of mission critical consumables like propellants and life support gases, Civil engineering and construction, and Energy production, storage, and transfer. The search for potential resources and the production of mission critical consumables are the primary focus of current NASA technology and system development activities since they provide the greatest initial reduction in mission mass, cost, and risk. Because of the proximity of the Moon, understanding lunar resources and developing, demonstrating, and implementing lunar ISRU

  20. An in-depth look at the lunar crater Copernicus: Exposed mineralogy by high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugiolacchi, Roberto; Mall, Urs; Bhatt, Megha; McKenna-Lawlor, Susan; Banaszkiewicz, Marek; Brønstad, Kjell; Nathues, Andreas; Søraas, Finn; Ullaland, Kjetil; Pedersen, Rolf B.

    2011-05-01

    Newly acquired, sequentially spaced, high-resolution near-infrared spectra across the central section of crater Copernicus' interior have been analyzed using a range of complementary techniques and indexes. We have developed a new interpretative method based on a multiple stage normalization process that appears to both confirm and expand on previous mineralogical estimations and mapping. In broad terms, the interpreted distribution of the principle mafic species suggests an overall composition of surface materials dominated by calcium-poor pyroxenes and minor olivine but with notable exceptions: the southern rim displays strong ca-rich pyroxene absorption features and five other locations, the uppermost northern crater wall, opposite rim sections facing the crater floor, and the central peak Pk1 and at the foot of Pk3, show instead strong olivine signatures. We also propose impact glass an alternative interpretation to the source of the weak but widespread olivine-like spectral signature found in low-reflectance samples, since it probably represents a major regolith constituent and component in large craters such as Copernicus. The high quality and performance of the SIR-2 data allows for the detection of diagnostic key mineral species even when investigating spectral samples with very subdued absorption features, confirming the intrinsic high-quality value of the returned data.

  1. Moon - 'Ghost' craters formed during Mare filling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Hartmann, W. K.; Wood, C. A.

    1973-01-01

    This paper discusses formation of 'pathological' cases of crater morphology due to interaction of craters with molten lavas. Terrestrial observations of such a process are discussed. In lunar maria, a number of small impact craters (D less than 10 km) may have been covered by thin layers of fluid lavas, or formed in molten lava. Some specific lunar examples are discussed, including unusual shallow rings resembling experimental craters deformed by isostatic filling.

  2. Toward a Unified View of the Moon's Polar Volatiles from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayne, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Although the scientific basis for the possibility of water and other volatiles in the cold traps of the lunar polar regions was developed in the 1960's and '70's [1,2], only recently have the data become available to test the theories in detail. Furthermore, comparisons with other planetary bodies, particularly Mercury, have revealed surprising differences that may point to inconsistencies or holes in our understanding of the basic processes involving volatiles on airless bodies [3]. Addressing these gaps in understanding is critical to the future exploration of the Moon, for which water is an important scientific and engineering resource [4]. Launched in 2009, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been acquiring data from lunar orbit for more than six years. All seven of the remote sensing instruments on the payload have now contributed significantly to advancing understanding of volatiles on the Moon. Here we present results from these investigations, and discuss attempts to synthesize the disparate information to create a self-consistent model for lunar volatiles. In addition to the LRO data, we must take into account results from earlier missions [5,6], ground-based telescopes [7], and sample analyses [8]. The results from these inter-comparisons show that water is likely available in useful quantities, but key additional measurements may be required to resolve remaining uncertainties. [1] Watson, K., Murray, B. C., & Brown, H. (1961), J. Geophys. Res., 66(9), 3033-3045. [2] Arnold, J. R. (1979), J. Geophys. Res. (1978-2012), 84(B10), 5659-5668. [3] Paige, D. A., Siegler, M. A., Harmon, J. K., Neumann, G. A., Mazarico, E. M., Smith, D. E., ... & Solomon, S. C. (2013), Science, 339(6117), 300-303. [4] Hayne, P. O., et al. (2014), Keck Inst. Space Studies Report. [5] Nozette, S., Lichtenberg, C. L., Spudis, P., Bonner, R., Ort, W., Malaret, E., ... & Shoemaker, E. M. (1996), Science, 274(5292), 1495-1498. [6] Pieters, C. M., Goswami, J. N., Clark, R. N

  3. Constraining the thickness of polar ice deposits on Mercury using the Mercury Laser Altimeter and small craters in permanently shadowed regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deutsch, Ariel N.; Head, James W.; Chabot, Nancy L.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    2018-05-01

    . For Mercury's polar deposits, we argue that Case I of the small craters predating the emplacement of the ice deposits is more likely, given other geologic evidence that suggests that these ice deposits are relatively young. Using the ice thickness estimates from Case I to calculate the total amount of water ice currently contained in Mercury's polar deposits results in a value of ∼1014-1015 kg. This is equivalent to ∼100-1000 km3 ice in volume. This volume of water ice is consistent with delivery via micrometeorite bombardment, Jupiter-family comets, or potentially a single impactor.

  4. Geochemical studies of the White Breccia Boulders at North Ray Crater, Descartes region of the lunar highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.; Lindstrom, D. J.; Lum, R. K. L.; Schuhmann, P. J.; Nava, D. F.; Schuhmann, S.; Philpotts, J. A.; Winzer, S. R.

    1977-01-01

    The samples of the White Breccia Boulders obtained during the Apollo 16 mission and investigated in the reported study include an anorthositic breccia (67415), a dark matrix breccia (67435), a light matrix breccia (67455), and a large clast of dark matrix breccia (67475) taken from the 67455 boulder. The chemical analyses of bulk samples of the samples are listed in a table. A graph shows the lithophile trace element abundances. Another graph indicates the variation of Sm with Al2O3 content for samples from the White Breccia Boulders. The North Ray Crater breccias are found to be in general slightly more aluminous than breccias from the other stations at the Apollo 16 site. Analyses of eight Apollo 16 breccias cited in the literature range from 25% to 35% Al2O3. However, the North Ray Crater breccias are more clearly distinct from the other Apollo 16 breccias in their contents of lithophile trace elements.

  5. Summary of the results from the lunar orbiter laser altimeter after seven years in lunar orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Lemoine, Frank G.; Head, James W., III; Lucey, Paul G.; Aharonson, Oded; Robinson, Mark S.; Sun, Xiaoli; Torrence, Mark H.; Barker, Michael K.; Oberst, Juergen; Duxbury, Thomas C.; Mao, Dandan; Barnouin, Olivier S.; Jha, Kopal; Rowlands, David D.; Goossens, Sander; Baker, David; Bauer, Sven; Gläser, Philipp; Lemelin, Myriam; Rosenburg, Margaret; Sori, Michael M.; Whitten, Jennifer; Mcclanahan, Timothy

    2017-02-01

    In June 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched to the Moon. The payload consists of 7 science instruments selected to characterize sites for future robotic and human missions. Among them, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) was designed to obtain altimetry, surface roughness, and reflectance measurements. The primary phase of lunar exploration lasted one year, following a 3-month commissioning phase. On completion of its exploration objectives, the LRO mission transitioned to a science mission. After 7 years in lunar orbit, the LOLA instrument continues to map the lunar surface. The LOLA dataset is one of the foundational datasets acquired by the various LRO instruments. LOLA provided a high-accuracy global geodetic reference frame to which past, present and future lunar observations can be referenced. It also obtained high-resolution and accurate global topography that were used to determine regions in permanent shadow at the lunar poles. LOLA further contributed to the study of polar volatiles through its unique measurement of surface brightness at zero phase, which revealed anomalies in several polar craters that may indicate the presence of water ice. In this paper, we describe the many LOLA accomplishments to date and its contribution to lunar and planetary science.

  6. Summary of the Results from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter after Seven Years in Lunar Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Lemoine, Frank G.; Head, James W., III; Lucey, Paul G.; Aharonson, Oded; Robinson, Mark S.; Sun, Xiaoli; hide

    2016-01-01

    In June 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched to the Moon. The payload consists of 7 science instruments selected to characterize sites for future robotic and human missions. Among them, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) was designed to obtain altimetry, surface roughness, and reflectance measurements. The primary phase of lunar exploration lasted one year, following a 3-month commissioning phase. On completion of its exploration objectives, the LRO mission transitioned to a science mission. After 7 years in lunar orbit, the LOLA instrument continues to map the lunar surface. The LOLA dataset is one of the foundational datasets acquired by the various LRO instruments. LOLA provided a high-accuracy global geodetic reference frame to which past, present and future lunar observations can be referenced. It also obtained high-resolution and accurate global topography that were used to determine regions in permanent shadow at the lunar poles. LOLA further contributed to the study of polar volatiles through its unique measurement of surface brightness at zero phase, which revealed anomalies in several polar craters that may indicate the presence of water ice. In this paper, we describe the many LOLA accomplishments to date and its contribution to lunar and planetary science.

  7. Extraction of Water from Lunar Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ethridge, Edwin C.; Kaukler, William

    2009-01-01

    Remote sensing indicates the presence of hydrogen rich regions associated with the lunar poles. The logical hypothesis is that there is cryogenically trapped water ice located in craters at the lunar poles. Some of the craters have been in permanent darkness for a billion years. The presence of water at the poles as well as other scientific advantages of a polar base, have influenced NASA plans for the lunar outpost. The lunar outpost has water and oxygen requirements on the order of 1 ton per year scaling up to as much as 5 tons per year. Microwave heating of the frozen permafrost has unique advantages for water extraction. Proof of principle experiments have successfully demonstrated that microwaves will couple to the cryogenic soil in a vacuum and the sublimed water vapor can be successfully captured on a cold trap. Dielectric property measurements of lunar soil simulant have been measured. Microwave absorption and attenuation in lunar soil simulant has been correlated with measured dielectric properties. Future work will be discussed.

  8. Lunar Circular Structure Classification from Chang 'e 2 High Resolution Lunar Images with Convolutional Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, X. G.; Liu, J. J.; Zuo, W.; Chen, W. L.; Liu, Y. X.

    2018-04-01

    Circular structures are widely distributed around the lunar surface. The most typical of them could be lunar impact crater, lunar dome, et.al. In this approach, we are trying to use the Convolutional Neural Network to classify the lunar circular structures from the lunar images.

  9. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riris, H.; Cavanaugh, J.; Sun, X.; Liiva, P.; Rodriguez, M.; Neuman, G.

    2017-11-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument [1-3] on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, launched on June 18th, 2009, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, will provide a precise global lunar topographic map using laser altimetry. LOLA will assist in the selection of landing sites on the Moon for future robotic and human exploration missions and will attempt to detect the presence of water ice on or near the surface, which is one of the objectives of NASA's Exploration Program. Our present knowledge of the topography of the Moon is inadequate for determining safe landing areas for NASA's future lunar exploration missions. Only those locations, surveyed by the Apollo missions, are known with enough detail. Knowledge of the position and characteristics of the topographic features on the scale of a lunar lander are crucial for selecting safe landing sites. Our present knowledge of the rest of the lunar surface is at approximately 1 km kilometer level and in many areas, such as the lunar far side, is on the order of many kilometers. LOLA aims to rectify that and provide a precise map of the lunar surface on both the far and near side of the moon. LOLA uses short (6 ns) pulses from a single laser through a Diffractive Optical Element (DOE) to produce a five-beam pattern that illuminates the lunar surface. For each beam, LOLA measures the time of flight (range), pulse spreading (surface roughness), and transmit/return energy (surface reflectance). LOLA will produce a high-resolution global topographic model and global geodetic framework that enables precise targeting, safe landing, and surface mobility to carry out exploratory activities. In addition, it will characterize the polar illumination environment, and image permanently shadowed regions of the lunar surface to identify possible locations of surface ice crystals in shadowed polar craters.

  10. Constraining the Depth of Polar Ice Deposits and Evolution of Cold Traps on Mercury with Small Craters in Permanently Shadowed Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deutsch, Ariel N.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Chabot, Nancy L.

    2017-01-01

    Earth-based radar observations revealed highly reflective deposits at the poles of Mercury [e.g., 1], which collocate with permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) detected from both imagery and altimetry by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft [e.g., 2]. MESSENGER also measured higher hydrogen concentrations at the north polar region, consistent with models for these deposits to be composed primarily of water ice [3]. Enigmatic to the characterization of ice deposits on Mercury is the thickness of these radar-bright features. A current minimum bound of several meters exists from the radar measurements, which show no drop in the radar cross section between 13- and 70-cm wavelength observations [4, 5]. A maximum thickness of 300 m is based on the lack of any statistically significant difference between the height of craters that host radar-bright deposits and those that do not [6]. More recently, this upper limit on the depth of a typical ice deposit has been lowered to approximately 150 m, in a study that found a mean excess thickness of 50 +/- 35 m of radar-bright deposits for 6 craters [7]. Refining such a constraint permits the derivation of a volumetric estimate of the total polar ice on Mercury, thus providing insight into possible sources of water ice on the planet. Here, we take a different approach to constrain the thickness of water-ice deposits. Permanently shadowed surfaces have been resolved in images acquired with the broadband filter on MESSENGER's wide-angle camera (WAC) using low levels of light scattered by crater walls and other topography [8]. These surfaces are not featureless and often host small craters (less than a few km in diameter). Here we utilize the presence of these small simple craters to constrain the thickness of the radar-bright ice deposits on Mercury. Specifically, we compare estimated depths made from depth-to-diameter ratios and depths from individual Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA

  11. Manned in Situ Confirmation of Lunar Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerené, S. P. B.; Hummeling, R. W. J.; Ockels, W. J.

    A study is performed to investigate the feasibility of a manned expedition to the Moon using the European Ariane-5 launcher. The primary objective of this lunar mission is to confirm the presence of water at the South-Pole craters. It is believed that these permanently shadowed craters contain water in the form of ice. Secondary objective is to perform lunar surface science and making a first step towards a lunar outpost. Early results show that a minimum of two Ariane-5 launches is required. In this `two Ariane' scenario the first launch will bring a Lunar Landing Vehicle (LLV) into low lunar orbit. The second will launch two astronauts in a Crew Transfer Vehicle into a rendez- vous trajectory with the LLV. Arrived at the Moon, the astronauts will enter the LLV, undock from the CTV and land at the designated site located near the rim of the South-Pole Shackleton crater. The transfer strategy for both spacecraft will be the so-called direct transfer, taking about four days. At arrival the LLV will start mapping the landing site at a ground resolution of one meter. As a consequence of the polar orbit, the CTV has to arrive fourteen days later and surface operations can take about twelve days, accumulating in a total mission-duration of 36 days. 32 days for the CTV and 22 days for the LLV. In case a `two Ariane' flight does not posses sufficient capabilities also a `three Ariane' scenario is developed, in which the LLV is split-up into two stages and launched separately. These two will dock at the Moon forming a descent stage and an ascent stage. The third launch will be a CTV. During surface operations, astronauts will set up a solar power unit, install the sample retrieval system and carry out surface science. Samples of the crater floor will be retrieved by means of a probe or robot guided along a cable suspended over the crater rim. Also, this paper shows the way in which European astronauts can be brought to the Moon for other future missions, like the

  12. Elemental Mercury Diffusion Processes and Concentration at the Lunar Poles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moxley, Frederick; Killen, Rosemary M.; Hurley, Dana M.

    2011-01-01

    In 2009, the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) spectrograph onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft made the first detection of element mercury (Hg) vapor in the lunar exosphere after the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Centaur rocket impacted into the Cabeus crater in the southern polar region of the Moon. The lunar regolith core samples from the Apollo missions determined that Hg had a devolatilized pattern with a concentration gradient increasing with depth, in addition to a layered pattern suggesting multiple episodes of burial and volatile loss. Hg migration on the lunar surface resulted in cold trapping at the poles. We have modeled the rate at which indigenous Hg is lost from the regolith through diffusion out of lunar grains. We secondly modeled the migration of Hg vapor in the exosphere and estimated the rate of cold-trapping at the poles using a Monte Carlo technique. The Hg vapor may be lost from the exosphere via ionization, Jeans escape, or re-impact into the surface causing reabsorption.

  13. Cratering Studies in Thin Plastic Films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, A. J.; Bugiel, S.; Gruen, E.; Hillier, J.; Horanyi, M.; Munsat, T. L.; Srama, R.

    2013-12-01

    Thin plastic films, such as Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF), have been used as protective coatings or dust detectors on a number of missions including the Dust Counter and Mass Analyzer (DUCMA) instrument on Vega 1 and 2, the High Rate Detector (HRD) on the Cassini Mission, and the Student Dust Counter (SDC) on New Horizons. These types of detectors can be used on the lunar surface or in lunar orbit to detect dust grain size distributions and velocities. Due to their low power requirements and light weight, large surface area detectors can be built for observing low dust fluxes. The SDC dust detector is made up of a permanently polarized layer of PVDF coated on both sides with a thin layer (≈ 1000 Å) of aluminum nickel. The operation principle is that a micrometeorite impact removes a portion of the metal surface layer exposing the permanently polarized PVDF underneath. This causes a local potential near the crater changing the surface charge of the metal layer. The dimensions and shape of the crater determine the strength of the potential and thus the signal generated by the PVDF. The theoretical basis for signal interpretation uses a crater diameter scaling law which was not intended for use with PVDF. In this work, a crater size scaling law has been experimentally determined, and further simulation work is being done to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of crater formation. LS-Dyna, a smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code from the Livermore Software Technology Corp. was chosen to simulate micrometeorite impacts. SPH is known to be well suited to the large deformities found in hypervelocity impacts. It is capable of incorporating key physics phenomena, including fracture, heat transfer, melting, etc. Furthermore, unlike Eulerian methods, SPH is gridless allowing large deformities without the inclusion of unphysical erosion algorithms. Material properties are accounted for using the Grüneisen Equation of State. The results of the SPH model can

  14. Academic aspects of lunar water resources and their relevance to lunar protolife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jack

    2011-01-01

    Water ice has been discovered on the moon by radar backscatter at the North Pole and by spectrometry at the South Pole in the Cabeus crater with an extrapolated volume for both poles of conservatively 10(9) metric tons. Various exogenic and endogenic sources of this water have been proposed. This paper focuses on endogenic water sources by fumaroles and hot springs in shadowed polar craters. A survey of theoretical and morphological details supports a volcanic model. Release of water and other constituents by defluidization over geological time was intensified in the Hadean Eon (c.a. 4600 to 4000 My). Intensification factors include higher heat flow by now-extinct radionuclides, tidal flexing and higher core temperatures. Lesser gravity would promote deeper bubble nucleation in lunar magmas, slower rise rates of gases and enhanced subsidence of lunar caldera floors. Hadean volcanism would likely have been more intense and regional in nature as opposed to suture-controlled location of calderas in Phanerozoic Benioff-style subduction environments. Seventy-seven morphological, remote sensing and return sample features were categorized into five categories ranging from a volcano-tectonic origin only to impact origin only. Scores for the most logical scenario were 69 to eight in favor of lunar volcanism. Ingredients in the Cabeus plume analysis showed many volcanic fluids and their derivatives plus a large amount of mercury. Mercury-rich fumaroles are well documented on Earth and are virtually absent in cometary gases and solids. There are no mercury anomalies in terrestrial impact craters. Volcanic fluids and their derivatives in lunar shadow can theoretically evolve into protolife. Energy for this evolution can be provided by vent flow charging intensified in the lunar Hadean and by charge separation on freezing fumarolic fluids in shadow. Fischer-Tropsch reactions on hydrothermal clays can yield lipids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and amino acids. Soluble

  15. Academic Aspects of Lunar Water Resources and Their Relevance to Lunar Protolife

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Green

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Water ice has been discovered on the moon by radar backscatter at the North Pole and by spectrometry at the South Pole in the Cabeus crater with an extrapolated volume for both poles of conservatively 109 metric tons. Various exogenic and endogenic sources of this water have been proposed. This paper focuses on endogenic water sources by fumaroles and hot springs in shadowed polar craters. A survey of theoretical and morphological details supports a volcanic model. Release of water and other constituents by defluidization over geological time was intensified in the Hadean Eon (c.a. 4600 to 4000 My. Intensification factors include higher heat flow by now-extinct radionuclides, tidal flexing and higher core temperatures. Lesser gravity would promote deeper bubble nucleation in lunar magmas, slower rise rates of gases and enhanced subsidence of lunar caldera floors. Hadean volcanism would likely have been more intense and regional in nature as opposed to suture-controlled location of calderas in Phanerozoic Benioff-style subduction environments. Seventy-seven morphological, remote sensing and return sample features were categorized into five categories ranging from a volcano-tectonic origin only to impact origin only. Scores for the most logical scenario were 69 to eight in favor of lunar volcanism. Ingredients in the Cabeus plume analysis showed many volcanic fluids and their derivatives plus a large amount of mercury. Mercury-rich fumaroles are well documented on Earth and are virtually absent in cometary gases and solids. There are no mercury anomalies in terrestrial impact craters. Volcanic fluids and their derivatives in lunar shadow can theoretically evolve into protolife. Energy for this evolution can be provided by vent flow charging intensified in the lunar Hadean and by charge separation on freezing fumarolic fluids in shadow. Fischer-Tropsch reactions on hydrothermal clays can yield lipids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and amino

  16. How old is Autolycus crater?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiesinger, Harald; Pasckert, Jan Henrik; van der Bogert, Carolyn H.; Robinson, Mark S.

    2016-04-01

    Accurately determining the lunar cratering chronology is prerequisite for deriving absolute model ages (AMAs) across the lunar surface and throughout the Solar System [e.g., 1]. However, the lunar chronology is only constrained by a few data points over the last 1 Ga and there are no calibration data available between 1 and 3 Ga and beyond 3.9 Ga [2]. Rays from Autolycus and Aristillus cross the Apollo 15 landing site and presumably transported material to this location [3]. [4] proposed that at the Apollo 15 landing site about 32% of any exotic material would come from Autolycus crater and 25% would come from Aristillus crater. [5,6] proposed that the 39Ar-40Ar age of 2.1 Ga derived from three petrologically distinct, shocked Apollo 15 KREEP basalt samples, date Autolycus crater. Grier et al. [7] reported that the optical maturity (OMAT) characteristics of these craters are indistinguishable from the background values despite the fact that both craters exhibit rays that were used to infer relatively young, i.e., Copernican ages [8,9]. Thus, both OMAT characteristics and radiometric ages of 2.1 Ga and 1.29 Ga for Autolycus and Aristillus, respectively, suggest that these two craters are not Copernican in age. [10] interpreted newer U-Pb ages of 1.4 and 1.9 Ga from sample 15405 as the formation ages of Aristillus and Autolycus. If Autolycus is indeed the source of the dated exotic material collected at the Apollo 15 landing site, than performing crater size frequency distribution (CSFD) measurements for Autolycus offers the possibility to add a new calibration point to the lunar chronology, particularly in an age range that was previously unconstrained. We used calibrated and map-projected LRO NAC images to perform CSFD measurements within ArcGIS, using CraterTools [11]. CSFDs were then plotted with CraterStats [12], using the production and chronology functions of [13]. We determined ages of 3.72 and 3.85 Ga for the interior (Ai1) and ejecta area Ae3, which we

  17. Geomorphology of crater and basin deposits - Emplacement of the Fra Mauro formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, R. H.; Oberbeck, V. R.

    1975-01-01

    Characteristics of continuous deposits near lunar craters larger than about 1 km wide are considered, and it is concluded that (1) concentric dunes, radial ridges, and braided lineations result from deposition of the collision products of ejecta from adjacent pairs of similarly oriented secondary-crater chains and are, therefore, concentrations of secondary-crater ejecta; (2) intracrater ridges are produced within preexisting craters surrounding a fresh primary crater by ricocheting and focusing of secondary-crater ejecta from the preexisting craters' walls; and (3) secondary cratering has produced many of the structures of the continuous deposits of relatively small lunar craters and is the dominant process for emplacement of most of the radial facies of the continuous deposits of large lunar craters and basins. The percentages of Imbrium ejecta in deposits and the nature of Imbrium sculpturing are investigated.

  18. Geochemistry and Geochronology of Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Implication for Magma Evolution, Duration of Volcanic Activity and Age of the Ngorongoro N-R Geomagnetic Polarity Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollel, G. F.; Swisher, C. C.; Feigenson, M. D.; Carr, M. J.

    2005-05-01

    40Ar/39Ar dates on volcanic rocks from the Ngorongoro Crater (NC) in northern Tanzania indicate that NC activity was very short in duration lasting approximately 120 ka. Laser incremental heating experiments on lava from the bottom and top of the NC crater-wall section gave ages of 2.08 +/- 0.04 and 1.96 +/- 0.02 Ma respectively. Lavas from the same section show a change in magnetic polarity from normal (N) at the lower part to reverse (R) polarity at the upper part (Grommé et al. 1970). The new ages are about 400 ka younger than previously estimated by K-Ar technique. These new ages suggest correlation of the NC N-R polarity transition to the 2.1 Ma (N-R) Reunion-Matuyama boundary (Cande and Kent, 1995), instead of the Gauss-Matuyama boundary as proposed by Grommé et al. (1970). 87Sr/86Sr measurements on lavas from the NC section vary widely from 0.70801 in the trachydacite at the base to 0.70405 in the basaltic lava near the top. The lower part of the section is more radiogenic varying from 0.70592 to 0.70801 whereas the upper part is constrained to 0.70405 to 0.70450. The more radiogenic lower part is likely to have interacted with crustal rocks. Two possible contaminants are the Tanzanian Archean Craton to the west and the late Proterozoic Mozambican belt in the east. The crater-wall section is composed of trachydacite at the bottom that becomes trachyandesite in mid-section. The top section is mainly basaltic. Major and trace elements show an inverted geochemical signature that is typical of stratified magma chambers characterized by a silicic top and basaltic bottom. Olivine basalt at the upper part of the section has the highest Mg# (56.60) and in general the upper section is more mafic than the lower section as inferred from Mg#. The upper part of the section is high in TiO2, MgO, FeOT, and CaO wt% whereas SiO2 and K2O wt% are higher in lower part of the section. No significant variations are observed in N2O, Al2O3, P2O5 and MnO wt% up-section. Highly

  19. Crater monitoring through social media observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gialampoukidis, I.; Vrochidis, S.; Kompatsiaris, I.

    2017-09-01

    We have collected more than one lunar image per two days from social media observations. Each one of the collected images has been clustered into two main groups of lunar images and an additional cluster is provided (noise) with pictures that have not been assigned to any cluster. The proposed lunar image clustering process provides two classes of lunar pictures, at different zoom levels; the first showing a clear view of craters grouped into one cluster and the second demonstrating a complete view of the Moon at various phases that are correlated with the crawling date. The clustering stage is unsupervised, so new topics can be detected on-the-fly. We have provided additional sources of planetary images using crowdsourcing information, which is associated with metadata such as time, text, location, links to other users and other related posts. This content has crater information that can be fused with other planetary data to enhance crater monitoring.

  20. The ESA Lunar Lander and the search for Lunar Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, A. D.; Barber, S. J.; Pillinger, J. M.; Sheridan, S.; Wright, I. P.; Gibson, E. K.; Merrifield, J. A.; Waltham, N. R.; Waugh, L. J.; Pillinger, C. T.

    2011-10-01

    Following the Apollo era the moon was considered a volatile poor body. Samples collected from the Apollo missions contained only ppm levels of water formed by the interaction of the solar wind with the lunar regolith [1]. However more recent orbiter observations have indicated that water may exist as water ice in cold polar regions buried within craters at concentrations of a few wt. % [2]. Infrared images from M3 on Chandrayaan-1 have been interpreted as showing the presence of hydrated surface minerals with the ongoing hydroxyl/water process feeding cold polar traps. This has been supported by observation of ephemeral features termed "space dew" [3]. Meanwhile laboratory studies indicate that water could be present in appreciable quantities in lunar rocks [4] and could also have a cometary source [5]. The presence of sufficient quantities of volatiles could provide a resource which would simplify logistics for long term lunar missions. The European Space Agency (ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations) have provisionally scheduled a robotic mission to demonstrate key technologies to enable later human exploration. Planned for launch in 2018, the primary aim is for precise automated landing, with hazard avoidance, in zones which are almost constantly illuminated (e.g. at the edge of the Shackleton crater at the lunar south pole). These regions would enable the solar powered Lander to survive for long periods > 6 months, but require accurate navigation to within 200m. Although landing in an illuminated area, these regions are close to permanently shadowed volatile rich regions and the analysis of volatiles is a major science objective of the mission. The straw man payload includes provision for a Lunar Volatile and Resources Analysis Package (LVRAP). The authors have been commissioned by ESA to conduct an evaluation of possible technologies to be included in L-VRAP which can be included within the Lander payload. Scientific aims are to demonstrate the

  1. Creation of High Resolution Terrain Models of Barringer Meteorite Crater (Meteor Crater) Using Photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanning Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Richard B.; Navard, Andrew R.; Holland, Donald E.; McKellip, Rodney D.; Brannon, David P.

    2010-01-01

    Barringer Meteorite Crater or Meteor Crater, AZ, has been a site of high interest for lunar and Mars analog crater and terrain studies since the early days of the Apollo-Saturn program. It continues to be a site of exceptional interest to lunar, Mars, and other planetary crater and impact analog studies because of its relatively young age (est. 50 thousand years) and well-preserved structure. High resolution (2 meter to 1 decimeter) digital terrain models of Meteor Crater in whole or in part were created at NASA Stennis Space Center to support several lunar surface analog modeling activities using photogrammetric and ground based laser scanning techniques. The dataset created by this activity provides new and highly accurate 3D models of the inside slope of the crater as well as the downslope rock distribution of the western ejecta field. The data are presented to the science community for possible use in furthering studies of Meteor Crater and impact craters in general as well as its current near term lunar exploration use in providing a beneficial test model for lunar surface analog modeling and surface operation studies.

  2. Lunar Map Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Lunar Map Catalog includes various maps of the moon's surface, including Apollo landing sites; earthside, farside, and polar charts; photography index maps; zone...

  3. Floor-Fractured Craters through Machine Learning Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorey, C.

    2015-12-01

    Floor-fractured craters are impact craters that have undergone post impact deformations. They are characterized by shallow floors with a plate-like or convex appearance, wide floor moats, and radial, concentric, and polygonal floor-fractures. While the origin of these deformations has long been debated, it is now generally accepted that they are the result of the emplacement of shallow magmatic intrusions below their floor. These craters thus constitute an efficient tool to probe the importance of intrusive magmatism from the lunar surface. The most recent catalog of lunar-floor fractured craters references about 200 of them, mainly located around the lunar maria Herein, we will discuss the possibility of using machine learning algorithms to try to detect new floor-fractured craters on the Moon among the 60000 craters referenced in the most recent catalogs. In particular, we will use the gravity field provided by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, and the topographic dataset obtained from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument to design a set of representative features for each crater. We will then discuss the possibility to design a binary supervised classifier, based on these features, to discriminate between the presence or absence of crater-centered intrusion below a specific crater. First predictions from different classifier in terms of their accuracy and uncertainty will be presented.

  4. Evidence for rapid topographic evolution and crater degradation on Mercury from simple crater morphometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, Caleb I.; Crowley, Malinda C.; Leight, Clarissa; Dyar, M. Darby; Minton, David A.; Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Thomson, Bradley J.; Watters, Wesley A.

    2017-06-01

    Examining the topography of impact craters and their evolution with time is useful for assessing how fast planetary surfaces evolve. Here, new measurements of depth/diameter (d/D) ratios for 204 craters of 2.5 to 5 km in diameter superposed on Mercury's smooth plains are reported. The median d/D is 0.13, much lower than expected for newly formed simple craters ( 0.21). In comparison, lunar craters that postdate the maria are much less modified, and the median crater in the same size range has a d/D ratio that is nearly indistinguishable from the fresh value. This difference in crater degradation is remarkable given that Mercury's smooth plains and the lunar maria likely have ages that are comparable, if not identical. Applying a topographic diffusion model, these results imply that crater degradation is faster by a factor of approximately two on Mercury than on the Moon, suggesting more rapid landform evolution on Mercury at all scales.Plain Language SummaryMercury and the Moon are both airless bodies that have experienced numerous impact events over billions of years. These impacts form craters in a geologic instant. The question examined in this manuscript is how fast these craters erode after their formation. To simplify the problem, we examined craters of a particular size (2.5 to 5 km in diameter) on a particular geologic terrain type (volcanic smooth plains) on both the Moon and Mercury. We then measured the topography of hundreds of craters on both bodies that met these criteria. Our results suggest that craters on Mercury become shallower much more quickly than craters on the Moon. We estimate that Mercury's topography erodes at a rate at least a factor of two faster than the Moon's.

  5. Lunar Gene Bank for Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, Ramakrushna

    2016-07-01

    Introduction: Before the dawn of the 22nd century, we face the huge risk of losing our genetic heritage accumulated during aeons of evolution. The losses include hundreds of vertebrates, human gene pools, hundreds of thousands of plants and over a million insect species. As we have observed, adequate conservation of habitat is unfeasible and active breeding programs cover only a handful of the many thousand species threatened. We propose cryopreservation of germplasms by constructing a cDNA library based gene bank for endangered species in the permanently shadowed polar lunar craters that would provide immunity from both natural disadvantages and humanitarian intrusions. Rationale: Under such alarming circumstances, we turned to cryopreservation as an option but over thousands of years economic depression, sabotage, conflicts, warfare or even a brief disruption to the precise cryopreservation can hamper the storage of genetic samples.When we are considering conservation it is always preferable to go for a more secure and permanent solution. It was found out that the climatic and strategic location of the lunar polar craters are adequately hospitable, remote and free of maintenance and human observation as they provide naturally cryogenic temperature, reduced gravity and vacuum environment, non-reactive surface, safety from celestial intrusion and permanent shadow which doesn't allow the temperature to fluctuate thus providing most suitable storage facilities for the germplasms. PSRs provide steady temperature of 40- 60K and immunity to earthquakes due to low seismic activity. At these sites, burial in one meter or more of the regolith will provide protection against the solar wind, solar and galactic cosmic rays and micrometeorite impact. It provides the minimum necessary barrier from human intervention and at the same time enables easy retrieval for future usage. Genetic samples of endangered species can enable restoration even after its extinction. Preserved

  6. Mini-RF S- and X-band Bistatic Observations of the Floor of Cabeus Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Gerald Wesley; Stickle, Angela; Turner, Franklin; Jensen, James; Cahill, Joshua; Mini-RF Team

    2017-10-01

    The Mini-RF instrument aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a hybrid dual-polarized synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and operates in concert with the Arecibo Observatory (AO) and the Goldstone deep space communications complex 34 meter antenna DSS-13 to collect S- and X-band bistatic radar data of the Moon. Bistatic radar data provide a means to probe the near subsurface for the presence of water ice, which exhibits a strong response in the form of a Coherent Backscatter Opposition Effect (CBOE). This effect has been observed in radar data for the icy surfaces of the Galilean satellites, the polar caps of Mars, polar craters on Mercury, and terrestrial ice sheets in Greenland. Previous work using Mini-RF S-band (12.6 cm) bistatic data suggests the presence of a CBOE associated with the floor of the lunar south polar crater Cabeus. The LRO spacecraft has begun its third extended mission. For this phase of operations Mini-RF is leveraging the existing AO architecture to make S-band radar observations of additional polar craters (e.g., Haworth, Shoemaker, Faustini). The purpose of acquiring these data is to determine whether other polar craters exhibit the response observed for Cabeus. Mini-RF has also initiated a new mode of operation that utilizes the X-band (4.2cm) capability of the instrument receiver and a recently commissioned X/C-band transmitter within the Deep Space Network’s (DSN) Goldstone complex to collect bistatic X-band data of the Moon. The purpose of acquiring these data is to constrain the depth/thickness of materials that exhibit a CBOE response - with an emphasis on observing the floor of Cabeus. Recent Mini-RF X-band observations of the floors of the craters Cabeus do not show evidence for a CBOE. This would suggest that the upper ~0.5 meters of the regolith for the floor of Cabeus do not harber water ice in a form detectable at 4.2 cm wavelengths.

  7. Impact spacecraft imagery and comparative morphology of craters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moutsoulas, M.; Piteri, S.

    1979-01-01

    The use of hard-landing 'simple' missions for wide-scale planetary exploration is considered. As an example of their imagery potentialities, Ranger VII data are used for the study of the morphological characteristics of 16 Mare Cognitum craters. The morphological patterns of lunar craters, expressed in terms of the Depth/Diameter ratios appear to be in most cases independent of the crater location or size. (Auth.)

  8. Ponds, Flows, and Ejecta of Impact Cratering and Volcanism: A Remote Sensing Perspective of a Dynamic Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stopar, Julie D.

    Both volcanism and impact cratering produce ejecta and associated deposits incorporating a molten rock component. While the heat sources are different (exogenous vs. endogenous), the end results are landforms with similar morphologies including ponds and flows of impact melt and lava around the central crater. Ejecta from both impact and volcanic craters can also include a high percentage of melted rock. Using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) images, crucial details of these landforms are finally revealed, suggesting a much more dynamic Moon than is generally appreciated. Impact melt ponds and flows at craters as small as several hundred meters in diameter provide empirical evidence of abundant melting during the impact cratering process (much more than was previously thought), and this melt is mobile on the lunar surface for a significant time before solidifying. Enhanced melt deposit occurrences in the lunar highlands (compared to the mare) suggest that porosity, target composition, and pre-existing topography influence melt production and distribution. Comparatively deep impact craters formed in young melt deposits connote a relatively rapid evolution of materials on the lunar surface. On the other end of the spectrum, volcanic eruptions have produced the vast, plains-style mare basalts. However, little was previously known about the details of small-area eruptions and proximal volcanic deposits due to a lack of resolution. High-resolution images reveal key insights into small volcanic cones (0.5-3 km in diameter) that resemble terrestrial cinder cones. The cones comprise inter-layered materials, spatter deposits, and lava flow breaches. The widespread occurrence of the cones in most nearside mare suggests that basaltic eruptions occur from multiple sources in each basin and/or that rootless eruptions are relatively common. Morphologies of small-area volcanic deposits indicate diversity in eruption behavior of lunar basaltic

  9. Bullialdus - Strengthening the case for lunar plutons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieters, Carle M.

    1991-01-01

    Although many craters expose materials of a composition different from that of the local surroundings, Bullialdus has excavated material representing three distinct stratigraphic zones that occur in the upper 6 km of crust, the top two of which are gabbroic and the deepest of which is noritic. This three-component stratigraphy at Bullialdus provides strong evidence that the lunar crust includes pockets of compositionally layered material reminiscent of mafic layered plutons. When combined with previous information on the compositional diversity at other large craters, these remote analyses obtained in a geologic context substantially strengthen the hypothesis suggested from lunar samples that plutons play an integral role in lunar crustal evolution.

  10. What Really Happened to Earth's Older Craters?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bottke, William; Mazrouei, Sara; Ghent, Rebecca; Parker, Alex

    2017-10-01

    Most assume the Earth’s crater record is heavily biased, with erosion/tectonics destroying older craters. This matches expectations, but is it actually true? To test this idea, we compared Earth’s crater record, where nearly all D ≥ 20 km craters are pick out from older craters with eroded fragments. Moreover, an inverse relationship between rock abundance (RA) and crater age exists. Using measured RA values, we computed ages for 111 rocky craters with D ≥ 10 km that formed between 80°N and 80°S over the last 1 Gyr.We found several surprising results. First, the production rate of D ≥ 10 km lunar craters increased by a factor of 2.2 [-0.9, +4.4; 95% confidence limits] over the past 250 Myr compared to the previous 750 Myr. Thus, the NEO population is higher now than it has been for the last billion years. Second, the size and age distributions of lunar and terrestrial craters for D ≥ 20 km over the last 650 Myr have similar shapes. This implies that crater erasure must be limited on stable terrestrial terrains; in an average sense, for a given region, the Earth either keeps all or loses all of its D ≥ 20 craters at the same rate, independent of size. It also implies the observed deficit of large terrestrial craters between 250-650 Myr is not preservation bias but rather reflects a distinctly lower impact flux. We predict 355 ± 86 D ≥ 20 km craters formed on Earth over the last 650 Myr. Only 38 ± 6 are known, so the ratio, 10.7 ± 3.1%, is a measure of the Earth’s surface that is reasonably stable to large crater formation over 650 Myr. If erosion had dominated, the age distribution of terrestrial craters would be strongly skewed toward younger ages, which is not observed. We predict Chicxulub-type impacts were rare over the last Gyr, with the event 66 Ma a probable byproduct of the current high terrestrial impact flux.

  11. Gardening process of lunar surface layer inferred from the galactic cosmic-ray exposure ages of lunar samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iriyama, Jun; Honda, Masatake.

    1979-01-01

    From the cosmic-ray exposure age data, (time scale 10 7 - 10 8 years), of the lunar surface materials, we discuss the gardening process of the lunar surface layer caused by the meteoroid impact cratering. At steady state, it is calculated that, in the region within 10 - 50 m of the surface, a mixing rate of 10 -4 to 10 -5 mm/yr is necessary to match the exposure ages. Observed exposure ages of the lunar samples could be explained by the gardening effect calculated using a crater formation rate which is slightly modified from the current crater population data. (author)

  12. Earth-based radar and LRO Diviner constraints on the recent rate of lunar ejecta processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghent, Rebecca R.; Hayne, Paul O.; Bandfield, Joshua L.; Campbell, Bruce A.; Carter, Lynn M.; Allen, Carlton

    2013-04-01

    Many large craters on the lunar nearside show radar circular polarization ratio (CPR) signatures consistent with the presence of blocky ejecta blankets, to distances of 0.5 to 1.5 crater radii. However, most of these surfaces show very low surface rock concentration values and only limited enhancements in regolith temperatures calculated from Diviner nighttime infrared observations. Because the radar signal is integrated over the radar penetration depth (up to several meters), but the Diviner signal is sensitive only to rocks within the upper meter of the surface, this indicates that ejecta blocks on the surface and in the shallow subsurface are quickly removed by continued bombardment. Deeper subsurface rocks, which are clearly evident in radar CPR maps but are covered by a sufficiently thick layer of thermally insulating regolith material to render them invisible to Diviner, persist for much longer. By matching the results of one-dimensional thermal models to Diviner nighttime temperatures, we can constrain the thermophysical properties of the upper 1 meter of regolith. We find that Diviner nighttime cooling curves are best fit by a density profile that varies exponentially with depth, consistent with a mixture of rocks and regolith fines, with increasing rock content with depth. Using this density profile together with the surface rock abundance, we can estimate the excess rock mass represented by rocks on the surface and within the upper meter of regolith for individual craters. We find that for craters of known age younger than ~1.7Ga, a robust correlation exists between ejecta mass and crater age, which yields the first observational estimate of the rate of lunar ejecta processing. Our results show that crater ejecta are initially removed very quickly (perhaps up to ~1cm / m.y.), with the rate slowing over a short period of time to less than 1 mm / m.y., as the number of blocks on the surface decreases and the volume of protective regolith material increases

  13. Lunar CATALYST

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) is a NASA initiative to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar...

  14. Centrifuge impact cratering experiment 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    Transient crates motions, cratering flow fields, crates dynamics, determining impact conditions from total crater welt, centrifuge quarter-space cratering, and impact cratering mechanics research is documented.

  15. Polygons and Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    3 September 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows polygons enhanced by subliming seasonal frost in the martian south polar region. Polygons similar to these occur in frozen ground at high latitudes on Earth, suggesting that perhaps their presence on Mars is also a sign that there is or once was ice in the shallow subsurface. The circular features are degraded meteor impact craters. Location near: 72.2oS, 310.3oW Image width: width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Spring

  16. Martian Low-Aspect-Ratio Layered Ejecta (LARLE) craters: Distribution, characteristics, and relationship to pedestal craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Nadine G.; Boyce, Joseph M.; Cornwall, Carin

    2014-09-01

    Low-Aspect-Ratio Layered Ejecta (LARLE) craters are a unique landform found on Mars. LARLE craters are characterized by a crater and normal layered ejecta pattern surrounded by an extensive but thin outer deposit which terminates in a sinuous, almost flame-like morphology. We have conducted a survey to identify all LARLE craters ⩾1-km-diameter within the ±75° latitude zone and to determine their morphologic and morphometric characteristics. The survey reveals 140 LARLE craters, with the majority (91%) located poleward of 40°S and 35°N and all occurring within thick mantles of fine-grained deposits which are likely ice-rich. LARLE craters range in diameter from the cut-off limit of 1 km up to 12.2 km, with 83% being smaller than 5 km. The radius of the outer LARLE deposit displays a linear trend with the crater radius and is greatest at higher polar latitudes. The LARLE deposit ranges in length between 2.56 and 14.81 crater radii in average extent, with maximum length extending up to 21.4 crater radii. The LARLE layer is very sinuous, with lobateness values ranging between 1.45 and 4.35. LARLE craters display a number of characteristics in common with pedestal craters and we propose that pedestal craters are eroded versions of LARLE craters. The distribution and characteristics of the LARLE craters lead us to propose that impact excavation into ice-rich fine-grained deposits produces a dusty base surge cloud (like those produced by explosion craters) that deposits dust and ice particles to create the LARLE layers. Salts emplaced by upward migration of water through the LARLE deposit produce a surficial duricrust layer which protects the deposit from immediate removal by eolian processes.

  17. Proceedings of the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    The 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference included sessions on: Phoenix: Exploration of the Martian Arctic; Origin and Early Evolution of the Moon; Comet Wild 2: Mineralogy and More; Astrobiology: Meteorites, Microbes, Hydrous Habitats, and Irradiated Ices; Phoenix: Soil, Chemistry, and Habitability; Planetary Differentiation; Presolar Grains: Structures and Origins; SPECIAL SESSION: Venus Atmosphere: Venus Express and Future Missions; Mars Polar Caps: Past and Present; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part I; 5 Early Nebula Processes and Models; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Cosmic Gymnasts; Mars: Ground Ice and Climate Change; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part II; Chondrite Parent-Body Processes; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Salubrious Surfaces; SNC Meteorites; Ancient Martian Crust: Primary Mineralogy and Aqueous Alteration; SPECIAL SESSION: Messenger at Mercury: A Global Perspective on the Innermost Planet; CAIs and Chondrules: Records of Early Solar System Processes; Small Bodies: Shapes of Things to Come; Sulfur on Mars: Rocks, Soils, and Cycling Processes; Mercury: Evolution and Tectonics; Venus Geology, Volcanism, Tectonics, and Resurfacing; Asteroid-Meteorite Connections; Impacts I: Models and Experiments; Solar Wind and Genesis: Measurements and Interpretation; Mars: Aqueous Processes; Magmatic Volatiles and Eruptive Conditions of Lunar Basalts; Comparative Planetology; Interstellar Matter: Origins and Relationships; Impacts II: Craters and Ejecta Mars: Tectonics and Dynamics; Mars Analogs I: Geological; Exploring the Diversity of Lunar Lithologies with Sample Analyses and Remote Sensing; Chondrite Accretion and Early History; Science Instruments for the Mars Science Lander; . Martian Gullies: Morphology and Origins; Mars: Dunes, Dust, and Wind; Mars: Volcanism; Early Solar System Chronology

  18. Cutting Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Released 12 November 2003The rims of two old and degraded impact craters are intersected by a graben in this THEMIS image taken near Mangala Fossa. Yardangs and low-albedo wind streaks are observed at the top of the image as well as interesting small grooves on the crater floor. The origin of these enigmatic grooves may be the result of mud or lava and volatile interactions. Variable surface textures observed in the bottom crater floor are the result of different aged lava flows.Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -15.2, Longitude 219.2 East (140.8 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  19. Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, S. J. (Editor); Gaddis, L. R.; Joy, K. H.; Petro, N. E.

    2017-01-01

    The announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2004 sparked a resurgence in lunar missions worldwide. Since the publication of the first "New Views of the Moon" volume, as of 2017 there have been 11 science-focused missions to the Moon. Each of these missions explored different aspects of the Moon's geology, environment, and resource potential. The results from this flotilla of missions have revolutionized lunar science, and resulted in a profoundly new emerging understanding of the Moon. The New Views of the Moon II initiative itself, which is designed to engage the large and vibrant lunar science community to integrate the results of these missions into new consensus viewpoints, is a direct outcome of this impressive array of missions. The "Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006" chapter will "set the stage" for the rest of the volume, introducing the planetary community at large to the diverse array of missions that have explored the Moon in the last decade. Content: This chapter will encompass the following missions: Kaguya; ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun); Chang’e-1; Chandrayaan-1; Moon Impact Probe; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS); Chang’e-2; Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL); Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE); Chang’e-3.

  20. Lunar Net—a proposal in response to an ESA M3 call in 2010 for a medium sized mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Alan; Crawford, I. A.; Gowen, Robert Anthony; Ambrosi, R.; Anand, M.; Banerdt, B.; Bannister, N.; Bowles, N.; Braithwaite, C.; Brown, P.; Chela-Flores, J.; Cholinser, T.; Church, P.; Coates, A. J.; Colaprete, T.; Collins, G.; Collinson, G.; Cook, T.; Elphic, R.; Fraser, G.; Gao, Y.; Gibson, E.; Glotch, T.; Grande, M.; Griffiths, A.; Grygorczuk, J.; Gudipati, M.; Hagermann, A.; Heldmann, J.; Hood, L. L.; Jones, A. P.; Joy, K. H.; Khavroshkin, O. B.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Knapmeyer, M.; Kramer, G.; Lawrence, D.; Marczewski, W.; McKenna-Lawlor, S.; Miljkovic, K.; Narendranath, S.; Palomba, E.; Phipps, A.; Pike, W. T.; Pullan, D.; Rask, J.; Richard, D. T.; Seweryn, K.; Sheridan, S.; Sims, M.; Sweeting, M.; Swindle, T.; Talboys, D.; Taylor, L.; Teanby, N.; Tong, V.; Ulamec, S.; Wawrzaszek, R.; Wieczorek, M.; Wilson, L.; Wright, I.

    2012-04-01

    Emplacement of four or more kinetic penetrators geographically distributed over the lunar surface can enable a broad range of scientific exploration objectives of high priority and provide significant synergy with planned orbital missions. Whilst past landed missions achieved a great deal, they have not included a far-side lander, or investigation of the lunar interior apart from a very small area on the near side. Though the LCROSS mission detected water from a permanently shadowed polar crater, there remains in-situ confirmation, knowledge of concentration levels, and detailed identification of potential organic chemistry of astrobiology interest. The planned investigations will also address issues relating to the origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system and other Solar System planetary bodies. Manned missions would be enhanced with use of water as a potential in-situ resource; knowledge of potential risks from damaging surface Moonquakes, and exploitation of lunar regolith for radiation shielding. LunarNet is an evolution of the 2007 LunarEX proposal to ESA (European Space Agency) which draws on recent significant advances in mission definition and feasibility. In particular, the successful Pendine full-scale impact trials have proved impact survivability for many of the key technology items, and a penetrator system study has greatly improved the definition of descent systems, detailed penetrator designs, and required resources. LunarNet is hereby proposed as an exciting stand-alone mission, though is also well suited in whole or in-part to contribute to the jigsaw of upcoming lunar missions, including that of a significant element to the ILN (International Lunar Network).

  1. The Moon's largest craters and basins images and topographic maps from LRO, GRAIL, and Kaguya

    CERN Document Server

    Byrne, Charles J

    2016-01-01

    This most recent book from lunar expert Charles J. Byrne combines the latest comprehensive imagery, topography and gravity data from all three recent Moon missions, Kaguya, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and GRAIL. These major polar-orbit surveys are presented here in compact form for the convenience of amateur and practical astronomers concerned with the Moon. Chosen from the Near and Far Side's large craters and basins over 200 km in diameter, each of the 71 highlighted features is depicted with a two-page presentation of the data that includes false color topographic maps next to the mission images. Additionally, the features are presented in the estimated chronological sequence of their creation, based on a consideration of stratigraphy (overlapping layers from neighboring features) and the relative degradation of surface features.  Using this sequence as a way to convey the relative ages of lunar features, the author presents various theories concerning the Moon’s impact and thermal history ...

  2. Identification of tectonic deformations on the south polar surface of the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Saumitra; Singh, Priyadarshini

    2015-07-01

    Recent extensional and contractional tectonic features present globally over the lunar surface have been studied to infer lunar crustal tectonism. Investigation of indicators of recent crustal tectonics, such as fault lines, thrust fault scarps, and dislocation of debris along the identified fault planes, primarily using data from the miniature-synthetic aperture radar (mini-SAR) aboard CHANDRAYAAN-1 mission and Narrow angle camera (NAC) images, are the focus of this study. Spatial orientation of these tectonic features helps to elucidate the change in the interior geological dynamics of any planetary body with time. The ability of microwave sensors to penetrate the lunar regolith, along with application of m-χ decomposition method on Mini-SAR data has been used to reveal unique features indicative of hidden tectonics. The m-χ decomposition derived radar images expose hidden lineaments and lobate scarps present within shadowed crater floors as well as over the illuminated regions of the lunar surface. The area around and within Cabeus B crater in the South Polar Region contains lobate scarps, hidden lineaments and debris avalanches (associated with the identified lineaments) indicative of relatively recent crustal tectonism.

  3. Michiel Florent van Langren and Lunar Naming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Krogt, P.C.J.; Ormeling, F.J.

    2014-01-01

    Michiel Florent van Langren produced a lunar map in 1645 in order to present a way to mariners to find their position at sea by observing which craters were either illuminated by solar rays or obscured during the waxing or waning of the moon. This required a detailed map of the moon and in order to

  4. Searching for water at the south pole of the Moon with a lunar impactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, B.; Alkalai, L.

    The idea that water on the Moon s surface would eventually migrate to the lunar poles and be cold-trapped there indefinitely was first proposed in the 1960 s and subsequent modeling has generally confirmed this possibility The existence of such polar water deposits is critical for planning future lunar exploration and it has important implications for lunar science as well However observations from the Earth and orbiting spacecraft have not been able to categorically confirm or deny the existence of ice in permanently shadowed depressions at the lunar poles The next generation of orbiters such as LRO Chandrayaan and SELENE while making important observations will be capable only of providing circumstantial evidence of water and its concentration and the challenges of landing and operating a spacecraft in the extreme conditions of permanent night are considerable We have studied a low-cost alternative approach similar to NASA s Deep Impact mission for enabling a direct detection of the existence of water in the upper few meters of the lunar subsurface Our mission uses a 1000-kg spacecraft to impact the lunar surface at 2 5-3 km sec from a geocentric trajectory This impact will excavate a crater 20 meters in diameter ejecting over 50 cubic meters of regolith Assuming a few volume percent water this ejecta would include several metric tons of ice Spectral evidence for water may be found across the electromagnetic spectrum from microwave and infrared to ultraviolet This could be derived from the immediate impact flash vapor produced through secondary

  5. Development of a lunar infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, J. D.

    1988-01-01

    The problem of building an infrastructure on the moon is discussed, assuming that earth-to-moon and moon-to-earth transport will be available. The sequence of events which would occur in the process of building an infrastructure is examined. The human needs which must be met on a lunar base are discussed, including minimal life support, quality of life, and growth stages. The technology available to meet these needs is reviewed and further research in fields related to a lunar base, such as the study of the moon's polar regions and the limits of lunar agriculture, is recommended.

  6. Dome craters on Ganymede

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, J.M.; Malin, M.C.

    1987-01-01

    Voyager observations reveal impact craters on Ganymede that are characterized by the presence of broad, high albedo, topographic domes situated within a central pit. Fifty-seven craters with central domes were identified in images covering approx. 50% of the surface. Owing to limitations in resolution, and viewing and illumination angles, the features identified are most likely a subset of dome craters. The sample appears to be sufficiently large to infer statistically meaningful trends. Dome craters appear to fall into two distinct populations on plots of the ratio of dome diameter to crater rim diameter, large-dome craters and small-dome craters. The two classes are morphologically distinct from one another. In general, large dome craters show little relief and their constituent landforms appear subdued with respect to fresh craters. The physical attributes of small-dome craters are more sharply defined, a characteristic they share with young impact craters of comparable size observed elsewhere in the solar system. Both types of dome craters exhibit central pits in which the dome is located. As it is difficult to produce domes by impact and/or erosional processes, an endogenic origin for the domes is reasonably inferred. Several hypotheses for their origin are proposed. These hypotheses are briefly reviewed

  7. Lunar horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walkinshaw, C. H.

    1971-01-01

    Discussion of the role that lunar horticulture may fulfill in helping establish the life support system of an earth-independent lunar colony. Such a system is expected to be a hybrid between systems which depend on lunar horticulture and those which depend upon the chemical reclamation of metabolic waste and its resynthesis into nutrients and water. The feasibility of this approach has been established at several laboratories. Plants grow well under reduced pressures and with oxygen concentrations of less than 1% of the total pressure. The carbon dioxide collected from the lunar base personnel should provide sufficient gas pressure (approx. 100 mm Hg) for growing the plants.

  8. Detection of Crater Rims by Image Analysis in Very High Resolution Images of Mars, Mercury and the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pina, P.; Marques, J. S.; Bandeira, L.

    2013-12-01

    The adaptive nature of automated crater detection algorithms permits achieving a high level of autonomous detections in different surfaces and consequently becoming an important tool in the update of crater catalogues. Nevertheless, the available approaches assume all craters as circular and only provide as output the radius and location of each crater. However, the delineation of impact craters following the local variability of the rims is also important to, among others, evaluate their degree of degradation or preservation, namely those studies related to ancient climate analysis. This contour determination is normally prepared in a manual way but can advantageously be done by image analysis methods, eliminating subjectivity and allowing large scale delineations. We have recently proposed a pair of independent approaches to tackle with this problem, one based on processing the crater image in polar coordinates [1], the other using morphological operators [2], which achieved a good degree of success on very high resolution images from Mars [3-4], but where enough room for improvement was still available. Thus, the integration of both approaches into a single one, suppressing the individual drawbacks of the previous approaches, permitted to strength the detection procedure. We describe now the novel sequence of processing that we have built and test it intensively in a wider variety of planetary surfaces, namely, those of Mars, Mercury and the Moon, using the very high resolution images provided by HiRISE, MDIS and LROC cameras. The automated delineations of the craters are compared to a ground-truth reference (manually delineated contours), so a quantitative evaluation can be performed; on a dataset constituted by more than one thousand impact craters we have obtained a global high delineation rate. The breakdown by crater size on each surface is performed. The whole processing procedure works on raster images and also delivers the output in the same image format

  9. Walking Wheel Design for Lunar Rove-Rand and Its Application Simulation Based on Virtual Lunar Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Yibing

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The lunar rover design is the key problem of planet exploration. It is extraordinarily important for researchers to fully understand the lunar terrain and propose the reasonable lunar rover. In this paper, one new type of walking wheel modeled on impeller is presented based on vehicle terramechanics. The passive earth pressure of soil mechanics put forward by C. A. Coulomb is employed to obtain the wheel traction force. Some kinematics simulations are conducted for lunar rover model. Besides, this paper presents how to model lunar landing terrain containing typical statistic characteristic including craters and boulders; then, the second step is to construct basal lunar surface by using Brown Fractal Motion and the next is to add craters and boulders by means of known diameter algorithm and Random-create Diameter Algorithm. By means of importing 2D plain of lunar surface into UG, 3D parasolid is modeled and finally imported to ADAMS, which is available for lunar rover kinematics and dynamics simulation. Lastly, based on power spectrum curve of lunar terrain, the spectral characteristic of three different lunar terrain roughness is educed by using reverse engineering algorithm. Simulation results demonstrated the frequency of vibration mechanics properties of different roughness surfaces.

  10. Lunar remote sensing and measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, H.J.; Boyce, J.M.; Schaber, G.G.; Scott, D.H.

    1980-01-01

    Remote sensing and measurements of the Moon from Apollo orbiting spacecraft and Earth form a basis for extrapolation of Apollo surface data to regions of the Moon where manned and unmanned spacecraft have not been and may be used to discover target regions for future lunar exploration which will produce the highest scientific yields. Orbital remote sensing and measurements discussed include (1) relative ages and inferred absolute ages, (2) gravity, (3) magnetism, (4) chemical composition, and (5) reflection of radar waves (bistatic). Earth-based remote sensing and measurements discussed include (1) reflection of sunlight, (2) reflection and scattering of radar waves, and (3) infrared eclipse temperatures. Photographs from the Apollo missions, Lunar Orbiters, and other sources provide a fundamental source of data on the geology and topography of the Moon and a basis for comparing, correlating, and testing the remote sensing and measurements. Relative ages obtained from crater statistics and then empirically correlated with absolute ages indicate that significant lunar volcanism continued to 2.5 b.y. (billion years) ago-some 600 m.y. (million years) after the youngest volcanic rocks sampled by Apollo-and that intensive bombardment of the Moon occurred in the interval of 3.84 to 3.9 b.y. ago. Estimated fluxes of crater-producing objects during the last 50 m.y. agree fairly well with fluxes measured by the Apollo passive seismic stations. Gravity measurements obtained by observing orbiting spacecraft reveal that mare basins have mass concentrations and that the volume of material ejected from the Orientale basin is near 2 to 5 million km 3 depending on whether there has or has not been isostatic compensation, little or none of which has occurred since 3.84 b.y. ago. Isostatic compensation may have occurred in some of the old large lunar basins, but more data are needed to prove it. Steady fields of remanent magnetism were detected by the Apollo 15 and 16 subsatellites

  11. Degraded Crater Rim

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    (Released 3 May 2002) The Science The eastern rim of this unnamed crater in Southern Arabia Terra is very degraded (beaten up). This indicates that this crater is very ancient and has been subjected to erosion and subsequent bombardment from other impactors such as asteroids and comets. One of these later (younger) craters is seen in the upper right of this image superimposed upon the older crater rim material. Note that this smaller younger crater rim is sharper and more intact than the older crater rim. This region is also mantled with a blanket of dust. This dust mantle causes the underlying topography to take on a more subdued appearance. The Story When you think of Arabia, you probably think of hot deserts and a lot of profitable oil reserves. On Mars, however, Southern Arabia Terra is a cold place of cratered terrain. This almost frothy-looking image is the badly battered edge of an ancient crater, which has suffered both erosion and bombardment from asteroids, comets, or other impacting bodies over the long course of its existence. A blanket of dust has also settled over the region, which gives the otherwise rugged landscape a soft and more subdued appearance. The small, round crater (upper left) seems almost gemlike in its setting against the larger crater ring. But this companionship is no easy romance. Whatever formed the small crater clearly whammed into the larger crater rim at some point, obliterating part of its edge. You can tell the small crater was formed after the first and more devastating impact, because it is laid over the other larger crater. How much younger is the small one? Well, its rim is also much sharper and more intact, which gives a sense that it is probably far more youthful than the very degraded, ancient crater.

  12. LROC Advances in Lunar Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    Since entering orbit in 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) has acquired over 700,000 Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images of the Moon. This new image collection is fueling research into the origin and evolution of the Moon. NAC images revealed a volcanic complex 35 x 25 km (60N, 100E), between Compton and Belkovich craters (CB). The CB terrain sports volcanic domes and irregular depressed areas (caldera-like collapses). The volcanic complex corresponds to an area of high-silica content (Diviner) and high Th (Lunar Prospector). A low density of impact craters on the CB complex indicates a relatively young age. The LROC team mapped over 150 volcanic domes and 90 volcanic cones in the Marius Hills (MH), many of which were not previously identified. Morphology and compositional estimates (Diviner) indicate that MH domes are silica poor, and are products of low-effusion mare lavas. Impact melt deposits are observed with Copernican impact craters (>10 km) on exterior ejecta, the rim, inner wall, and crater floors. Preserved impact melt flow deposits are observed around small craters (25 km diam.), and estimated melt volumes exceed predictions. At these diameters the amount of melt predicted is small, and melt that is produced is expected to be ejected from the crater. However, we observe well-defined impact melt deposits on the floor of highland craters down to 200 m diameter. A globally distributed population of previously undetected contractional structures were discovered. Their crisp appearance and associated impact crater populations show that they are young landforms (features place bounds on the amount of global radial contraction and the level of compressional stress in the crust. WAC temporal coverage of the poles allowed quantification of highly illuminated regions, including one site that remains lit for 94% of a year (longest eclipse period of 43 hours). Targeted NAC images provide higher resolution characterization of

  13. Brightening and Volatile Distribution Within Shackleton Crater Observed by the LRO Laser Altimeter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Head, J. W.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; Aharonson, O.; Tye, A. R.; Fassett, C. I.; Rosengurg, M. A.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Shackleton crater, whose interior lies largely in permanent shadow, is of interest due to its potential to sequester volatiles. Observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have enabled an unprecedented topographic characterization, revealing Shackleton to be an ancient, unusually well-preserved simple crater whose interior walls are fresher than its floor and rim. Shackleton floor deposits are nearly the same age as the rim, suggesting little floor deposition since crater formation over 3 billion years ago. At 1064 nm the floor of Shackleton is brighter than the surrounding terrain and the interiors of nearby craters, but not as bright as the interior walls. The combined observations are explainable primarily by downslope movement of regolith on the walls exposing fresher underlying material. The relatively brighter crater floor is most simply explained by decreased space weathering due to shadowing, but a 1-mm-thick layer containing approx 20% surficial ice is an alternative possibility.

  14. Lunar Riometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Burns, J. O.; Kasper, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent and its behavior over time, including modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) are based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, in situ, the peak plasma density of the lunar exosphere over time. We describe a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of nanometer- to micron-scale dust. The LUNAR consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  15. Lunar ranging instrument for Chandrayaan-1

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... Committee on Scientific Values · Project Lifescape · Scientific Data of Public Interest ... Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI)proposed for the first Indian lunar ... field by precisely measuring the altitude from a polar orbit around the Moon. ... Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems, Indian Space Research Organization ...

  16. Lunar cement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agosto, William N.

    1992-01-01

    With the exception of water, the major oxide constituents of terrestrial cements are present at all nine lunar sites from which samples have been returned. However, with the exception of relatively rare cristobalite, the lunar oxides are not present as individual phases but are combined in silicates and in mixed oxides. Lime (CaO) is most abundant on the Moon in the plagioclase (CaAl2Si2O8) of highland anorthosites. It may be possible to enrich the lime content of anorthite to levels like those of Portland cement by pyrolyzing it with lunar-derived phosphate. The phosphate consumed in such a reaction can be regenerated by reacting the phosphorus product with lunar augite pyroxenes at elevated temperatures. Other possible sources of lunar phosphate and other oxides are discussed.

  17. Oblique view of crater Theophilus at northwest edge of Sea of Nectar

    Science.gov (United States)

    1969-01-01

    An Apollo 11 oblique view of the large crater Theophilus located at the northwest edge of the Sea of Nectar on the lunar nearside. Theophilus is about 60 statute miles in diameter. the smooth area is Mare Nectaris. The smaller crater Madler, about 14 statute miles in diameter, is located to the east of Theophilus. Visible in the background are the large crater Fracastorius and the smaller crater Beaumont. The coordinates of the center of this photograph are 29 degrees east longitude and 11 degrees south latitude.

  18. Floor-fractured craters on Ceres and implications for interior processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Debra; Schenk, Paul M.; Scully, Jennifer E. C.; Park, Ryan; Preusker, Frank; Raymond, Carol; Russell, Christopher T.

    2016-10-01

    Several of the impact craters on Ceres have patterns of fractures on their floors. These fractures appear similar to those found within a class of lunar craters referred to as Floor-Fractured Craters (FFCs) [Schultz, 1976].Lunar FFCs are characterized by anomalously shallow floors cut by radial, concentric, and/or polygonal fractures, and have been classified into crater classes, Types 1 through 6, based on their morphometric properties [Schultz, 1976; Jozwiak et al, 2012, 2015]. Models for their formation have included both floor uplift due to magmatic intrusion below the crater or floor shallowing due to viscous relaxation. However, the observation that the depth versus diameter (d/D) relationship of the FFCs is distinctly shallower than the same association for other lunar craters supports the hypotheses that the floor fractures form due to shallow magmatic intrusion under the crater [Jozwiak et al, 2012, 2015].FFCs have also been identified on Mars [Bamberg et al., 2014]. Martian FFCs exhibit morphological characteristics similar to the lunar FFCs, and analyses suggest that the Martian FCCs also formed due to volcanic activity, although heavily influenced by interactions with groundwater and/or ice.We have cataloged the Ceres FFCs according to the classification scheme designed for the Moon. Large (>50 km) Ceres FFCs are most consistent with Type 1 lunar FFCs, having deep floors, central peaks, wall terraces, and radial and/or concentric fractures. Smaller craters on Ceres are more consistent with Type 4 lunar FFCs, having less-pronounced floor fractures and a v-shaped moats separating the wall scarp from the crater interior.An analysis of the d/D ratio for Ceres craters shows that, like lunar FFCs, the Ceres FFCs are anomalously shallow. This suggests that the fractures on the floor of Ceres FFCs may be due the intrusion of a low-density material below the craters that is uplifting their floors. While on the Moon and Mars the intrusive material is hypothesized

  19. Lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, L. L.; Sonett, C. P.; Srnka, L. J.

    1984-01-01

    Aspects of lunar paleomagnetic and electromagnetic sounding results which appear inconsistent with the hypothesis that an ancient core dynamo was the dominant source of the observed crustal magnetism are discussed. Evidence is summarized involving a correlation between observed magnetic anomalies and ejecta blankets from impact events which indicates the possible importance of local mechanisms involving meteoroid impact processes in generating strong magnetic fields at the lunar surface. A reply is given to the latter argument which also presents recent evidence of a lunar iron core.

  20. The enigma of lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, L. L.

    1981-01-01

    Current understandings of the nature and probable origin of lunar magnetism are surveyed. Results of examinations of returned lunar samples are discussed which reveal the main carrier of the observed natural remanent magnetization to be iron, occasionally alloyed with nickel and cobalt, but do not distinguish between thermoremanent and shock remanent origins, and surface magnetometer data is presented, which indicates small-scale magnetic fields with a wide range of field intensities implying localized, near-surface sources. A detailed examination is presented of orbital magnetometer and charged particle data concerning the geologic nature and origin of magnetic anomaly sources and the directional properties of the magnetization, which exhibit a random distribution except for a depletion in the north-south direction. A lunar magnetization survey with global coverage provided by a polar orbiting satellite is suggested as a means of placing stronger constraints on the origin of lunar crustal magnetization.

  1. Some Studies of Terrestrial Impact Cratering Rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jetsu L.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In 1984, a 28.4 Myr periodicity was detected in the ages of terrestrial impact craters and a 26 Myr periodicity in the epochs of mass extinctions of species. Periodic comet showers from the Oort cloud seemed to cause catastrophic events linked to mass extinctions of species. Our first study revealed that the only significant detected periodicity is the “human signal” caused by the rounding of these data into integer numbers. The second study confirmed that the original 28.4 Myr periodicity detection was not significant. The third study revealed that the quality and the quantity of the currently available data would allow detection of real periodicity only if all impacts have been periodic, which cannot be the case. The detection of a periodic signal, if present, requires that more craters should be discovered and the accuracy of age estimates improved. If we sometimes will be able to find the difference between the craters caused by asteroid and comet impacts, the aperiodic component could be removed. The lunar impact craters may eventually provide the required supplementary data.

  2. Lunar Plants

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We present an open design for a first plant growth module on the Moon (LPX). The primary science goal of lunar habitat is to investigate germination and initial...

  3. Lunar Flashlight

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Lunar Flashlight (LF) is an innovative cubesat mission sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division to be launched on the Space Launch System...

  4. Nevada Test Site craters used for astronaut training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, H. J.

    1977-01-01

    Craters produced by chemical and nuclear explosives at the Nevada Test Site were used to train astronauts before their lunar missions. The craters have characteristics suitable for reconnaissance-type field investigations. The Schooner test produced a crater about 300 m across and excavated more than 72 m of stratigraphic section deposited in a fairly regular fashion so that systematic observations yield systematic results. Other features common on the moon, such as secondary craters and glass-coated rocks, are present at Schooner crater. Smaller explosive tests on Buckboard Mesa excavated rocks from three horizontal alteration zones within basalt flows so that the original sequence of the zones could be determined. One crater illustrated the characteristics of craters formed across vertical boundaries between rock units. Although the exercises at the Nevada Test Site were only a small part of the training of the astronauts, voice transcripts of Apollo missions 14, 16, and 17 show that the exercises contributed to astronaut performance on the moon.

  5. Cratering on Small Bodies: Lessons from Eros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C. R.

    2003-01-01

    from interactions with main-belt asteroids in its Earth-approaching orbit, almost all of its cratering history must have occurred in the main belt, where it almost certainly lived for a long time and where the impact rate is orders-of-magnitude greater than in its present environment. Thus NEAR Shoemaker's year-long orbital studies of Eros should be representative of asteroidal cratering processes for medium-small (tens of km) asteroids generally - with the caveat that small bodies are made of many different materials, ranging from metal to whatever comets are made of, and we already have indications from NEAR Shoemaker's flyby of Mathilde that responses to impacts on such bodies may be very different from what is observed on rocky Eros. As viewed from a distance, the saturated crater fields on Eros look similar to those on Ida and, indeed, on the Moon itself. It is at smaller scales, never before studied for asteroids, where Eros# appearance diverted dramatically from expectations based on modest extrapolations from our lunar experience. Flat, level "ponds" are common on Eros and were certainly not expected. Most striking, however, is the virtual absence of small-scale (cm to meters) craters and the dominance of rocks and boulders on the surface. Apparently many of the larger boulders were distributed about Eros by the comparatively recent impact that produced the Shoemaker crater, providing insight to ejecta processes on small bodies. But, assuming that Shoemaker didn't form practically "yesterday", the dearth of small craters is extremely puzzling. Some researchers have attempted to explain the shortage by traditional geological processes; I will explain why these fail and we are being forced to turn to explanations involving shortages of small projectiles in the asteroid belt (e.g. due to the Yarkovsky Effect). Even if projectile shortages help to explain the data, other non-lunar processes must be at work, as well. Mass-wasting processes are evident on large

  6. Lunar regolith stratigraphy analysis based on the simulation of lunar penetrating radar signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Jialong; Xu, Yi; Zhang, Xiaoping; Tang, Zesheng

    2017-11-01

    The thickness of lunar regolith is an important index of evaluating the quantity of lunar resources such as 3He and relative geologic ages. Lunar penetrating radar (LPR) experiment of Chang'E-3 mission provided an opportunity of in situ lunar subsurface structure measurement in the northern mare imbrium area. However, prior work on analyzing LPR data obtained quite different conclusions of lunar regolith structure mainly because of the missing of clear interface reflectors in radar image. In this paper, we utilized finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method and three models of regolith structures with different rock density, number of layers, shapes of interfaces, and etc. to simulate the LPR signals for the interpretation of radar image. The simulation results demonstrate that the scattering signals caused by numerous buried rocks in the regolith can mask the horizontal reflectors, and the die-out of radar echo does not indicate the bottom of lunar regolith layer and data processing such as migration method could recover some of the subsurface information but also result in fake signals. Based on analysis of simulation results, we conclude that LPR results uncover the subsurface layered structure containing the rework zone with multiple ejecta blankets of small crater, the ejecta blanket of Chang'E-3 crater, and the transition zone and estimate the thickness of the detected layer is about 3.25 m.

  7. Experimental impact crater morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufresne, A.; Poelchau, M. H.; Hoerth, T.; Schaefer, F.; Thoma, K.; Deutsch, A.; Kenkmann, T.

    2012-04-01

    The research group MEMIN (Multidisciplinary Experimental and Impact Modelling Research Network) is conducting impact experiments into porous sandstones, examining, among other parameters, the influence of target pore-space saturation with water, and projectile velocity, density and mass, on the cratering process. The high-velocity (2.5-7.8 km/s) impact experiments were carried out at the two-stage light-gas gun facilities of the Fraunhofer Institute EMI (Germany) using steel, iron meteorite (Campo del Cielo IAB), and aluminium projectiles with Seeberg Sandstone as targets. The primary objectives of this study within MEMIN are to provide detailed morphometric data of the experimental craters, and to identify trends and characteristics specific to a given impact parameter. Generally, all craters, regardless of impact conditions, have an inner depression within a highly fragile, white-coloured centre, an outer spallation (i.e. tensile failure) zone, and areas of arrested spallation (i.e. spall fragments that were not completely dislodged from the target) at the crater rim. Within this general morphological framework, distinct trends and differences in crater dimensions and morphological characteristics are identified. With increasing impact velocity, the volume of craters in dry targets increases by a factor of ~4 when doubling velocity. At identical impact conditions (steel projectiles, ~5km/s), craters in dry and wet sandstone targets differ significantly in that "wet" craters are up to 76% larger in volume, have depth-diameter ratios generally below 0.19 (whereas dry craters are almost consistently above this value) at significantly larger diameters, and their spallation zone morphologies show very different characteristics. In dry craters, the spall zone surfaces dip evenly at 10-20° towards the crater centre. In wet craters, on the other hand, they consist of slightly convex slopes of 10-35° adjacent to the inner depression, and of sub-horizontal tensile

  8. Far-Ultraviolet Characteristics of Lunar Swirls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrix, A. R.; Greathouse, T. K.; Retherford, K. D.; Mandt, K. E.; Gladstone, G. R.; Kaufmann, D. E.; Hurley, D. M.; Feldman, P. D.; Pryor, W. R.; Bullock, M. A.; Stern, S. A.

    2015-10-01

    Lunar swirls are often described as bright sinuous regions of the Moon that appear to be relatively immature -i.e. less space-weathered than surrounding regions. Swirls are mysterious but seem to be linked to the interaction between the solar wind and the lunar magnetic anomalies (e.g., [1]). Commonly-studied swirls include Mare Ingenii (in a mare- highlands boundary region), Reiner Gamma (in a mare region), and Gerasimovich (in a highlands region). Swirls are known to be surface features: they have no expression at radar depths [2], exhibit no topography, and craters on swirls that penetrate the bright surface terrain reveal underlying dark material [3].

  9. Lunar Impact Flash Locations from NASA's Lunar Impact Monitoring Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, D. E.; Suggs, R. M.; Kupferschmidt, L.; Feldman, J.

    2015-01-01

    Meteoroids are small, natural bodies traveling through space, fragments from comets, asteroids, and impact debris from planets. Unlike the Earth, which has an atmosphere that slows, ablates, and disintegrates most meteoroids before they reach the ground, the Moon has little-to-no atmosphere to prevent meteoroids from impacting the lunar surface. Upon impact, the meteoroid's kinetic energy is partitioned into crater excavation, seismic wave production, and the generation of a debris plume. A flash of light associated with the plume is detectable by instruments on Earth. Following the initial observation of a probable Taurid impact flash on the Moon in November 2005,1 the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) began a routine monitoring program to observe the Moon for meteoroid impact flashes in early 2006, resulting in the observation of over 330 impacts to date. The main objective of the MEO is to characterize the meteoroid environment for application to spacecraft engineering and operations. The Lunar Impact Monitoring Program provides information about the meteoroid flux in near-Earth space in a size range-tens of grams to a few kilograms-difficult to measure with statistical significance by other means. A bright impact flash detected by the program in March 2013 brought into focus the importance of determining the impact flash location. Prior to this time, the location was estimated to the nearest half-degree by visually comparing the impact imagery to maps of the Moon. Better accuracy was not needed because meteoroid flux calculations did not require high-accuracy impact locations. But such a bright event was thought to have produced a fresh crater detectable from lunar orbit by the NASA spacecraft Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The idea of linking the observation of an impact flash with its crater was an appealing one, as it would validate NASA photometric calculations and crater scaling laws developed from hypervelocity gun testing. This idea was

  10. Floor-Fractured Craters on Ceres and Implications for Internal Composition and Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, D.; Schenk, P.; Scully, J. E. C.; Park, R. S.; Preusker, F.; Raymond, C. A.; Russell, C. T.

    2016-12-01

    Several of the impact craters on Ceres have patterns of fractures on their floors. These fractures appear similar to those found within a class of lunar craters referred to as Floor-Fractured Craters (FFCs) [1]. Lunar FFCs are characterized by anomalously shallow floors cut by radial, concentric, and/or polygonal fractures, and have been classified into crater classes, Types 1 through 6, based on their morphometric properties [1,2]. Models for their formation have included both floor uplift due to magmatic intrusion below the crater or floor shallowing due to viscous relaxation. However, the observation that the depth versus diameter (d/D) relationship of the FFCs is distinctly shallower than the same association for other lunar craters supports the hypotheses that the floor fractures form due to shallow magmatic intrusion under the crater [2]. We have cataloged the Ceres FFCs according to the classification scheme designed for the Moon. Large (>50 km) Ceres FFCs are most consistent with Type 1 lunar FFCs, having deep floors, central peaks, wall terraces, and radial and/or concentric fractures. Smaller craters on Ceres are more consistent with Type 4 lunar FFCs, having less-pronounced floor fractures and v-shaped moats separating the wall scarp from the crater interior. An analysis of the d/D ratio for Ceres craters shows that, like lunar FFCs, the Ceres FFCs are anomalously shallow. This suggests that the fractures on the floor of Ceres FFCs may be due the intrusion of a low-density material below the craters that is uplifting their floors. While on the Moon the intrusive material is hypothesized to be silicate magma, this is unlikely for Ceres. However, a cryovolcanic extrusive edifice has been identified on Ceres [3], suggesting that cryomagmatic intrusions could be responsible for the formation of the Ceres FFCs. References: [1] Schultz P. (1976) Moon, 15, 241-273 [2] Jozwiak L.M. et al (2015) JGR 117, doi: 10.1029/2012JE004134 [3] Ruesch O. et al (2016

  11. Centrifuge Impact Cratering Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, R. M.; Housen, K. R.; Bjorkman, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    The kinematics of crater growth, impact induced target flow fields and the generation of impact melt were determined. The feasibility of using scaling relationships for impact melt and crater dimensions to determine impactor size and velocity was studied. It is concluded that a coupling parameter determines both the quantity of melt and the crater dimensions for impact velocities greater than 10km/s. As a result impactor radius, a, or velocity, U cannot be determined individually, but only as a product in the form of a coupling parameter, delta U micron. The melt volume and crater volume scaling relations were applied to Brent crater. The transport of melt and the validity of the melt volume scaling relations are examined.

  12. Buried Craters of Utopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-365, 19 May 2003Beneath the northern plains of Mars are numerous buried meteor impact craters. One of the most heavily-cratered areas, although buried, occurs in Utopia Planitia, as shown in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image. The history of Mars is complex; impact craters provide a tool by which to understand some of that history. In this case, a very ancient, cratered surface was thinly-buried by younger material that is not cratered at all. This area is near 48.1oN, 228.2oW; less than 180 km (112 mi) west of the Viking 2 lander site. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  13. Mineralogical Diversity and Geology of Humboldt Crater Derived Using Moon Mineralogy Mapper Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinot, M.; Besse, S.; Flahaut, J.; Quantin-Nataf, C.; Lozac'h, L.; van Westrenen, W.

    2018-02-01

    Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) spectroscopic data and high-resolution imagery data sets were used to study the mineralogy and geology of the 207 km diameter Humboldt crater. Analyses of M3 data, using a custom-made method for M3 spectra continuum removal and spectral parameters calculation, reveal multiple pure crystalline plagioclase detections within the Humboldt crater central peak complex, hinting at its crustal origin. However, olivine, spinel, and glass are observed in the crater walls and rims, suggesting these minerals derive from shallower levels than the plagioclase of the central peak complex. High-calcium pyroxenes are detected in association with volcanic deposits emplaced on the crater's floor. Geologic mapping was performed, and the age of Humboldt crater's units was estimated from crater counts. Results suggest that volcanic activity within this floor-fractured crater spanned over a billion years. The felsic mineralogy of the central peak complex region, which presumably excavated deeper material, and the shallow mafic minerals (olivine and spinel) detected in Humboldt crater walls and rim are not in accordance with the general view of the structure of the lunar crust. Our observations can be explained by the presence of a mafic pluton emplaced in the anorthositic crust prior to the Humboldt-forming impact event. Alternatively, the excavation of Australe basin ejecta could explain the observed mineralogical detections. This highlights the importance of detailed combined mineralogical and geological remote sensing studies to assess the heterogeneity of the lunar crust.

  14. Mineralogical Diversity and Geology of Humboldt Crater Derived Using Moon Mineralogy Mapper Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinot, M; Besse, S; Flahaut, J; Quantin-Nataf, C; Lozac'h, L; van Westrenen, W

    2018-02-01

    Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M 3 ) spectroscopic data and high-resolution imagery data sets were used to study the mineralogy and geology of the 207 km diameter Humboldt crater. Analyses of M 3 data, using a custom-made method for M 3 spectra continuum removal and spectral parameters calculation, reveal multiple pure crystalline plagioclase detections within the Humboldt crater central peak complex, hinting at its crustal origin. However, olivine, spinel, and glass are observed in the crater walls and rims, suggesting these minerals derive from shallower levels than the plagioclase of the central peak complex. High-calcium pyroxenes are detected in association with volcanic deposits emplaced on the crater's floor. Geologic mapping was performed, and the age of Humboldt crater's units was estimated from crater counts. Results suggest that volcanic activity within this floor-fractured crater spanned over a billion years. The felsic mineralogy of the central peak complex region, which presumably excavated deeper material, and the shallow mafic minerals (olivine and spinel) detected in Humboldt crater walls and rim are not in accordance with the general view of the structure of the lunar crust. Our observations can be explained by the presence of a mafic pluton emplaced in the anorthositic crust prior to the Humboldt-forming impact event. Alternatively, the excavation of Australe basin ejecta could explain the observed mineralogical detections. This highlights the importance of detailed combined mineralogical and geological remote sensing studies to assess the heterogeneity of the lunar crust.

  15. Mass movement on Vesta at steep scarps and crater rims

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohn, K.; Jaumann, R.; Otto, K.; Hoogenboom, T.; Wagner, R.; Buczkowski, D. L.; Garry, B.; Williams, D. A.; Yingst, R. A.; Scully, J.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Kneissl, T.; Schmedemann, N.; Kersten, E.; Stephan, K.; Matz, K.-D.; Pieters, C. M.; Preusker, F.; Roatsch, T.; Schenk, P.; Russell, C. T.; Raymond, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Quadrangles Av-11 and Av-12 on Vesta are located at the northern rim of the giant Rheasilvia south polar impact basin. The primary geologic units in Av-11 and Av-12 include material from the Rheasilvia impact basin formation, smooth material and different types of impact crater structures (such as bimodal craters, dark and bright crater ray material and dark ejecta material). Av-11 and Av-12 exhibit almost the full range of mass wasting features observed on Vesta, such as slump blocks, spur-and-gully morphologies and landslides within craters. Processes of collapse, slope instability and seismically triggered events force material to slump down crater walls or scarps and produce landslides or rotational slump blocks. The spur-and-gully morphology that is known to form on Mars is also observed on Vesta; however, on Vesta this morphology formed under dry conditions.

  16. Mass Movement on Vesta at Steep Scarps and Crater Rims

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohn, K.; Jaumann, R.; Otto, K.; Hoogenboom, T.; Wagner, R.; Buczkowski, D. L.; Garry, B.; Williams, D. A.; Yingst, R. A.; Scully, J.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Quadrangles Av-11 and Av-12 on Vesta are located at the northern rim of the giant Rheasilvia south polar impact basin. The primary geologic units in Av-11 and Av-12 include material from the Rheasilvia impact basin formation, smooth material and different types of impact crater structures (such as bimodal craters, dark and bright crater ray material and dark ejecta material). Av-11 and Av-12 exhibit almost the full range of mass wasting features observed on Vesta, such as slump blocks, spur-and-gully morphologies and landslides within craters. Processes of collapse, slope instability and seismically triggered events force material to slump down crater walls or scarps and produce landslides or rotational slump blocks. The spur-and-gully morphology that is known to form on Mars is also observed on Vesta; however, on Vesta this morphology formed under dry conditions.

  17. New evidence for surface water ice in small-scale cold traps and in three large craters at the north polar region of Mercury from the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deutsch, Ariel N.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Head, James W.

    2017-09-01

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) measured surface reflectance, rs, at 1064 nm. On Mercury, most water-ice deposits have anomalously low rs values indicative of an insulating layer beneath which ice is buried. Previous detections of surface water ice (without an insulating layer) were limited to seven possible craters. Here we map rs in three additional permanently shadowed craters that host radar-bright deposits. Each crater has a mean rs value >0.3, suggesting that water ice is exposed at the surface without an overlying insulating layer. We also identify small-scale cold traps (rs >0.3 and permanent shadows have biannual maximum surface temperatures <100 K. We suggest that a substantial amount of Mercury's water ice is not confined to large craters but exists within microcold traps, within rough patches and intercrater terrain.

  18. Crater in Utopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    23 March 2004 Craters of the martian northern plains tend to be somewhat shallow because material has filled them in. Their ejecta blankets, too, are often covered by younger materials. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example--a crater in Utopia Planitia near 43.7oN, 227.3oW. Erosion has roughened some of the surfaces of the material that filled the crater and covered its ejecta deposit. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  19. Polygons on Crater Floor

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-357, 11 May 2003This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows a pattern of polygons on the floor of a northern plains impact crater. These landforms are common on crater floors at high latitudes on Mars. Similar polygons occur in the arctic and antarctic regions of Earth, where they indicate the presence and freeze-thaw cycling of ground ice. Whether the polygons on Mars also indicate water ice in the ground is uncertain. The image is located in a crater at 64.8oN, 292.7oW. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  20. The isostatic state of Mead crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.; Konopliv, A. S.; Rappaport, N. J.; Sjogren, W. L.; Grimm, R. E.; Ford, P. G.

    1994-01-01

    We have analyzed high-resolution Magellan Doppler tracking data over Mead crater, using both line-of-sight and spherical harmonic methods, and have found a negative gravity anomaly of about 4-5 mgal (at spacecraft altitude, 182 km). This is consistent with no isostatic compensation of the present topography; the uncertainty in the analysis allows perhaps as much as 30% compensation at shallow dpeths (approximately 25 km). This is similar to observations of large craters on Earth, which are not generally compensated, but contrasts with at least some lunar basins which are inferred to have large Moho uplifts and corresponding positive Bouguer anomalies. An uncompensated load of this size requires a lithosphere with an effective elastic lithosphere thickness greater than 30 km. In order for the crust-mantle boundary not to have participated in the deformation associated with the collapse of the transient cavity during the creation of the crater, the yield strength near the top of the mantle must have been significantly higher on Earth and Venus than on the Moon at the time of basin formation. This might be due to increased strength against frictional sliding at the higher confining pressures within the larger planets. Alternatively, the thinner crusts of Earth and Venus compared to that of the Moon may result in higher creep strength of the upper mantle at shallower depths.

  1. Global survey of lunar wrinkle ridge formation times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Z.; Michael, G. G.; Di, K.; Liu, J.

    2017-11-01

    Wrinkle ridges are a common feature of the lunar maria and record subsequent contraction of mare infill. Constraining the timing of wrinkle ridge formation from crater counts is challenging because they have limited areal extent and it is difficult to determine whether superposed craters post-date ridge formation or have alternatively been uplifted by the deformation. Some wrinkle ridges do allow determination to be made. This is possible where a ridge shows a sufficiently steep boundary or scarp that can be identified as deforming an intersecting crater or the crater obliterates the relief of the ridge. Such boundaries constitute only a small fraction of lunar wrinkle ridge structures yet they are sufficiently numerous to enable us to obtain statistically significant crater counts over systems of structurally related wrinkle ridges. We carried out a global mapping of mare wrinkle ridges, identifying appropriate boundaries for crater identification, and mapping superposed craters. Selected groups of ridges were analyzed using the buffered crater counting method. We found that, except for the ridges in mare Tranquilitatis, the ridge groups formed with average ages between 3.5 and 3.1 Ga ago, or 100-650 Ma after the oldest observable erupted basalts where they are located. We interpret these results to suggest that local stresses from loading by basalt fill are the principal agent responsible for the formation of lunar wrinkle ridges, as others have proposed. We find a markedly longer interval before wrinkle ridge formation in Tranquilitatis which likely indicates a different mechanism of stress accumulation at this site.

  2. Mercury's Densely Cratered Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-01-01

    Mariner 10 took this picture (FDS 27465) of the densely cratered surface of Mercury when the spacecraft was 18,200 kilometers (8085 miles) from the planet on March 29. The dark line across top of picture is a 'dropout' of a few TV lines of data. At lower left, a portion of a 61 kilometer (38 mile) crater shows a flow front extending across the crater floor and filling more than half of the crater. The smaller, fresh crater at center is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) in diameter. Craters as small as one kilometer (about one-half mile) across are visible in the picture.The Mariner 10 mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, explored Venus in February 1974 on the way to three encounters with Mercury-in March and September 1974 and in March 1975. The spacecraft took more than 7,000 photos of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and the Moon.Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Northwestern University

  3. Multivariate analyses of crater parameters and the classification of craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal, B. S.; Griffiths, J. C.

    1974-01-01

    Multivariate analyses were performed on certain linear dimensions of six genetic types of craters. A total of 320 craters, consisting of laboratory fluidization craters, craters formed by chemical and nuclear explosives, terrestrial maars and other volcanic craters, and terrestrial meteorite impact craters, authenticated and probable, were analyzed in the first data set in terms of their mean rim crest diameter, mean interior relief, rim height, and mean exterior rim width. The second data set contained an additional 91 terrestrial craters of which 19 were of experimental percussive impact and 28 of volcanic collapse origin, and which was analyzed in terms of mean rim crest diameter, mean interior relief, and rim height. Principal component analyses were performed on the six genetic types of craters. Ninety per cent of the variation in the variables can be accounted for by two components. Ninety-nine per cent of the variation in the craters formed by chemical and nuclear explosives is explained by the first component alone.

  4. Floor-fractured craters on the Moon: an evidence of past intrusive magmatic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorey, C.; Michaut, C.

    2012-12-01

    Floor-fractured lunar craters (FFC's) are a class of craters modified by post impact mechanisms. They are defined by distinctive shallow, often plate-like or convex floors, wide floor moats and radial, concentric and polygonal floor-fractures, suggesting an endogenous process of modification. Two main mechanisms have been proposed to account for such observations : 1) viscous relaxation and 2) spreading of magmatic intrusions at depth below the crater. Here, we propose to test the case of magmatic intrusions. We develop a model for the dynamics of magma spreading below an elastic crust with a crater-like topography and above a rigid horizontal surface. Results show first that the lithostatic pressure increase at the crater rim prevents the intrusion from spreading horizontally giving rise to intrusion thickening and to an uplift of the crater floor. Second, the deformation of the overlying crust exerts a strong control on the intrusion shape, and hence, on the nature of the crater floor uplift. As the deformation can only occur over a minimum flexural wavelength noted Λ, the intrusion shape shows a bell-shaped geometry for crater radius smaller than 3Λ, or a flat top with smooth edges for crater radius larger than 3Λ. For given crustal elastic properties, the crust flexural wavelength increases with the intrusion depth. Therefore, for a large intrusion depth or small crater size, we observe a convex uplift of the crater floor. On the contrary, for a small intrusion depth or large crater size, the crater floor undergoes a piston-like uplift and a circular moat forms just before the rim. The depth of the moat is controlled by the thickening of the crust at the crater rim. On the contrary to viscous relaxation models, our model is thus able to reproduce most of the features of FFC's, including small-scale features. Spreading of a magmatic intrusion at depth can thus be considered as the main endogenous mechanism at the origin of the deformations observed at FFC

  5. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Moon and Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session" Moon and Mercury" included the following reports:Helium Production of Prompt Neutrinos on the Moon; Vapor Deposition and Solar Wind Implantation on Lunar Soil-Grain Surfaces as Comparable Processes; A New Lunar Geologic Mapping Program; Physical Backgrounds to Measure Instantaneous Spin Components of Terrestrial Planets from Earth with Arcsecond Accuracy; Preliminary Findings of a Study of the Lunar Global Megaregolith; Maps Characterizing the Lunar Regolith Maturity; Probable Model of Anomalies in the Polar Regions of Mercury; Parameters of the Maximum of Positive Polarization of the Moon; Database Structure Development for Space Surveying Results by Moon -Zond Program; CM2-type Micrometeoritic Lunar Winds During the Late Heavy Bombardment; A Comparison of Textural and Chemical Features of Spinel Within Lunar Mare Basalts; The Reiner Gamma Formation as Characterized by Earth-based Photometry at Large Phase Angles; The Significance of the Geometries of Linear Graben for the Widths of Shallow Dike Intrusions on the Moon; Lunar Prospector Data, Surface Roughness and IR Thermal Emission of the Moon; The Influence of a Magma Ocean on the Lunar Global Stress Field Due to Tidal Interaction Between the Earth and Moon; Variations of the Mercurian Photometric Relief; A Model of Positive Polarization of Regolith; Ground Truth and Lunar Global Thorium Map Calibration: Are We There Yet?;and Space Weathering of Apollo 16 Sample 62255: Lunar Rocks as Witness Plates for Deciphering Regolith Formation Processes.

  6. Shallow Lunar Seismic Activity and the Current Stress State of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watters, Thomas R.; Weber, Renee C.; Collins, Geoffrey C.; Johnson, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    A vast, global network of more than 3200 lobate thrust fault scarps has been revealed in high resolution Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) images. The fault scarps are very young, less than 50 Ma, based on their small scale and crisp appearance, crosscutting relations with small-diameter impact craters, and rates of infilling of associated small, shallow graben and may be actively forming today. The population of young thrust fault scarps provides a window into the recent stress state of the Moon and offers insight into the origin of global lunar stresses. The distribution of orientations of the fault scarps is non-random, inconsistent with isotropic stresses from late-stage global contraction as the sole source of stress. Modeling shows that tidal stresses contribute significantly to the current stress state of the lunar crust. Tidal stresses (orbital recession and diurnal tides) superimposed on stresses from global contraction result in non-isotropic compressional stress and may produce thrust faults consistent with lobate scarp orientations. At any particular point on the lunar surface, peak compressive stress will be reached at a certain time in the diurnal cycle. Coseismic slip events on currently active thrust faults are expected to be triggered when peak stresses are reached. Analysis of the timing of the 28 the shallow moonquakes recorded by the Apollo seismic network shows that 19 indeed occur when the Moon is closer to apogee, while only 9 shallow events occur when the Moon is closer to perigee. Here we report efforts to refine the model for the current stress state of the Moon by investigating the contribution of polar wander. Progress on relocating the epicentral locations of the shallow moonquakes using an algorithm designed for sparse networks is also reported.

  7. Magmatic intrusions in the lunar crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaut, C.; Thorey, C.

    2015-10-01

    The lunar highlands are very old, with ages covering a timespan between 4.5 to 4.2 Gyr, and probably formed by flotation of light plagioclase minerals on top of the lunar magma ocean. The lunar crust provides thus an invaluable evidence of the geological and magmatic processes occurring in the first times of the terrestrial planets history. According to the last estimates from the GRAIL mission, the lunar primary crust is particularly light and relatively thick [1] This low-density crust acted as a barrier for the dense primary mantle melts. This is particularly evident in the fact that subsequent mare basalts erupted primarily within large impact basin: at least part of the crust must have been removed for the magma to reach the surface. However, the trajectory of the magma from the mantle to the surface is unknown. Using a model of magma emplacement below an elastic overlying layer with a flexural wavelength Λ, we characterize the surface deformations induced by the presence of shallow magmatic intrusions. We demonstrate that, depending on its size, the intrusion can show two different shapes: a bell shape when its radius is smaller than 4 times Λ or a flat top with small bended edges if its radius is larger than 4 times Λ[2]. These characteristic shapes for the intrusion result in characteristic deformations at the surface that also depend on the topography of the layer overlying the intrusion [3].Using this model we provide evidence of the presence of intrusions within the crust of the Moon as surface deformations in the form of low-slope lunar domes and floor-fractured craters. All these geological features have morphologies consistent with models of magma spreading at depth and deforming an overlying elastic layer. Further more,at floor-fractured craters, the deformation is contained within the crater interior, suggesting that the overpressure at the origin of magma ascent and intrusion was less than the pressure due to the weight of the crust removed by

  8. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Crater statistical data. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    The total number of craters within a bin of mean diameter, and the number of craters of each degradational type within that bin are tabulated. Rim-to-rim diameters were measured at arbitrary azimuths for rectified photos or photos taken at vertical incidence (most lunar photos), and at azimuths paralleling a local tangent to the limb for oblique images.

  9. Examining spectral variations in localized lunar dark mantle deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jawin, Erica; Besse, Sebastien; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Sunshine, Jessica; Head, James W.; Mazrouei, Sara

    2015-01-01

    The localized lunar dark mantle deposits (DMDs) in Alphonsus, J. Herschel, and Oppenheimer craters were analyzed using visible-near-infrared spectroscopy data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper. Spectra of these localized DMDs were analyzed for compositional and mineralogical variations within the deposits and were compared with nearby mare basalt units. Spectra of the three localized DMDs exhibited mafic absorption features indicating iron-rich compositions, although the DMDs were spectrally distinct from nearby mare basalts. All of the DMDs contained spectral signatures of glassy materials, suggesting the presence of volcanic glass in varying concentrations across the individual deposits. In addition, the albedo and spectral signatures were variable within the Alphonsus and Oppenheimer crater DMDs, suggesting variable deposit thickness and/or variations in the amount of mixing with the local substrate. Two previously unidentified localized DMDs were discovered to the northeast of Oppenheimer crater. The identification of high concentrations of volcanic glass in multiple localized DMDs in different locations suggests that the distribution of volcanic glass across the lunar surface is much more widespread than has been previously documented. The presence of volcanic glass implies an explosive, vulcanian eruption style for localized DMDs, as this allows volcanic glass to rapidly quench, inhibiting crystallization, compared to the larger hawaiian-style eruptions typical of regional DMD emplacement where black beads indicate a higher degree of crystallization. Improved understanding of the local and global distributions of volcanic glass in lunar DMDs will further constrain lunar degassing and compositional evolution throughout lunar volcanic history.

  10. Craters on comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, J.; Oklay, N.; Marchi, S.; Höfner, S.; Sierks, H.

    2014-07-01

    This paper reviews the observations of crater-like features on cometary nuclei. ''Pits'' have been observed on almost all cometary nuclei but their origin is not fully understood [1,2,3,4]. It is currently assumed that they are created mainly by the cometary activity with a pocket of volatiles erupting under a dust crust, leaving a hole behind. There are, however, other features which cannot be explained in this way and are interpreted alternatively as remnants of impact craters. This work focusses on the second type of pit features: impact craters. We present an in-depth review of what has been observed previously and conclude that two main types of crater morphologies can be observed: ''pit-halo'' and ''sharp pit''. We extend this review by a series of analysis of impact craters on cometary nuclei through different approaches [5]: (1) Probability of impact: We discuss the chances that a Jupiter Family Comet like 9P/Tempel 1 or the target of Rosetta 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko can experience an impact, taking into account the most recent work on the size distribution of small objects in the asteroid Main Belt [6]. (2) Crater morphology from scaling laws: We present the status of scaling laws for impact craters on cometary nuclei [7] and discuss their strengths and limitations when modeling what happens when a rocky projectile hits a very porous material. (3) Numerical experiments: We extend the work on scaling laws by a series of hydrocode impact simulations, using the iSALE shock physics code [8,9,10] for varying surface porosity and impactor velocity (see Figure). (4) Surface processes and evolution: We discuss finally the fate of the projectile and the effects of the impact-induced surface compaction on the activity of the nucleus. To summarize, we find that comets do undergo impacts although the rapid evolution of the surface erases most of the features and make craters difficult to detect. In the case of a collision between a rocky body and a highly porous

  11. Academic Aspects of Lunar Water Resources and Their Relevance to Lunar Protolife

    OpenAIRE

    Green, Jack

    2011-01-01

    Water ice has been discovered on the moon by radar backscatter at the North Pole and by spectrometry at the South Pole in the Cabeus crater with an extrapolated volume for both poles of conservatively 109 metric tons. Various exogenic and endogenic sources of this water have been proposed. This paper focuses on endogenic water sources by fumaroles and hot springs in shadowed polar craters. A survey of theoretical and morphological details supports a volcanic model. Release of water and other ...

  12. RESOLVE: Bridge between early lunar ISRU and science objectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G.; Sanders, G.; Larson, W.; Johnson, K.

    2007-08-01

    THE NEED FOR RESOURCES: When mankind returns to the moon, there will be an aspect of the architecture that will totally change how we explore the solar system. We will take the first steps towards breaking our reliance on Earth supplied consumables by extracting resources from planetary bodies. Our first efforts in this area, known as In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), will be to extract the abundant oxygen found in the lunar regolith. But the "holy grail" of lunar ISRU will be finding an exploitable source of lunar hydrogen. If we can find a source of extractable hydrogen, it would provide a foundation for true independence from Earth. With in-situ hydrogen (or water) and oxygen we can produce many of the major consumables needed to operate a lunar outpost. We would have water to drink, oxygen to breath, as well as rocket propellants and fuel cell reagents to enable extended access and operations on the moon. These items make up a huge percentage of the mass launched from the Earth. Producing them in-situ would significantly reduce the cost of operating a lunar outpost while increasing payload availability for science. PROSPECTING: The Lunar Prospector found evidence of elevated hydrogen at the lunar poles, and measurements made at these locations from the Clementine mission bistatic radar have been interpreted as correlating to water/ice concentrations. At the South Pole, there is reasonably strong correlation between the elevated areas of hydrogen and permanently shadowed craters. However, there is considerable debate on the form and concentration of this hydrogen since the orbiting satellites had limited resolution and their data can be interpreted in different ways. The varying interpretations are based on differing opinions and theories of lunar environment, evolution, and cometary bombardment within the lunar Science community. The only way to truly answer this question from both a Science and resource availability perspective is to go to the lunar poles

  13. Mars Climate History: Insights From Impact Crater Wall Slope Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.

    2018-02-01

    We use the global distribution of the steepest slopes on crater walls derived from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter profile data to assess the magnitudes of degradational processes with latitude, altitude, and time. We independently confirm that Amazonian polar/high-latitude crater slope modification is substantial, but that craters in the low latitudes have essentially escaped significant slope modification since the Early Hesperian. We find that the total amount of crater wall degradation in the Late Noachian is very small in comparison to the circumpolar regions in the Late Amazonian, an observation that we interpret to mean that the Late Noachian climate was not characterized by persistent and continuous warm and wet conditions. A confirmed elevational zonality in degradation in the Early Hesperian is interpreted to mean that the atmosphere was denser than today.

  14. Photometric Lunar Surface Reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nefian, Ara V.; Alexandrov, Oleg; Morattlo, Zachary; Kim, Taemin; Beyer, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate photometric reconstruction of the Lunar surface is important in the context of upcoming NASA robotic missions to the Moon and in giving a more accurate understanding of the Lunar soil composition. This paper describes a novel approach for joint estimation of Lunar albedo, camera exposure time, and photometric parameters that utilizes an accurate Lunar-Lambertian reflectance model and previously derived Lunar topography of the area visualized during the Apollo missions. The method introduced here is used in creating the largest Lunar albedo map (16% of the Lunar surface) at the resolution of 10 meters/pixel.

  15. Population characteristics of submicrometer-sized craters on regolith particles from asteroid Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Toru; Hasegawa, S.; Nakao, S.; Sakai, M.; Yurimoto, H.

    2018-03-01

    We investigated impact crater structures on regolith particles from asteroid Itokawa using scanning electron microscopy. We observed the surfaces of 51 Itokawa particles, ranging from 15 μm to 240 μm in size. Craters with average diameters ranging from 10 nm to 2.8 μm were identified on 13 Itokawa particles larger than 80 μm. We examined the abundance, spatial distribution, and morphology of approximately 900 craters on six Itokawa particles. Craters with sizes in excess of 200 nm are widely dispersed, with spatial densities from 2.6 μm2 to 4.5 μm2; a fraction of the craters was locally concentrated with a density of 0.1 μm2. The fractal dimension of the cumulative crater diameters ranges from 1.3 to 2.3. Craters of several tens of nanometers in diameter exhibit pit and surrounding rim structures. Craters of more than 100 nm in diameter commonly have melted residue at their bottom. These morphologies are similar to those of submicrometer-sized craters on lunar regolith. We estimated the impactor flux on Itokawa regolith-forming craters, assuming that the craters were accumulated during direct exposure to the space environment for 102 to 104 yr. The range of impactor flux onto Itokawa particles is estimated to be at least one order of magnitude higher than the interplanetary dust flux and comparable to the secondary impact flux on the Moon. This indicates that secondary ejecta impacts are probably the dominant cratering process in the submicrometer range on Itokawa regolith particles, as well as on the lunar surface. We demonstrate that secondary submicrometer craters can be produced anywhere in centimeter- to meter-sized depressions on Itokawa's surface through primary interplanetary dust impacts. If the surface unevenness on centimeter to meter scales is a significant factor determining the abundance of submicrometer secondary cratering, the secondary impact flux could be independent of the overall shapes or sizes of celestial bodies, and the secondary

  16. Hypervelocity impact cratering calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, D. E.; Moises, H.

    1971-01-01

    A summary is presented of prediction calculations on the mechanisms involved in hypervelocity impact cratering and response of earth media. Considered are: (1) a one-gram lithium-magnesium alloys impacting basalt normally at 6.4 km/sec, and (2) a large terrestrial impact corresponding to that of Sierra Madera.

  17. Remote detection of magmatic water in Bullialdus crater on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klima, Rachel L.; Cahill, John; Hagerty, Justin J.; Lawrence, David

    2013-01-01

    Once considered dry compared with Earth, laboratory analyses of igneous components of lunar samples have suggested that the Moon’s interior is not entirely anhydrous. Water and hydroxyl have also been detected from orbit on the lunar surface, but these have been attributed to nonindigenous sources, such as interactions with the solar wind. Magmatic lunar volatiles—evidence for water indigenous to the lunar interior—have not previously been detected remotely. Here we analyse spectroscopic data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) and report that the central peak of Bullialdus Crater is significantly enhanced in hydroxyl relative to its surroundings. We suggest that the strong and localized hydroxyl absorption features are inconsistent with a surficial origin. Instead, they are consistent with hydroxyl bound to magmatic minerals that were excavated from depth by the impact that formed Bullialdus Crater. Furthermore, estimates of thorium concentration in the central peak using data from the Lunar Prospector orbiter indicate an enhancement in incompatible elements, in contrast to the compositions of water-bearing lunar samples. We suggest that the hydroxyl-bearing material was excavated from a magmatic source that is distinct from that of samples analysed thus far.

  18. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) instrument overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, M.S.; Brylow, S.M.; Tschimmel, M.; Humm, D.; Lawrence, S.J.; Thomas, P.C.; Denevi, B.W.; Bowman-Cisneros, E.; Zerr, J.; Ravine, M.A.; Caplinger, M.A.; Ghaemi, F.T.; Schaffner, J.A.; Malin, M.C.; Mahanti, P.; Bartels, A.; Anderson, J.; Tran, T.N.; Eliason, E.M.; McEwen, A.S.; Turtle, E.; Jolliff, B.L.; Hiesinger, H.

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) are on the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera (100 and 400 m/pixel visible and UV, respectively), while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers (0.5 m/pixel). The primary mission of LRO is to obtain measurements of the Moon that will enable future lunar human exploration. The overarching goals of the LROC investigation include landing site identification and certification, mapping of permanently polar shadowed and sunlit regions, meter-scale mapping of polar regions, global multispectral imaging, a global morphology base map, characterization of regolith properties, and determination of current impact hazards.

  19. New insight into lunar impact melt mobility from the LRO camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Veronica J.; Tornabene, Livio L.; Keszthelyi, Laszlo P.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Hawke, B. Ray; Giguere, Thomas A.; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Garry, William B.; Rizk, Bashar; Caudill, C.M.; Gaddis, Lisa R.; van der Bogert, Carolyn H.

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is systematically imaging impact melt deposits in and around lunar craters at meter and sub-meter scales. These images reveal that lunar impact melts, although morphologically similar to terrestrial lava flows of similar size, exhibit distinctive features (e.g., erosional channels). Although generated in a single rapid event, the post-impact mobility and morphology of lunar impact melts is surprisingly complex. We present evidence for multi-stage influx of impact melt into flow lobes and crater floor ponds. Our volume and cooling time estimates for the post-emplacement melt movements noted in LROC images suggest that new flows can emerge from melt ponds an extended time period after the impact event.

  20. Regolith Formation Rates and Evolution from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayne, P. O.; Ghent, R. R.; Bandfield, J. L.; Vasavada, A. R.; Williams, J. P.; Siegler, M. A.; Lucey, P. G.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Elder, C. M.; Paige, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Fragmentation and overturn of lunar surface materials produces a layer of regolith, which increases in thickness through time. Experiments on the lunar surface during the Apollo era, combined with remote sensing, found that the upper 10's of cm of regolith exhibit a rapid increase in density and thermal conductivity with depth. This is interpreted to be the signature of impact gardening, which operates most rapidly in the uppermost layers. Gravity data from the GRAIL mission showed that impacts have also extensively fractured the deeper crust. The breakdown and mixing of crustal materials is therefore a central process to lunar evolution and must be understood in order to interpret compositional information from remote sensing and sample analysis. Recently, thermal infrared data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Diviner radiometer were used to provide the first remote observational constraints on the rate of ejecta breakdown around craters L., Campbell, B. A., Allen, C. C., Carter, L. M., & Paige, D. A. (2014). Constraints on the recent rate of lunar ejecta breakdown and implications for crater ages. Geology, 42(12), 1059-1062.

  1. Drilling Automation Tests At A Lunar/Mars Analog Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B.; Cannon, H.; Hanagud, S.; Lee, P.; Paulsen, G.

    2006-01-01

    Future in-situ lunar/martian resource utilization and characterization, as well as the scientific search for life on Mars, will require access to the subsurface and hence drilling. Drilling on Earth is hard - an art form more than an engineering discipline. The limited mass, energy and manpower in planetary drilling situations makes application of terrestrial drilling techniques problematic. The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project is developing drilling automation and robotics for projected use in missions to the Moon and Mars in the 2011-15 period. This has been tested recently, drilling in permafrost at a lunar/martian analog site (Haughton Crater, Devon Island, Canada).

  2. Lunar Flashlight and Other Lunar Cubesats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara

    2017-01-01

    Water is a human-exploitable resource. Lunar Flashlight is a Cubesat mission to detect and map lunar surface ice in permanently-shadowed regions of the lunar south pole. EM-1 will carry 13 Cubesat-class missions to further smallsat science and exploration capabilities; much room to infuse LEO cubesat methodology, models, and technology. Exploring the value of concurrent measurements to measure dynamical processes of water sources and sinks.

  3. Lunar South Pole Illumination: Review, Reassessment, and Power System Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fincannon, James

    2007-01-01

    This paper reviews past analyses and research related to lunar south pole illumination and presents results of independent illumination analyses using an analytical tool and a radar digital elevation model. The analysis tool enables assessment at most locations near the lunar poles for any time and any year. Average illumination fraction, energy storage duration, solar/horizon terrain elevation profiles and illumination fraction profiles are presented for various highly illuminated sites which have been identified for manned or unmanned operations. The format of the data can be used by power system designers to develop mass optimized solar and energy storage systems. Data are presented for the worse case lunar day (a critical power planning bottleneck) as well as three lunar days during lunar south pole winter. The main site under consideration by present lunar mission planners (on the Crater Shackleton rim) is shown to have, for the worse case lunar day, a 0.71 average illumination fraction and 73 to 117 hours required for energy storage (depending on power system type). Linking other sites and including towers at either site are shown to not completely eliminate the need for energy storage.

  4. SMART-1 - the lunar adventure begins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-08-01

    preparation for future lunar and planetary exploration, we need to find resources and landing sites.” So, there are many unsolved questions about the Moon, even though six NASA Apollo missions and three unmanned Soviet spacecraft have landed on it and brought back rock samples. The far side of the Moon --the one that never faces Earth-- and the polar regions remain fairly unexplored. The existence of water on the Moon has also never been confirmed, although two orbiters in the 1990s found indirect evidence. We are not even sure how the Moon was formed. According to the most accepted theory, 4500 million years ago an asteroid the size of Mars collided with our planet, and the vapourised debris that went into space condensed to form the Moon. SMART-1 will map the Moon's topography, as well as the surface distribution of minerals such as pyroxenes, olivines, and feldspars. Also, an X-ray detector will identify key chemical elements in the lunar surface. These data will allow scientists to reconstruct the geological evolution of the Moon, and to search for traces of the impact with the giant asteroid. If the collision theory is right, the Moon should contain less iron than the Earth, in proportion to lighter elements such as magnesium and aluminium. By gauging the relative amounts of chemical elements comprehensively for the very first time, SMART-1 can make a significant contribution in resolving this issue. As for water, if it exists, it must be in the form of ice in places always hidden from the Sun. In such places, the temperature will never rise above -170ºC. Dark places like that could exist in the bottoms of small craters in the polar regions. Peering into these craters is maybe the trickiest task that the SMART-1 scientists have set themselves. They will look for the infrared signature of water- ice. It will be difficult because no direct light falls in those areas, but rays from nearby crater rims, catching the sunshine, may light the ice sufficiently for SMART-1

  5. Moon 101: Introducing Students to Lunar Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaner, A. J.; Shipp, S. S.; Allen, J. S.; Kring, D. A.

    2011-12-01

    Moon 101 is designed with the purpose of familiarizing students with lunar geology and exploration. Armed with guiding questions, students read articles covering various lunar science topics and browse images from past and current lunar missions to familiarize themselves with available lunar data sets. Moon 101 was originally created for high school students preparing to conduct open-inquiry, lunar research. Most high school students' knowledge of lunar science is limited to lunar phases and tides, and their knowledge of lunar exploration is close to non-existent. Moon 101 provides a summary of the state of knowledge of the Moon's formation and evolution, and the exploration that has helped inform the lunar science community. Though designed for high school students, Moon 101 is highly appropriate for the undergraduate classroom, especially at the introductory level where resources for teaching lunar science are scarce. Moon 101 is comprised of two sections covering lunar science (formation and geologic evolution of the Moon) and one section covering lunar exploration. Students read information on the formation and geologic evolution of the Moon from sources such as the Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD) website and the USGS professional paper A Geologic History of the Moon by Wilhelms. While these resources are not peer-reviewed journals, the information is presented at a level more advanced than articles from newspapers and popular science magazines. This ensures that the language is accessible to students who do not have a strong lunar/planetary science background, or a strong science background in general. Formation readings include information on older and current formation hypotheses, including the Giant Impact Hypothesis, the Magma Ocean hypothesis, and the age of the lunar crust. Lunar evolution articles describe ideas such as the Late Heavy Bombardment and geologic processes such as volcanism and impact cratering. After reading the articles

  6. LADEE LUNAR DUST EXPERIMENT

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This archive bundle includes data taken by the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) instrument aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft....

  7. Endogenous Lunar Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Liu, Y.; Barnes, J. J.; Anand, M.; Boyce, J. W.; Burney, D.; Day, J. M. D.; Elardo, S. M.; Hui, H.; Klima, R. L.; Magna, T.; Ni, P.; Steenstra, E.; Tartèse, R.; Vander Kaaden, K. E.

    2018-04-01

    This abstract discusses numerous outstanding questions on the topic of endogenous lunar volatiles that will need to be addressed in the coming years. Although substantial insights into endogenous lunar volatiles have been gained, more work remains.

  8. Critical Robotic Lunar Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plescia, J. B.

    2018-04-01

    Perhaps the most critical missions to understanding lunar history are in situ dating and network missions. These would constrain the volcanic and thermal history and interior structure. These data would better constrain lunar evolution models.

  9. Crater Highlands, Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), flown aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in February 2000, acquired elevation measurements for nearly all of Earth's landmass between 60oN and 56oS latitudes. For many areas of the world SRTM data provide the first detailed three-dimensional observation of landforms at regional scales. SRTM data were used to generate this view of the Crater Highlands along the East African Rift in Tanzania. Landforms are depicted with colored height and shaded relief, using a vertical exaggeration of 2X and a southwestwardly look direction. Lake Eyasi is depicted in blue at the top of the image, and a smaller lake occurs in Ngorongoro Crater. Near the image center, elevations peak at 3648 meters (11,968 feet) at Mount Loolmalasin, which is south of Ela Naibori Crater. Kitumbeine (left) and Gelai (right) are the two broad mountains rising from the rift lowlands. Mount Longido is seen in the lower left, and the Meto Hills are in the right foreground. Tectonics, volcanism, landslides, erosion and deposition -- and their interactions -- are all very evident in this view. The East African Rift is a zone of spreading between the African (on the west) and Somali (on the east) crustal plates. Two branches of the rift intersect here in Tanzania, resulting in distinctive and prominent landforms. One branch trends nearly parallel the view and includes Lake Eyasi and the very wide Ngorongoro Crater. The other branch is well defined by the lowlands that trend left-right across the image (below center, in green). Volcanoes are often associated with spreading zones where magma, rising to fill the gaps, reaches the surface and builds cones. Craters form if a volcano explodes or collapses. Later spreading can fracture the volcanoes, which is especially evident on Kitumbeine and Gelai Mountains (left and right, respectively, lower center). The Crater Highlands rise far above the adjacent savannas, capture moisture from passing air masses, and host rain

  10. Influence of the Choice of Lunar Gravity Model on Orbit Determination for Lunar Orbiters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Rok Kim

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We examine the influence of the lunar gravity model on the orbit determination (OD of a lunar orbiter operating in a 100 km high, lunar polar orbit. Doppler and sequential range measurements by three Deep Space Network antennas and one Korea Deep Space Antenna were used. For measurement simulation and OD analysis, STK11 and ODTK6 were utilized. GLGM2, LP100K, LP150Q, GRAIL420A, and GRAIL660B were used for investigation of lunar gravity model selection effect. OD results were assessed by position and velocity uncertainties with error covariance and an external orbit comparison using simulated true orbit. The effect of the lunar gravity models on the long-term OD, degree and order level, measurement-acquisition condition, and lunar altitude was investigated. For efficiency verification, computational times for the five lunar gravity models were compared. Results showed that significant improvements to OD accuracy are observed by applying a GRAIL-based model; however, applying a full order and degree gravity modeling is not always the best strategy, owing to the computational burden. Consequently, we consider that OD using GRAIL660B with 70 × 70 degree and order is the most efficient strategy for mission preanalysis. This study provides useful guideline for KPLO OD analysis during nominal mission operation.

  11. Gully formation in terrestrial simple craters: Meteor Crater, USA and Lonar Crater, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, P.; Head, J. W.; Kring, D. A.

    2007-12-01

    Geomorphic features such as gullies, valley networks, and channels on Mars have been used as a proxy to understand the climate and landscape evolution of Mars. Terrestrial analogues provide significant insight as to how the various exogenic and endogenic processes might contribute to the evolution of these martian landscapes. We describe here a terrestrial example from Meteor Crater, which shows a spectacular development of gullies throughout the inner wall in response to rainwater precipitation, snow melting and groundwater discharge. As liquid water has been envisaged as one of the important agents of landscape sculpturing, Meteor Crater remains a useful landmark, where planetary geologists can learn some lessons. We also show here how the lithology and structural framework of this crater controls the gully distribution. Like many martian impact craters, it was emplaced in layered sedimentary rocks with an exceptionally well-developed centripetal drainage pattern consisting of individual alcoves, channels and fans. Some of the gullies originate from the rim crest and others from the middle crater wall, where a lithologic transition occurs. Deeply incised alcoves are well-developed on the soft sandstones of the Coconino Formation exposed on the middle crater wall, beneath overlying dolomite. In general, the gully locations are along crater wall radial fractures and faults, which are favorable locales of groundwater flow and discharge; these structural discontinuities are also the locales where the surface runoff from rain precipitation and snow melting can preferentially flow, causing degradation. Like martian craters, channels are well developed on the talus deposits and alluvial fans on the periphery of the crater floor. In addition, lake sediments on the crater floor provide significant evidence of a past pluvial climate, when groundwater seeped from springs on the crater wall. Caves exposed on the lower crater level may point to percolation of surface runoff

  12. Landing Site Selection and Surface Traverse Planning using the Lunar Mapping & Modeling Portal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Chang, G.; Bui, B.; Sadaqathullah, S.; Kim, R.; Dodge, K.; Malhotra, S.

    2013-12-01

    Introduction: The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP), is a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools for users to access mapped lunar data products (including image mosaics, digital elevation models, etc.) from past and current lunar missions (e.g., Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Apollo, etc.), and to perform in-depth analyses to support lunar surface mission planning and system design for future lunar exploration and science missions. It has been widely used by many scientists mission planners, as well as educators and public outreach (e.g., Google Lunar XPRICE teams, RESOLVE project, museums etc.) This year, LMMP was used by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)'s Lunar Exploration internship program to perform lighting analysis and local hazard assessments, such as, slope, surface roughness and crater/boulder distribution to research landing sites and surface pathfinding and traversal. Our talk will include an overview of LMMP, a demonstration of the tools as well as a summary of the LPI Lunar Exploration summer interns' experience in using those tools.

  13. Chandrayaan-2 dual-frequency SAR: Further investigation into lunar water and regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putrevu, Deepak; Das, Anup; Vachhani, J. G.; Trivedi, Sanjay; Misra, Tapan

    2016-01-01

    The Space Applications Centre (SAC), one of the major centers of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), is developing a high resolution, dual-frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar as a science payload on Chandrayaan-2, ISRO's second moon mission. With this instrument, ISRO aims to further the ongoing studies of the data from S-band MiniSAR onboard Chandrayaan-1 (India) and the MiniRF of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA). The SAR instrument has been configured to operate with both L- and S-bands, sharing a common antenna. The S-band SAR will provide continuity to the MiniSAR data, whereas L-band is expected to provide deeper penetration of the lunar regolith. The system will have a selectable slant-range resolution from 2 m to 75 m, along with standalone (L or S) and simultaneous (L and S) modes of imaging. Various features of the instrument like hybrid and full-polarimetry, a wide range of imaging incidence angles (∼10° to ∼35°) and the high spatial resolution will greatly enhance our understanding of surface properties especially in the polar regions of the Moon. The system will also help in resolving some of the ambiguities in interpreting high values of Circular Polarization Ratio (CPR) observed in MiniSAR data. The added information from full-polarimetric data will allow greater confidence in the results derived particularly in detecting the presence (and estimating the quantity) of water-ice in the polar craters. Being a planetary mission, the L&S-band SAR for Chandrayaan-2 faced stringent limits on mass, power and data rate (15 kg, 100 W and 160 Mbps respectively), irrespective of any of the planned modes of operation. This necessitated large-scale miniaturization, extensive use of on-board processing, and devices and techniques to conserve power. This paper discusses the scientific objectives which drive the requirement of a lunar SAR mission and presents the configuration of the instrument, along with a description of a number of features of the

  14. Mass extinctions and cosmic collisions - a lunar test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horz, F.

    1985-01-01

    The possibility has been considered that some or all major mass extinctions in the geologic record of earth are caused by the collision of massive, cosmic objects. Thus, it has been proposed that the unusual concentration of siderophile elements in strata at which the boundary between the Cretaceous (K) and Tertiary (T) geologic time periods has been placed must represent the remnants of a gigantic meteorite. However, a large 65-m.y.-old crater which could have been the result of the impact of this meteorite is not presently known on earth. One approach to evaluate the merits of the collisional hypothesis considered is based on the study of the probability of collision between a cosmic object of a suitable size and the earth. As moon and earth were subject to the same bombardment history and the preservation of craters on the moon is much better than on earth, a consideration of the lunar cratering record may provide crucial information. 32 references

  15. Meteor Crater, AZ

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    The Barringer Meteorite Crater (also known as 'Meteor Crater') is a gigantic hole in the middle of the arid sandstone of the Arizona desert. A rim of smashed and jumbled boulders, some of them the size of small houses, rises 50 m above the level of the surrounding plain. The crater itself is nearly a 1500 m wide, and 180 m deep. When Europeans first discovered the crater, the plain around it was covered with chunks of meteoritic iron - over 30 tons of it, scattered over an area 12 to 15 km in diameter. Scientists now believe that the crater was created approximately 50,000 years ago. The meteorite which made it was composed almost entirely of nickel-iron, suggesting that it may have originated in the interior of a small planet. It was 50 m across, weighed roughly 300,000 tons, and was traveling at a speed of 65,000 km per hour. This ASTER 3-D perspective view was created by draping an ASTER bands 3-2-1image over a digital elevation model from the US Geological Survey National Elevation Dataset.This image was acquired on May 17, 2001 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER will image Earth for the next 6 years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18,1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the U.S. Science team leader; Bjorn Eng of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, along

  16. Detecting Volatiles Deep in the Lunar Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotts, A.; Heggy, E.; Ciarletti, V.; Colaprete, A.; Moghaddam, M.; Siegler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    There is increasing theoretical and empirical evidence, from the Apollo era and after, of volatiles deep in the lunar interior, in the crust and deeper, both hydrogen-rich and otherwise. This comes in the form of fire fountain samples from Apollo 15 and Apollo 17, of hydrated minerals excavated by impacts which reach the base of the lunar crust e.g., crater Bullialdus, of hydration of apatite and other minerals, as well as predictions of a water-concentrated layer along with the KREEP material at the base of the lunar crust. We discuss how the presence of these volatiles might be directly explored. In particular water vapor molecules percolating to the surface through lunar regolith might be expected to stick and freeze into the regolith, at depths of several meters depending on the regolith temperature profile, porosity and particle size distribution, quantities that are not well known beyond two meters depth. To explore these depths in the regolith we use and propose several modes of penetrating radar. We will present results using the SELENE/Kaguya's Lunar Sounding RADAR (LSR) to probe the bulk volatile dielectric and loss structure properties of the regolith in various locations, both within permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) and without, and within neutron suppression regions (NSRs) as traced by epithermal neutrons and without. We also propose installation of ground penetrating RADAR (GPR) on a roving lunar platform that should be able to probe between 0.2 and 1.6 GHz, which will provide a probe of the entire depth of the lunar regolith as well as a high-resolution (about 4 cm FWHM) probe of the upper meter or two of the lunar soil, where other probes of volatiles such as epithermal neutron absorption or drilling might be employed. We discuss predictions for what kinds of volatile density profiles might be distinguished in this way, and whether these will be detected from orbit as NSRs, whether these must be restricted to PSRs, and how these might appear in

  17. Our Lunar Destiny: Creating a Lunar Economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohwer, Christopher J.

    2000-01-01

    "Our Lunar Destiny: Creating a Lunar Economy" supports a vision of people moving freely and economically between the earth and the Moon in an expansive space and lunar economy. It makes the economic case for the creation of a lunar space economy and projects the business plan that will make the venture an economic success. In addition, this paper argues that this vision can be created and sustained only by private enterprise and the legal right of private property in space and on the Moon. Finally, this paper advocates the use of lunar land grants as the key to unleashing the needed capital and the economic power of private enterprise in the creation of a 21st century lunar space economy. It is clear that the history of our United States economic system proves the value of private property rights in the creation of any new economy. It also teaches us that the successful development of new frontiers-those that provide economic opportunity for freedom-loving people-are frontiers that encourage, respect and protect the possession of private property and the fruits of labor and industry. Any new 21st century space and lunar economy should therefore be founded on this same principle.

  18. Lagrangian Trajectory Modeling of Lunar Dust Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, John E.; Metzger, Philip T.; Immer, Christopher D.

    2008-01-01

    Apollo landing videos shot from inside the right LEM window, provide a quantitative measure of the characteristics and dynamics of the ejecta spray of lunar regolith particles beneath the Lander during the final 10 [m] or so of descent. Photogrammetry analysis gives an estimate of the thickness of the dust layer and angle of trajectory. In addition, Apollo landing video analysis divulges valuable information on the regolith ejecta interactions with lunar surface topography. For example, dense dust streaks are seen to originate at the outer rims of craters within a critical radius of the Lander during descent. The primary intent of this work was to develop a mathematical model and software implementation for the trajectory simulation of lunar dust particles acted on by gas jets originating from the nozzle of a lunar Lander, where the particle sizes typically range from 10 micron to 500 micron. The high temperature, supersonic jet of gas that is exhausted from a rocket engine can propel dust, soil, gravel, as well as small rocks to high velocities. The lunar vacuum allows ejected particles to travel great distances unimpeded, and in the case of smaller particles, escape velocities may be reached. The particle size distributions and kinetic energies of ejected particles can lead to damage to the landing spacecraft or to other hardware that has previously been deployed in the vicinity. Thus the primary motivation behind this work is to seek a better understanding for the purpose of modeling and predicting the behavior of regolith dust particle trajectories during powered rocket descent and ascent.

  19. COMPARATIVE STUDY OF LUNAR ROUGHNESS FROM MULTI - SOURCE DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Lou

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The lunar terrain can show its collision and volcanic history. The lunar surface roughness can give a deep indication of the effects of lunar surface magma, sedimentation and uplift. This paper aims to get different information from the roughness through different data sources. Besides introducing the classical Root-mean-square height method and Morphological Surface Roughness (MSR algorithm, this paper takes the area of the Jurassic mountain uplift in the Sinus Iridum and the Plato Crater area as experimental areas. And then make the comparison and contrast of the lunar roughness derived from LRO's DEM and CE-2 DOM. The experimental results show that the roughness obtained by the traditional roughness calculation method reflect the ups and downs of the topography, while the results obtained by morphological surface roughness algorithm show the smoothness of the lunar surface. So, we can first use the surface fluctuation situation derived from RMSH to select the landing area range which ensures the lands are gentle. Then the morphological results determine whether the landing area is suitable for the detector walking and observing. The results obtained at two different scales provide a more complete evaluation system for selecting the landing site of the lunar probe.

  20. Geochemistry of Lunar Highland Meteorites Mil, 090034, 090036 AND 090070

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirai, N.aoki; Ebihara, M.; Sekimoto, S.; Yamaguchi, A.; Nyquist, L.; Shih, C.-Y.; Park, J.; Nagao, K.

    2012-01-01

    Apollo and Luna samples were collected from a restricted area on the near side of the Moon, while the source craters of the lunar meteorites are randomly distributed. For example, Takeda et al. [1] and Yamaguchi et al. [2] found a variety of lithic clasts in Dho 489 and Y 86032 which were not represented by Apollo samples, and some of these clasts have lower rare earth elements (REE) and FeO abundances than Apollo anorthosites, respectively. Takeda et al. [1] and Yamaguchi et al. [2] concluded that Dho 489 and Y 86032 originated from the lunar farside. Therefore, lunar meteorites provide an opportunity to study lunar surface rocks from areas not sampled by Apollo and Luna missions. Three lunar anorthitic breccias (MIL 090034, 090036 and 090070) were found on the Miller Range Ice Field in Antarctica during the 2009-2010 ANSMET season [3]. In this study, we determined elemental abudnances for MIL 090034, 090036 and 090070 by using INAA and aimed to characterize these meteorites in chemical compositions in comparison with those for other lunar meteorites and Apollo samples.

  1. Lunar cryptomaria: Physical characteristics, distribution, and implications for ancient volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitten, Jennifer L.; Head, James W.

    2015-02-01

    Cryptomaria, lunar volcanic deposits obscured by crater and basin impact ejecta, can provide important information about the thermal and volcanic history of the Moon. The timing of cryptomare deposition has implications for the duration and flux of mare basalt volcanism. In addition, knowing the distribution of cryptomaria can provide information about mantle convection and lunar magma ocean solidification. Here we use multiple datasets (e.g., M3, LOLA, LROC, Diviner) to undertake a global analysis to identify the general characteristics (e.g., topography, surface roughness, rock abundance, albedo, etc.) of lunar light plains in order to better distinguish between ancient volcanic deposits (cryptomaria) and impact basin and crater ejecta deposits. We find 20 discrete regions of cryptomaria, covering approximately 2% of the Moon, which increase the total area covered by mare volcanism to 18% of the lunar surface. Comparisons of light plains deposits indicate that the two deposit types (volcanic and impact-produced) are best distinguished by mineralogic data. On the basis of cryptomaria locations, the distribution of mare volcanism does not appear to have changed in the time prior to its exposed mare basalt distribution. There are several hypotheses explaining the distribution of mare basalts, which include the influence of crustal thickness, mantle convection patterns, asymmetric distribution of source regions, KREEP distribution, and the influence of a proposed Procellarum impact basin. The paucity of farside mare basalts means that multiple factors, such as crustal thickness variations and mantle convection, are likely to play a role in mare basalt emplacement.

  2. Diversity of basaltic lunar volcanism associated with buried impact structures: Implications for intrusive and extrusive events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, F.; Zhu, M.-H.; Bugiolacchi, R.; Huang, Q.; Osinski, G. R.; Xiao, L.; Zou, Y. L.

    2018-06-01

    Relatively denser basalt infilling and the upward displacement of the crust-mantle interface are thought to be contributing factors for the quasi-circular mass anomalies for buried impact craters in the lunar maria. Imagery and gravity observations from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and dual Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) missions have identified 10 partially or fully buried impact structures where diversity of observable basaltic mare volcanism exists. With a detailed investigation of the characteristics of associated volcanic landforms, we describe their spatial distribution relationship with respect to the subsurface tectonic structure of complex impact craters and propose possible models for the igneous processes which may take advantage of crater-related zones of weakness and enable magmas to reach the surface. We conclude that the lunar crust, having been fractured and reworked extensively by cratering, facilitates substance and energy exchange between different lunar systems, an effect modulated by tectonic activities both at global and regional scales. In addition, we propose that the intrusion-caused contribution to gravity anomalies should be considered in future studies, although this is commonly obscured by other physical factors such as mantle uplift and basalt load.

  3. Regolith thickness over Sinus Iridum: Results from morphology and size-frequency distribution of small impact craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fa, Wenzhe; Liu, Tiantian; Zhu, Meng-Hua; Haruyama, Junichi

    2014-08-01

    High-resolution optical images returned from recent lunar missions provide a new chance for estimation of lunar regolith thickness using morphology and the size-frequency distribution of small impact craters. In this study, regolith thickness over the Sinus Iridum region is estimated using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) images. A revised relationship between crater geometry and regolith thickness is proposed based on old experimental data that takes into considering the effect of the illumination angle of the images. In total, 227 high-resolution LROC NAC images are used, and 378,556 impact craters with diameters from 4.2 to 249.8 m are counted, and their morphologies are identified. Our results show that 50% of the Sinus Iridum region has a regolith thickness between 5.1 and 10.7 m, and the mean and median regolith thicknesses are 8.5 and 8.0 m, respectively. There are substantial regional variations in the regolith thickness, with its median value varying from 2.6 to 12.0 m for most regions. Local variations of regolith thickness are found to be correlated with the lunar surface age: the older the surface, the greater the thickness. In addition, sporadically distributed impact ejecta and crater rays are associated with relatively larger regolith thickness, which might result from excavation and transport of materials during the formation of the secondaries of Copernican-aged craters. Our estimated regolith thickness can help with future analysis of Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar echoes and studies of the subsurface stratigraphic structure of the Moon.

  4. Preliminary Results from Initial Investigations of Ceres' Cratering Record from Dawn Imaging Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmedemann, Nico; Michael, Gregory; Ivanov, Boris A.; Kneissl, Thomas; Neesemann, Adrian; Hiesinger, Harald; Jaumann, Ralf; Raymond, Carol A.; Russell, Christopher T.

    2015-04-01

    The highly successful Dawn mission [1] finished data collection at Vesta in 2012 and is now on its way to the dwarf planet Ceres. According to the current Ceres approach timeline of the Dawn mission, the ground resolution of the Dawn FC camera [2] will be about 10 times better than Hubble data [3] at the time of the presentation of this work. This may allow for identification of craters about 15 km in diameter. Initial mapping of sample areas may provide enough information of the cratering record in order to compare it with the theoretical Ceres crater production function we present at the 46th LPSC conference (March 16-20, 2015, The Woodlands, Texas) [4]. Our preliminary crater production function for Ceres is derived from the assumption of an icy crust just below a thin surface layer of dust [5], and a projectile population that is very similar to the one that impacted the Moon [6]. In order to scale the lunar cratering record to Ceres we use the Ivanov scaling laws [7], which allow for crater scaling based on parameters that can be derived from observations. The lunar-like approach gave reasonable good results for the crater production function on the asteroids Vesta, Ida, Lutetia and Gaspra [8]. Since the lunar surface is of basaltic composition, the correct scaling between the different materials is challenging. One crucial parameter is the transition diameter from simple to complex craters. Based on the simple to complex transition diameter on Iapetus, an icy satellite of Saturn, we expect this transition at about 12 km crater size at Ceres. This value may be slightly different due to the different temperatures at Ceres and Iapetus. If the simple to complex transition is observed at much larger diameters, the reason could be a substantial fraction of rock in the shallow subsurface of Ceres. In an ice-rich surface material high relaxation rates may also be expected that could change the shape of the crater production function. A thorough geological mapping

  5. Polygons near Lyot Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-564, 4 December 2003This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows patterned ground, arranged in the form of polygons, on the undulating plains associated with ejecta from the Lyot impact crater on the martian northern plains. This picture was acquired in October 2003 and shows that the polygon margins are ridges with large boulders--shown here as dark dots--on them. On Earth, polygon patterns like this are created in arctic and antarctic regions where there is ice in the ground. The seasonal and longer-term cycles of freezing and thawing of the ice-rich ground cause these features to form over time. Whether the same is true for Mars is unknown. The polygons are located near 54.6oN, 326.6oW. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated from the lower left.

  6. Using Lunar Module Shadows To Scale the Effects of Rocket Exhaust Plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Excavating granular materials beneath a vertical jet of gas involves several physical mechanisms. These occur, for example, beneath the exhaust plume of a rocket landing on the soil of the Moon or Mars. We performed a series of experiments and simulations (Figure 1) to provide a detailed view of the complex gas-soil interactions. Measurements taken from the Apollo lunar landing videos (Figure 2) and from photographs of the resulting terrain helped demonstrate how the interactions extrapolate into the lunar environment. It is important to understand these processes at a fundamental level to support the ongoing design of higher fidelity numerical simulations and larger-scale experiments. These are needed to enable future lunar exploration wherein multiple hardware assets will be placed on the Moon within short distances of one another. The high-velocity spray of soil from the landing spacecraft must be accurately predicted and controlled or it could erode the surfaces of nearby hardware. This analysis indicated that the lunar dust is ejected at an angle of less than 3 degrees above the surface, the results of which can be mitigated by a modest berm of lunar soil. These results assume that future lunar landers will use a single engine. The analysis would need to be adjusted for a multiengine lander. Figure 3 is a detailed schematic of the Lunar Module camera calibration math model. In this chart, formulas relating the known quantities, such as sun angle and Lunar Module dimensions, to the unknown quantities are depicted. The camera angle PSI is determined by measurement of the imaged aspect ratio of a crater, where the crater is assumed to be circular. The final solution is the determination of the camera calibration factor, alpha. Figure 4 is a detailed schematic of the dust angle math model, which again relates known to unknown parameters. The known parameters now include the camera calibration factor and Lunar Module dimensions. The final computation is the ejected

  7. A Selenological History of Lunar Poetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Chamier-Waite, C. T.

    2016-01-01

    The Moon. Centuries of human inquiry have engaged this mysterious object. The Moon embodies history, philosophy, cosmology, and passions; the nature of love, persecution, and our capacity for the sublime. This review considers a body of research on lunar poetics done for a series of artworks by the author. It will look at a few select writings that have profoundly influenced our epistemological, ontological, and poetic knowledge of the universe with the Moon as a central theme. Centered in the early seventeenth century at the time of Kepler and Galileo, this query follows the tendrils of lunar influences in both the sciences and literature that emanate from these two figures, forwards and backwards in time. Science, politics, theology, and the arts intertwine in this investigation. The works reviewed link the philosophy of Aristotle and the poetry of Lucian of Samosata to findings by Leonardo Da Vinci, Copernicus, Jules Verne, and others. The chosen philosophers have been selected because of their significant contributions to selenology and lunar poetics, and each of the figures reviewed have the honor of a namesake crater upon the Moon.

  8. Orbital studies of lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcleod, M. G.; Coleman, P. J., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    Limitations of present lunar magnetic maps are considered. Optimal processing of satellite derived magnetic anomaly data is also considered. Studies of coastal and core geomagnetism are discussed. Lunar remanent and induced lunar magnetization are included.

  9. Lunar resource base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulley, John; Wise, Todd K.; Roy, Claude; Richter, Phil

    A lunar base that exploits local resources to enhance the productivity of a total SEI scenario is discussed. The goals were to emphasize lunar science and to land men on Mars in 2016 using significant amounts of lunar resources. It was assumed that propulsion was chemical and the surface power was non-nuclear. Three phases of the base build-up are outlined, the robotic emplacement of the first elements is detailed and a discussion of future options is included.

  10. Lunar and interplanetary trajectories

    CERN Document Server

    Biesbroek, Robin

    2016-01-01

    This book provides readers with a clear description of the types of lunar and interplanetary trajectories, and how they influence satellite-system design. The description follows an engineering rather than a mathematical approach and includes many examples of lunar trajectories, based on real missions. It helps readers gain an understanding of the driving subsystems of interplanetary and lunar satellites. The tables and graphs showing features of trajectories make the book easy to understand. .

  11. A Proof of Concept for In-Situ Lunar Dating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, F. S.; Whitaker, T.; Levine, J.; Draper, D. S.; Harris, W.; Olansen, J.; Devolites, J.

    2015-12-01

    We have obtained improved 87Rb-87Sr isochrons for the Duluth Gabbro, an analog for lunar KREEP rocks, using a prototype spaceflight laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometer (LARIMS). The near-side of the Moon comprises previously un-sampled, KREEP rich, young-lunar basalts critical for calibrating the dating to constrain lunar history. Using a novel normalization approach, and by correcting for matrix-dependent isotope effects, we have been able to obtain a date of 1100 ± 200 Ma (Figure 1), compared to the previously established thermal ionization mass spectrometry measurement of 1096 ± 14 Ma. The precision of LARIMS is sufficient to constrain the current 1 Ga uncertainty of the lunar flux curve, allowing us to reassess the timing of peak lunar volcanism, and constrain lunar thermal evolution. Furthermore, an updated lunar flux curve has implications throughout the solar system. For example, Mars could have undergone a longer epoch of voluminous, shield-forming volcanism and associated mantle evolution, as well as a longer era of abundant volatiles and hence potential habitability. These alternative chronologies could even affect our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth: under the classic chronology, life is thought to have originated after the dwindling of bombardment, but under the alternative chronology, it might have appeared during heavy bombardment. In order to resolve the science questions regarding the history of the Moon, and in light of the Duluth Gabbro results, we recently proposed a Discovery mission called MARE: The Moon Age and Regolith Explorer. MARE would accomplish these goals by landing on a young, nearside lunar basalt flow southwest of Aristarchus that has a crater density corresponding to a highly uncertain absolute age, collecting >10 rock samples, and assessing their radioisotopic age, geochemistry, and mineralogy.

  12. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Workshops for Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Hessen, K.; Bleacher, L.

    2012-12-01

    The Lunar Workshops for Educators (LWEs) are a series of weeklong professional development workshops, accompanied by quarterly follow-up sessions, designed to educate and inspire grade 6-12 science teachers, sponsored by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Participants learn about lunar science and exploration, gain tools to help address common student misconceptions about the Moon, find out about the latest research results from LRO scientists, work with data from LRO and other lunar missions, and learn how to bring these data to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grade 6-12 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks and through authentic research experiences. LWEs are held around the country, primarily in locations underserved with respect to NASA workshops. Where possible, workshops also include tours of science facilities or field trips intended to help participants better understand mission operations or geologic processes relevant to the Moon. Scientist and engineer involvement is a central tenant of the LWEs. LRO scientists and engineers, as well as scientists working on other lunar missions, present their research or activities to the workshop participants and answer questions about lunar science and exploration. This interaction with the scientists and engineers is consistently ranked by the LWE participants as one of the most interesting and inspiring components of the workshops. Evaluation results from the 2010 and 2011 workshops, as well as preliminary analysis of survey responses from 2012 participants, demonstrated an improved understanding of lunar science concepts among LWE participants in post-workshop assessments (as compared to identical pre-assessments) and a greater understanding of how to access and effectively share LRO data with students. Teachers reported increased confidence in helping students conduct research using lunar data, and learned about programs that would allow their students to make authentic

  13. Moon Zoo: Making the public part of a crater survey algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, P. L.; Brown, S.; Huang, D.; Daus, C.; Lehan, C.; Robbins, S.

    2011-10-01

    The Moon Zoo citizen science website launched in May 2010 and invited the public to annotate images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Narrow Angle Camera (NAC). Tasks included marking the edges of craters with an ellipse tool, indicating where linear features (e.g. scarps) and special types of craters (e.g. dark haloed) are located with a box, and rating the number of boulders in an image. The goal of this project is to create crater and feature catalogues for large areas of the moon. In addition to doing science, Moon Zoo also seeks to educate its audience through educational content, to engage them through social media, and to understand them through research into their motivations and behaviors.

  14. Structural Analysis of Lunar Subsurface with Chang'E 3 Lunar Penetrating Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yi; Lai, Jialong; Tang, Zesheng

    2015-04-01

    Geological structure of the subsurface of the Moon provides valuable information for our understanding of lunar evolution. Recently, Chang'E 3 has utilized lunar penetrating radar (LPR), which is equipped on the lunar rover named as Yutu, to detect the lunar geological structure in Northern Imbrium (44.1260N, 19.5014W) for the first time. As an in-situ detector, Chang'E 3 LPR has higher horizontal and vertical resolution and less clutter impact compared to spaceborne radars such as Chandrayaan-1 and Kaguya. In this work, we analyze the LPR data at 500 MHz transmission frequency to obtain the shallow subsurface structure of the landing area of Chang'E 3 in Mare Imbrium. First, filter method and amplitude recover algorithms are introduced for data processing to alleviate the adverse effects of environment and system noises and compensate the amplitude losses during signal propagation. Next, based on the processed LPR data, we present the methods to determine the interfaces between layers. A three-layered structure of the shallow surface of the Moon has been observed. The corresponding real part of relative dielectric constant is inverted with deconvolution method. The average dielectric constants of the surface, second and third layer is 2.8, 3.2 and 3.6, respectively. The phenomenon that the average dielectric constant increases with the depth is consistent with prior art. With the obtained dielectric constants, the thickness of each layer can be calculated. One possible geological picture of the observed three-layered structure is presented as follows. The top layer is lunar regolith with its thickness ranging from 0.59 m to 0.9 m. The second layer is the ejecta blanket of the nearby impact crater, and the corresponding thickness is between 3.6m to 3.9m, which is in good agreement with the model of ejecta blanket thickness (height) as a function of distance from the crater center proposed by Melosh in 1989. The third layer is regarded as early lunar regolith with 4

  15. Distal Ejecta from Lunar Impacts: Extensive Regions of Rocky Deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandfield, Joshua L.; Cahill, Joshua T. S.; Carter, Lynn M.; Neish, Catherine D.; Patterson, G. Wesley; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Paige, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Diviner Radiometer, Mini-RF, and LRO Camera data were used to identify and characterize rocky lunar deposits that appear well separated from any potential source crater. Two regions are described: 1) A approximate 18,000 sq km area with elevated rock abundance and extensive melt ponds and veneers near the antipode of Tycho crater (167.5 deg E, 42.5 deg N). This region has been identified previously, using radar and aging data. 2) A much larger and more diffuse region, covering approximately 730,000 sq km, centered near 310 deg E, 35 deg S, containing elevated rock abundance and numerous granular flow deposits on crater walls. The rock distributions in both regions favor certain slope azimuths over others, indicating a directional component to the formation of these deposits. The spatial distribution of rocks is consistent with the arrival of ejecta from the west and northwest at low angles (approximately 10-30 deg) above the horizon in both regions. The derived age and slope orientations of the deposits indicate that the deposits likely originated as ejecta from the Tycho impact event. Despite their similar origin, the deposits in the two regions show significant differences in the datasets. The Tycho crater antipode deposit covers a smaller area, but the deposits are pervasive and appear to be dominated by impact melts. By contrast, the nearside deposits cover a much larger area and numerous granular flows were triggered. However, the features in this region are less prominent with no evidence for the presence of impact melts. The two regions appear to be surface expressions of a distant impact event that can modify surfaces across wide regions, resulting in a variety of surface morphologies. The Tycho impact event may only be the most recent manifestation of these processes, which likely have played a role in the development of the regolith throughout lunar history

  16. Geology of Lofn Crater, Callisto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, Ronald; Heiner, Sarah; Klemaszewski, James E.

    2001-01-01

    Lofn crater is a 180-km-diameter impact structure in the southern cratered plains of Callisto and is among the youngest features seen on the surface. The Lofn area was imaged by the Galileo spacecraft at regional-scale resolutions (875 m/pixel), which enable the general geology to be investigated. The morphology of Lofn crater suggests that (1) it is a class of impact structure intermediate between complex craters and palimpsests or (2) it formed by the impact of a projectile which fragmented before reaching the surface, resulting in a shallow crater (even for Callisto). The asymmetric pattern of the rim and ejecta deposits suggests that the impactor entered at a low angle from the northwest. The albedo and other characteristics of the ejecta deposits from Lofn also provide insight into the properties of the icy lithosphere and subsurface configuration at the time of impact. The "target" for the Lofn impact is inferred to have included layered materials associated with the Adlinda multiring structure northwest of Loh and ejecta deposits from the Heimdall crater area to the southeast. The Lofn impact might have penetrated through these materials into a viscous substrate of ductile ice or possibly liquid water. This interpretation is consistent with models of the current interior of Callisto based on geophysical information obtained from the Galileo spacecraft.

  17. Characterization of previously unidentified lunar pyroclastic deposits using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafson, J. Olaf; Bell, James F.; Gaddis, Lisa R.R.; Hawke, B. Ray Ray; Giguere, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    We used a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) global monochrome Wide-angle Camera (WAC) mosaic to conduct a survey of the Moon to search for previously unidentified pyroclastic deposits. Promising locations were examined in detail using LROC multispectral WAC mosaics, high-resolution LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images, and Clementine multispectral (ultraviolet-visible or UVVIS) data. Out of 47 potential deposits chosen for closer examination, 12 were selected as probable newly identified pyroclastic deposits. Potential pyroclastic deposits were generally found in settings similar to previously identified deposits, including areas within or near mare deposits adjacent to highlands, within floor-fractured craters, and along fissures in mare deposits. However, a significant new finding is the discovery of localized pyroclastic deposits within floor-fractured craters Anderson E and F on the lunar farside, isolated from other known similar deposits. Our search confirms that most major regional and localized low-albedo pyroclastic deposits have been identified on the Moon down to ~100 m/pix resolution, and that additional newly identified deposits are likely to be either isolated small deposits or additional portions of discontinuous, patchy deposits.

  18. A Tale of 3 Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    11 November 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image captures some of the complexity of the martian upper crust. Mars does not simply have an impact-cratered surface, it's upper crust is a cratered volume. Over time, older craters on Mars have been eroded, filled, buried, and in some cases exhumed and re-exposed at the martian surface. The crust of Mars is layered to depths of 10 or more kilometers, and mixed in with the layered bedrock are a variety of ancient craters with diameters ranging from a few tens of meters (a few tens of yards) to several hundred kilometers (more than one or two hundred miles). The picture shown here captures some of the essence of the layered, cratered volume of the upper crust of Mars in a very simple form. The image shows three distinct circular features. The smallest, in the lower right quarter of the image, is a meteor crater surrounded by a mound of material. This small crater formed within a layer of bedrock that once covered the entire scene, but today is found only in this small remnant adjacent to the crater. The intermediate-sized crater, west (left) of the small one, formed either in the next layer down--that is, below the layer in which the small crater formed--or it formed in some layers that are now removed, but was big enough to penetrate deeply into the rock that is near the surface today. The largest circular feature in the image, in the upper right quarter of the image, is still largely buried. It formed in layers of rock that are below the present surface. Erosion has brought traces of its rim back to the surface of Mars. This picture is located near 50.0oS, 77.8oW, and covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates this October 2004 image from the upper left.

  19. Lunar-A

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    penetrators will be transmitted to the earth station via the Lunar-A mother spacecraft orbiting at an altitude of about .... to save the power consumption of the Lunar-A penetrator .... and an origin-time versus tidal-phases correlation. (Toksoz et al ...

  20. Robotic Subsurface Analyzer and Sample Handler for Resource Reconnaissance and Preliminary Site Assessment for ISRU Activities at the Lunar Cold Traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorevan, S. P.; Wilson, J.; Bartlett, P.; Powderly, J.; Lawrence, D.; Elphic, R.; Mungas, G.; McCullough, E.; Stoker, C.; Cannon, H.

    2004-01-01

    Since the 1960s, claims have been made that water ice deposits should exist in permanently shadowed craters near both lunar poles. Recent interpretations of data from the Lunar Prospector-Neutron Spectrometer (LP- NS) confirm that significant concentrations of hydrogen exist, probably in the form of water ice, in the permanently shadowed polar cold traps. Yet, due to the large spatial resolution (45-60 Ian) of the LP-NS measurements relative to these shadowed craters (approx.5-25 km), these data offer little certainty regarding the precise location, form or distribution of these deposits. Even less is known about how such deposits of water ice might effect lunar regolith physical properties relevant to mining, excavation, water extraction and construction. These uncertainties will need to be addressed in order to validate fundamental lunar In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) precepts by 2011. Given the importance of the in situ utilization of water and other resources to the future of space exploration a need arises for the advanced deployment of a robotic and reconfigurable system for physical properties and resource reconnaissance. Based on a collection of high-TRL. designs, the Subsurface Analyzer and Sample Handler (SASH) addresses these needs, particularly determining the location and form of water ice and the physical properties of regolith. SASH would be capable of: (1) subsurface access via drilling, on the order of 3-10 meters into both competent targets (ice, rock) and regolith, (2) down-hole analysis through drill string embedded instrumentation and sensors (Neutron Spectrometer and Microscopic Imager), enabling water ice identification and physical properties measurements; (3) core and unconsolidated sample acquisition from rock and regolith; (4) sample handling and processing, with minimized contamination, sample containerization and delivery to a modular instrument payload. This system would be designed with three mission enabling goals, including: (1

  1. Lunar Lava Tube Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Cheryl Lynn; Walden, Bryce; Billings, Thomas L.; Reeder, P. Douglas

    1992-01-01

    Large (greater than 300 m diameter) lava tube caverns appear to exist on the Moon and could provide substantial safety and cost benefits for lunar bases. Over 40 m of basalt and regolith constitute the lava tube roof and would protect both construction and operations. Constant temperatures of -20 C reduce thermal stress on structures and machines. Base designs need not incorporate heavy shielding, so lightweight materials can be used and construction can be expedited. Identification and characterization of lava tube caverns can be incorporated into current precursor lunar mission plans. Some searches can even be done from Earth. Specific recommendations for lunar lava tube search and exploration are (1) an Earth-based radar interferometer, (2) an Earth-penetrating radar (EPR) orbiter, (3) kinetic penetrators for lunar lava tube confirmation, (4) a 'Moon Bat' hovering rocket vehicle, and (5) the use of other proposed landers and orbiters to help find lunar lava tubes.

  2. Use of a Lunar Outpost for Developing Space Settlement Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purves, Lloyd R.

    2008-01-01

    The type of polar lunar outpost being considered in the NASA Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) can effectively support the development of technologies that will not only significantly enhance lunar exploration, but also enable long term crewed space missions, including space settlement. The critical technologies are: artificial gravity, radiation protection, Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). These enhance lunar exploration by extending the time an astronaut can remain on the moon and reducing the need for supplies from Earth, and they seem required for space settlement. A polar lunar outpost provides a location to perform the research and testing required to develop these technologies, as well as to determine if there are viable countermeasures that can reduce the need for Earth-surface-equivalent gravity and radiation protection on long human space missions. The types of spinning space vehicles or stations envisioned to provide artificial gravity can be implemented and tested on the lunar surface, where they can create any level of effective gravity above the 1/6 Earth gravity that naturally exists on the lunar surface. Likewise, varying degrees of radiation protection can provide a natural radiation environment on the lunar surface less than or equal to 1/2 that of open space at 1 AU. Lunar ISRU has the potential of providing most of the material needed for radiation protection, the centrifuge that provides artificial gravity; and the atmosphere, water and soil for a CELSS. Lunar ISRU both saves the cost of transporting these materials from Earth and helps define the requirements for ISRU on other planetary bodies. Biosphere II provides a reference point for estimating what is required for an initial habitat with a CELSS. Previous studies provide initial estimates of what would be required to provide such a lunar habitat with the gravity and radiation environment of the Earth s surface. While much preparatory

  3. Ancient Bombardment of the Inner Solar System: Reinvestigation of the "Fingerprints" of Different Impactor Populations on the Lunar Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgel, Csilla; Michael, Gregory; Fassett, Caleb I.; van der Bogert, Carolyn H.; Riedel, Christian; Kneissl, Thomas; Hiesinger, Harald

    2018-03-01

    The lunar cratering record provides valuable information about the late accretion history of the inner solar system. However, our understanding of the origin, rate, and timing of the impacting projectiles is far from complete. To learn more about these projectiles, we can examine crater size-frequency distributions (CSFDs) on the Moon. Here we reinvestigate the crater populations of 30 lunar basins (≥ 300 km) using the buffered nonsparseness correction technique, which takes crater obliteration into account, thus providing more accurate measurements for the frequencies of smaller crater sizes. Moreover, we revisit the stratigraphic relationships of basins based on N(20) crater frequencies, absolute model ages, and observation data. The buffered nonsparseness correction-corrected CSFDs of individual basins, particularly at smaller crater diameters are shifted upward. Contrary to previous studies, the shapes of the summed CSFDs of Pre-Nectarian (excluding South Pole-Aitken Basin), Nectarian (including Nectaris), and Imbrian (including Imbrium) basins show no statistically significant differences and thus provide no evidence for a change of impactor population.

  4. The timeline of the lunar bombardment: Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, A.; Nesvorny, D.; Laurenz, V.; Marchi, S.; Rubie, D. C.; Elkins-Tanton, L.; Wieczorek, M.; Jacobson, S.

    2018-05-01

    The timeline of the lunar bombardment in the first Gy of Solar System history remains unclear. Basin-forming impacts (e.g. Imbrium, Orientale), occurred 3.9-3.7 Gy ago, i.e. 600-800 My after the formation of the Moon itself. Many other basins formed before Imbrium, but their exact ages are not precisely known. There is an intense debate between two possible interpretations of the data: in the cataclysm scenario there was a surge in the impact rate approximately at the time of Imbrium formation, while in the accretion tail scenario the lunar bombardment declined since the era of planet formation and the latest basins formed in its tail-end. Here, we revisit the work of Morbidelli et al. (2012) that examined which scenario could be compatible with both the lunar crater record in the 3-4 Gy period and the abundance of highly siderophile elements (HSE) in the lunar mantle. We use updated numerical simulations of the fluxes of asteroids, comets and planetesimals leftover from the planet-formation process. Under the traditional assumption that the HSEs track the total amount of material accreted by the Moon since its formation, we conclude that only the cataclysm scenario can explain the data. The cataclysm should have started ∼ 3.95 Gy ago. However we also consider the possibility that HSEs are sequestered from the mantle of a planet during magma ocean crystallization, due to iron sulfide exsolution (O'Neil, 1991; Rubie et al., 2016). We show that this is likely true also for the Moon, if mantle overturn is taken into account. Based on the hypothesis that the lunar magma ocean crystallized about 100-150 My after Moon formation (Elkins-Tanton et al., 2011), and therefore that HSEs accumulated in the lunar mantle only after this timespan, we show that the bombardment in the 3-4 Gy period can be explained in the accretion tail scenario. This hypothesis would also explain why the Moon appears so depleted in HSEs relative to the Earth. We also extend our analysis of the

  5. Evidence from Impact Crater Observations for Few Large Impacts on the Moon 0.8-1.7 Ga

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchoff, M. R.; Bottke, W. F.; Marchi, S.; Chapman, C. R.; Enke, B.

    2012-12-01

    Our Moon is a keystone for understanding the inner solar system impact flux through time, because it is the only body for which we have crater size-frequency distributions (SFDs) through most of bombardment history and radiometric ages of probable associated terrains. Even so, the bombardment rate over the last 3.5 Gyr is poorly understood. According to the spatial density of sub-km craters on dated lunar terrains, the lunar impact flux has been roughly constant over this interval [e.g., 1 and references therein]. If so, one may expect that craters with diameter (D) > 50 km should also be equally dispersed in time over the last 3.5 Gyr. Surprisingly, our new work indicates this may not be so. We have compiled SFDs for small, superposed craters with D~0.6-15 km on the original floors of several previously designated Copernican and Eratothenian craters (USGS Geological Atlas of the Moon and [2]) with D > 50 km using JMARS. Using these data we compute the large craters' formation model ages with the Model Production Function chronology developed by Marchi et al. [3]. Many of these craters, especially on the farside (e.g., Sharnov, Birkeland), can now be suitably examined only because of the excellent LROC imaging (we use the Wide Angle Camera mosaic). As a test of our methods, we calculated the model age of the 55 km crater Aristillus (34°N, 1°E), a relatively young crater thought to have showered the Apollo 15 landing site with ejecta. Interestingly, our model age of 2.2 ± 0.6 Ga is surprisingly consistent with a 2.1 Ga-old impact-derived clast (radiometric age) returned by the Apollo 15 astronauts [4]. We find that nearly all of our computed ages for the large craters are older than indicated by previous work, with very few having ages younger than 3 Ga. Reasons for these discrepancies include (i) use of poor resolution Lunar Orbiter images (especially away from the near side) and (ii) application of the unreliable "DL" method, which involves simplified

  6. Stability of nuclear crater slopes in rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fleming, Robert W.; Frandsen, Alton D.; LaFrenz, Robert L.

    1970-01-01

    The United States Army Engineer Nuclear Cratering Group was established in 1962 to participate with the Atomic Energy Commission in a joint research and development program to develop nuclear engineering and construction technology. A major part of this research effort has been devoted to studies of the engineering properties of craters. The program to date has included field investigations of crater properties in various media over a broad range of chemical and nuclear explosive yields, studies of man-made and natural slopes, and studies directed toward the development of analytical and empirical methods of crater stability analysis. From this background, a general understanding has been developed of the effects of a cratering explosion on the surrounding medium and of physical nature of the various crater zones which are produced. The stability of nuclear crater slopes has been a subject of prime interest in the feasibility study being conducted for an Atlantic-Pacific sea-level canal. Based on experimental evidence assembled to date, nuclear crater slopes in dry dock and dry alluvium have an initially stable configuration. There have been five nuclear craters produced to date with yields of 0.4 kt or more on which observations are based and the initial configurations of these craters have remained stable for over seven years. The medium, yield, crater dimensions, and date of event for these craters are summarized. It is interesting to note that the Sedan Crater has been subjected to strong seismic motions from nearby detonations without adverse effects

  7. Stability of nuclear crater slopes in rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fleming, Robert W; Frandsen, Alton D; LaFrenz, Robert L [U.S. Army Engineer Nuclear Cratering Group, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Livermore, CA (United States)

    1970-05-15

    The United States Army Engineer Nuclear Cratering Group was established in 1962 to participate with the Atomic Energy Commission in a joint research and development program to develop nuclear engineering and construction technology. A major part of this research effort has been devoted to studies of the engineering properties of craters. The program to date has included field investigations of crater properties in various media over a broad range of chemical and nuclear explosive yields, studies of man-made and natural slopes, and studies directed toward the development of analytical and empirical methods of crater stability analysis. From this background, a general understanding has been developed of the effects of a cratering explosion on the surrounding medium and of physical nature of the various crater zones which are produced. The stability of nuclear crater slopes has been a subject of prime interest in the feasibility study being conducted for an Atlantic-Pacific sea-level canal. Based on experimental evidence assembled to date, nuclear crater slopes in dry dock and dry alluvium have an initially stable configuration. There have been five nuclear craters produced to date with yields of 0.4 kt or more on which observations are based and the initial configurations of these craters have remained stable for over seven years. The medium, yield, crater dimensions, and date of event for these craters are summarized. It is interesting to note that the Sedan Crater has been subjected to strong seismic motions from nearby detonations without adverse effects.

  8. Structural analysis of lunar subsurface with Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Jialong; Xu, Yi; Zhang, Xiaoping; Tang, Zesheng

    2016-01-01

    Geological structure of the subsurface of the Moon provides valuable information on lunar evolution. Recently, Chang'E-3 has utilized lunar penetrating radar (LPR), which is equipped on the lunar rover named as Yutu, to detect the lunar geological structure in Northern Imbrium (44.1260N, 19.5014W) for the first time. As an in situ detector, Chang'E-3 LPR has relative higher horizontal and vertical resolution and less clutter impact compared to spaceborne radars and earth-based radars. In this work, we analyze the LPR data at 500 MHz transmission frequency to obtain the shallow subsurface structure of the landing area of Chang'E-3 in Mare Imbrium. Filter method and amplitude recovery algorithms are utilized to alleviate the adverse effects of environment and system noises and compensate the amplitude losses during signal propagation. Based on the processed radar image, we observe numerous diffraction hyperbolae, which may be caused by discrete reflectors beneath the lunar surface. Hyperbolae fitting method is utilized to reverse the average dielectric constant to certain depth (ε bar). Overall, the estimated ε bar increases with the depth and ε bar could be classified into three categories. Average ε bar of each category is 2.47, 3.40 and 6.16, respectively. Because of the large gap between the values of ε bar of neighboring categories, we speculate a three-layered structure of the shallow surface of LPR exploration region. One possible geological picture of the speculated three-layered structure is presented as follows. The top layer is weathered layer of ejecta blanket with its average thickness and bound on error is 0.95±0.02 m. The second layer is the ejecta blanket of the nearby impact crater, and the corresponding average thickness is about 2.30±0.07 m, which is in good agreement with the two primary models of ejecta blanket thickness as a function of distance from the crater center. The third layer is regarded as a mixture of stones and soil. The

  9. Pyroclastic Deposits in the Floor-fractured Crater Alphonsus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Donaldson-Hanna, Kerri L.; Pieters, Carle M.; Moriarty, Daniel P.; Greenhagen, Benjamin T.; Bennett, Kristen A.; Kramer, Georgiana Y.; Paige, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Alphonsus, the 118 km diameter floor-fractured crater, is located immediately east of Mare Nubium. Eleven pyroclastic deposits have been identified on the crater's floor. Early telescopic spectra suggest that the floor of Alphonsus is noritic, and that the pyroclastic deposits contain mixtures of floor material and a juvenile component including basaltic glass. Head and Wilson contend that Nubium lavas intruded the breccia zone beneath Alphonsus, forming dikes and fractures on the crater floor. In this model, the magma ascended to the level of the mare but cooled underground, and a portion broke thru to the surface in vulcanian (explosive) eruptions. Alternatively, the erupted material could be from a source unrelated to the mare, in the style of regional pyroclastic deposits. High-resolution images and spectroscopy from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), Diviner Lunar Radiometer, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) provide data to test these formation models. Spectra from M3 confirm that the crater floor is primarily composed of noritic material, and that the Nubium lavas are basaltic. Spectra from the three largest pyroclastic deposits in Alphonsus are consistent with a minor low- Ca pyroxene component in a glass-rich matrix. The centers of the 2 micron absorption bands have wavelengths too short to be of the same origin as the Nubium basalts. Diviner Christiansen feature (CF) values were used to estimate FeO abundances for the crater floor, Nubium soil, and pyroclastic deposits. The estimated abundance for the crater floor (7.5 +/- 1.4 wt.%) is within the range of FeO values for Apollo norite samples. However, the estimated FeO abundance for Nubium soil (13.4 +/- 1.4 wt.%) is lower than those measured in most mare samples. The difference may reflect contamination of the mare soil by highland ejecta. The Diviner-derived FeO abundance for the western pyroclastic deposit is 13.8 +/- 3.3 wt.%. This is lower than the values for mare soil

  10. Lunar neutron source function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kornblum, J.J.

    1974-01-01

    The search for a quantitative neutron source function for the lunar surface region is justified because it contributes to our understanding of the history of the lunar surface and of nuclear process occurring on the moon since its formation. A knowledge of the neutron source function and neutron flux distribution is important for the interpretation of many experimental measurements. This dissertation uses the available pertinent experimental measurements together with theoretical calculations to obtain an estimate of the lunar neutron source function below 15 MeV. Based upon reasonable assumptions a lunar neutron source function having adjustable parameters is assumed for neutrons below 15 MeV. The lunar neutron source function is composed of several components resulting from the action of cosmic rays with lunar material. A comparison with previous neutron calculations is made and significant differences are discussed. Application of the results to the problem of lunar soil histories is examined using the statistical model for soil development proposed by Fireman. The conclusion is drawn that the moon is losing mass

  11. Lunar transportation system

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-07-01

    The University Space Research Association (USRA) requested the University of Minnesota Spacecraft Design Team to design a lunar transportation infrastructure. This task was a year long design effort culminating in a complete conceptual design and presentation at Johnson Space Center. The mission objective of the design group was to design a system of vehicles to bring a habitation module, cargo, and crew to the lunar surface from LEO and return either or both crew and cargo safely to LEO while emphasizing component commonality, reusability, and cost effectiveness. During the course of the design, the lunar transportation system (LTS) has taken on many forms. The final design of the system is composed of two vehicles, a lunar transfer vehicle (LTV) and a lunar excursion vehicle (LEV). The LTV serves as an efficient orbital transfer vehicle between the earth and the moon while the LEV carries crew and cargo to the lunar surface. Presented in the report are the mission analysis, systems layout, orbital mechanics, propulsion systems, structural and thermal analysis, and crew systems, avionics, and power systems for this lunar transportation concept.

  12. MULTI-FACTOR ANALYSIS FOR SELECTING LUNAR EXPLORATION SOFT LANDING AREA AND THE BEST CRUISE ROUTE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Mou

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Selecting the right soft landing area and planning a reasonable cruise route are the basic tasks of lunar exploration. In this paper, the Von Karman crater in the Antarctic Aitken basin on the back of the moon is used as the study area, and multi-factor analysis is used to evaluate the landing area and cruise route of lunar exploration. The evaluation system mainly includes the factors such as the density of craters, the impact area of craters, the formation of the whole area and the formation of some areas, such as the vertical structure, rock properties and the content of (FeO + TiO2, which can reflect the significance of scientific exploration factor. And the evaluation of scientific exploration is carried out on the basis of safety and feasibility. On the basis of multi-factor superposition analysis, three landing zones A, B and C are selected, and the appropriate cruising route is analyzed through scientific research factors. This study provides a scientific basis for the lunar probe landing and cruise route planning, and it provides technical support for the subsequent lunar exploration.

  13. Multi-Factor Analysis for Selecting Lunar Exploration Soft Landing Area and the best Cruise Route

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mou, N.; Li, J.; Meng, Z.; Zhang, L.; Liu, W.

    2018-04-01

    Selecting the right soft landing area and planning a reasonable cruise route are the basic tasks of lunar exploration. In this paper, the Von Karman crater in the Antarctic Aitken basin on the back of the moon is used as the study area, and multi-factor analysis is used to evaluate the landing area and cruise route of lunar exploration. The evaluation system mainly includes the factors such as the density of craters, the impact area of craters, the formation of the whole area and the formation of some areas, such as the vertical structure, rock properties and the content of (FeO + TiO2), which can reflect the significance of scientific exploration factor. And the evaluation of scientific exploration is carried out on the basis of safety and feasibility. On the basis of multi-factor superposition analysis, three landing zones A, B and C are selected, and the appropriate cruising route is analyzed through scientific research factors. This study provides a scientific basis for the lunar probe landing and cruise route planning, and it provides technical support for the subsequent lunar exploration.

  14. Detection of the lunar body tide by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazarico, Erwan; Barker, Michael K; Neumann, Gregory A; Zuber, Maria T; Smith, David E

    2014-04-16

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft collected more than 5 billion measurements in the nominal 50 km orbit over ∼10,000 orbits. The data precision, geodetic accuracy, and spatial distribution enable two-dimensional crossovers to be used to infer relative radial position corrections between tracks to better than ∼1 m. We use nearly 500,000 altimetric crossovers to separate remaining high-frequency spacecraft trajectory errors from the periodic radial surface tidal deformation. The unusual sampling of the lunar body tide from polar lunar orbit limits the size of the typical differential signal expected at ground track intersections to ∼10 cm. Nevertheless, we reliably detect the topographic tidal signal and estimate the associated Love number h 2 to be 0.0371 ± 0.0033, which is consistent with but lower than recent results from lunar laser ranging. Altimetric data are used to create radial constraints on the tidal deformationThe body tide amplitude is estimated from the crossover dataThe estimated Love number is consistent with previous estimates but more precise.

  15. Meteor Crater (Barringer Meteorite Crater), Arizona: Summary of Impact Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roddy, D. J.; Shoemaker, E. M.

    1995-09-01

    Meteor Crater in northern Arizona represents the most abundant type of impact feature in our Solar System, i.e., the simple bowl-shaped crater. Excellent exposures and preservation of this large crater and its ejecta blanket have made it a critical data set in both terrestrial and planetary cratering research. Recognition of the value of the crater was initiated in the early 1900's by Daniel Moreau Barringer, whose 27 years of exploration championed its impact origin [1]. In 1960, Shoemaker presented information that conclusively demonstrated that Meteor Crater was formed by hypervelocity impact [2]. This led the U.S. Geological Survey to use the crater extensively in the 1960-70's as a prime training site for the Apollo astronauts. Today, Meteor Crater continues to serve as an important research site for the international science community, as well as an educational site for over 300,000 visitors per year. Since the late 1950's, studies of this crater have presented an increasingly clearer view of this impact and its effects and have provided an improved view of impact cratering in general. To expand on this data set, we are preparing an upgraded summary on the Meteor Crater event following the format in [3], including information and interpretations on: 1) Inferred origin and age of the impacting body, 2) Inferred ablation and deceleration history in Earth's atmosphere, 3) Estimated speed, trajectory, angle of impact, and bow shock conditions, 4) Estimated coherence, density, size, and mass of impacting body, 5) Composition of impacting body (Canyon Diablo meteorite), 6) Estimated kinetic energy coupled to target rocks and atmosphere, 7) Terrain conditions at time of impact and age of impact, 8) Estimated impact dynamics, such as pressures in air, meteorite, and rocks, 9) Inferred and estimated material partitioning into vapor, melt, and fragments, 10) Crater and near-field ejecta parameters, 11) Rock unit distributions in ejecta blanket, 12) Estimated far

  16. Consolidated Lunar Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Consolidated Lunar Atlas is a collection of the best photographic images of the moon, including low-oblique photography, full-moon photography, and tabular and...

  17. ispace's Polar Ice Explorer: Commerically Exploring the Poles of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calzada-Diaz, A.; Acierno, K.; Rasera, J. N.; Lamamy, J.-A.

    2018-04-01

    This work provides the background, rationales, and scientific objectives for the ispace Polar Ice Explorer Project, an ISRU exploratory mission that aims to provide data about the lunar polar environment.

  18. The magma ocean as an impediment to lunar plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1993-01-01

    The primary impediment to plate tectonics on the moon was probably the great thickness of its crust and particularly its high crust/lithosphere thickness ratio. This in turn can be attributed to the preponderance of low-density feldspar over all other Al-compatible phases in the lunar interior. During the magma ocean epoch, the moon's crust/lithosphere thickness ratio was at the maximum theoretical value, approximately 1, and it remained high for a long time afterwards. A few large regions of thin crust were produced by basin-scale cratering approximately contemporaneous with the demise of the magma ocean. However, these regions probably also tend to have uncommonly thin lithosphere, since they were directly heated and indirectly enriched in K, Th, and U by the same cratering process. Thus, plate tectonics on the moon in the form of systematic lithosphere subduction was impeded by the magma ocean.

  19. The Lunar Dust Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szalay, Jamey Robert

    Planetary bodies throughout the solar system are continually bombarded by dust particles, largely originating from cometary activities and asteroidal collisions. Surfaces of bodies with thick atmospheres, such as Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan are mostly protected from incoming dust impacts as these particles ablate in their atmospheres as 'shooting stars'. However, the majority of bodies in the solar system have no appreciable atmosphere and their surfaces are directly exposed to the flux of high speed dust grains. Impacts onto solid surfaces in space generate charged and neutral gas clouds, as well as solid secondary ejecta dust particles. Gravitationally bound ejecta clouds forming dust exospheres were recognized by in situ dust instruments around the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and had not yet been observed near bodies with refractory regolith surfaces before NASA's Lunar Dust and Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. In this thesis, we first present the measurements taken by the Lunar Dust Explorer (LDEX), aboard LADEE, which discovered a permanently present, asymmetric dust cloud surrounding the Moon. The global characteristics of the lunar dust cloud are discussed as a function of a variety of variables such as altitude, solar longitude, local time, and lunar phase. These results are compared with models for lunar dust cloud generation. Second, we present an analysis of the groupings of impacts measured by LDEX, which represent detections of dense ejecta plumes above the lunar surface. These measurements are put in the context of understanding the response of the lunar surface to meteoroid bombardment and how to use other airless bodies in the solar system as detectors for their local meteoroid environment. Third, we present the first in-situ dust measurements taken over the lunar sunrise terminator. Having found no excess of small grains in this region, we discuss its implications for the putative population of electrostatically lofted dust.

  20. Stratigraphy of the crater Copernicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, R.

    1984-01-01

    The stratigraphy of copernicus based on its olivine absorption bands is presented. Earth based spectral data are used to develop models that also employ cratering mechanics to devise theories for Copernican geomorphology. General geologic information, spectral information, upper and lower stratigraphic units and a chart for model comparison are included in the stratigraphic analysis.

  1. Beneficiation of lunar ilmenite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Joaquin

    1991-01-01

    One of the most important commodities lacking in the moon is free oxygen which is required for life and used extensively for propellent. Free oxygen, however, can be obtained by liberating it from the oxides and silicates that form the lunar rocks and regolith. Ilmenite (FeTiO3) is considered one of the leading candidates for production of oxygen because it can be reduced with a reasonable amount of energy and it is an abundant mineral in the lunar regolith and many mare basalts. In order to obtain oxygen from ilmenite, a method must be developed to beneficiate ilmenite from lunar material. Two possible techniques are electrostatic or magnetic methods. Both methods have complications because lunar ilmenite completely lacks Fe(3+). Magnetic methods were tested on eucrite meteorites, which are a good chemical simulant for low Ti mare basalts. The ilmenite yields in the experiments were always very low and the eucrite had to be crushed to xxxx. These data suggest that magnetic separation of ilmenite from fine grain lunar basalts would not be cost effective. Presently, experiments are being performed with electrostatic separators, and lunar regolith is being waited for so that simulants do not have to be employed.

  2. Lunar Sample Compendium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Charles

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of the Lunar Sample Compendium will be to inform scientists, astronauts and the public about the various lunar samples that have been returned from the Moon. This Compendium will be organized rock by rock in the manor of a catalog, but will not be as comprehensive, nor as complete, as the various lunar sample catalogs that are available. Likewise, this Compendium will not duplicate the various excellent books and reviews on the subject of lunar samples (Cadogen 1981, Heiken et al. 1991, Papike et al. 1998, Warren 2003, Eugster 2003). However, it is thought that an online Compendium, such as this, will prove useful to scientists proposing to study individual lunar samples and should help provide backup information for lunar sample displays. This Compendium will allow easy access to the scientific literature by briefly summarizing the significant findings of each rock along with the documentation of where the detailed scientific data are to be found. In general, discussion and interpretation of the results is left to the formal reviews found in the scientific literature. An advantage of this Compendium will be that it can be updated, expanded and corrected as need be.

  3. Line Profile Measurements of the Lunar Exospheric Sodium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliversen, Ronald J.; Mierkiewicz, Edwin J.; Line, Michael R.; Roesler, Fred L.; Lupie, Olivia L.

    2012-01-01

    We report ongoing results of a program to measure the lunar sodium exospheric line profile from near the lunar limb out to two lunar radii (approx 3500 km). These observations are conducted from the National Solar Observatory McMath-Pierce telescope using a dual-etalon Fabry-Perot spectrometer with a resolving power of 180,600 (1.7 km/s) to measure line widths and velocity shifts of the Na D2 (5889 950 A) emission line in equatorial and polar regions at different lunar phases. The typical field of view (FOV) is 3 arcmin (approx 360 km) with an occasional smaller 1 arcmin FOV used right at the limb edge. The first data were obtained from full Moon to 3 days following full Moon (waning phase) in March 2009 as part of a demonstration run aimed at establishing techniques for a thorough study of temperatures and velocity variations in the lunar sodium exosphere. These data indicate velocity displacements from different locations off the lunar limb range between 150 and 600 m/s from the lunar rest velocity with a precision of +/- 20 to +/- 50 m/s depending on brightness. The measured Doppler line widths for observations within 10.5 arcmin of the east and south lunar limbs for observations between 5 deg and 40 deg lunar phase imply temperatures ranging decreasing from 3250 +/- 260K to 1175 +/- 150K. Additional data is now being collected on a quarterly basis since March 2011 and preliminary results will be reported.

  4. Errors induced in the measurement and azimuth directions of morphological features imaged on oblique Lunar Orbiter photographs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal, B. S.

    1974-01-01

    Many quantitative lunar studies, e.g., the morphology and dimensions of craters, crater density and distribution, have been performed using oblique Lunar Orbiter photographs. If the inherent change in scale and azimuth direction of features imaged on these photographs are not corrected, the measurement can be in considerable error and the resulting statistical inferences may be invalid. The magnitude of this error is dependent upon: the depression angle of the camera, the flight height of the spacecraft, the focal length of the camera, and the position and orientation of the object on the ground. The errors introduced by using unrectified oblique photographs as though they were vertical photographs are examined for several Lunar Orbiter high resolution NASA LRC Enhancement photographic prints taken at various depression angles.

  5. Closer look at lunar volcanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaniman, D.T.; Heiken, G.; Taylor, G.J.

    1984-01-01

    Although the American Apollo and Soviet Luna missions concentrated on mare basalt samples, major questions remain about lunar volcanism. Lunar field work will be indispensable for resolving the scientific questions about ages, compositions, and eruption processes of lunar volcanism. From a utilitarian standpoint, a better knowledge of lunar volcanism will also yield profitable returns in lunar base construction (e.g., exploitation of rille or lava-tube structures) and in access to materials such as volatile elements, pure glass, or ilmenite for lunar industry

  6. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Geologic map analyses: Correlation of geologic and cratering histories. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Geologic map analyses are expanded, beginning with a discussion of particular regions which may illustrate volcanic and ballistic plains emplacement on Mercury. Major attention is focused on the surface history of Mercury through discussion of the areal distribution of plains and craters and the paleogeologic maps of the first quadrant. A summary of the lunar intercrater plains formation similarly interrelates the information from the Moon's geologic and cratering histories.

  7. Crater Degradation on Mercury: A Global Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinczyk, M. J.; Byrne, P. K.; Prockter, L. M.; Susorney, H. C. M.; Chapman, C. R.; Barnouin, O. S.

    2017-12-01

    On geologic timescales, initially fresh craters are subjected to many weathering mechanisms. Whereas water and wind are, or were, effective erosive mechanisms such as on Earth and Mars, micrometeorite bombardment and modification due to subsequent impacts are the dominant processes that degrade craters and crater rays on airless bodies like the Moon and Mercury. Classifying craters based on their state of degradation can help determine the relative ages of landforms proximal to, and crosscut by, these craters. However, this method is most effective when used together with statistical analysis of crater distributions. Pre-MESSENGER degradation classification schemes lacked sufficient detail to be consistently applied to craters of various sizes and morphological types—despite evidence suggesting that the ejecta deposits of large basins persist much longer than those of smaller craters, for instance—yet broad assumptions have been made regarding the correlation of crater class to the planet's time-stratigraphic sequence. Moreover, previous efforts to categorize craters by degradation state have either been restricted to regional study sites or applied only to a subset of crater age or size. As a result, numerous interpretations of crater degradation state persist for Mercury, challenging a complete understanding of this process on the innermost planet. We report on the first global survey of crater degradation on Mercury. By modifying an established 5-class scheme, we have systematically applied a rigorous set of criteria to all craters ≥40 km in diameter on the planet. These criteria include the state and morphology of crater deposits separately (e.g., rim, floor, wall, ejecta) and degradation classes were assigned as the collection of these individual attributes. This approach yields a consistent classification of craters of different sizes. Our results provide the first comprehensive assessment of how craters of various states of degradation are distributed

  8. Radiation Shielding of Lunar Regolith/Polyethylene Composites and Lunar Regolith/Water Mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Quincy F.; Gersey, Brad; Wilkins, Richard; Zhou, Jianren

    2011-01-01

    Space radiation is a complex mixed field of ionizing radiation that can pose hazardous risks to sophisticated electronics and humans. Mission planning for lunar exploration and long duration habitat construction will face tremendous challenges of shielding against various types of space radiation in an attempt to minimize the detrimental effects it may have on materials, electronics, and humans. In late 2009, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) discovered that water content in lunar regolith found in certain areas on the moon can be up to 5.6 +/-2.8 weight percent (wt%) [A. Colaprete, et. al., Science, Vol. 330, 463 (2010). ]. In this work, shielding studies were performed utilizing ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and aluminum, both being standard space shielding materials, simulated lunar regolith/ polyethylene composites, and simulated lunar regolith mixed with UHMWPE particles and water. Based on the LCROSS findings, radiation shielding experiments were conducted to test for shielding efficiency of regolith/UHMWPE/water mixtures with various percentages of water to compare relative shielding characteristics of these materials. One set of radiation studies were performed using the proton synchrotron at the Loma Linda Medical University where high energy protons similar to those found on the surface of the moon can be generated. A similar experimental protocol was also used at a high energy spalation neutron source at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE). These experiments studied the shielding efficiency against secondary neutrons, another major component of space radiation field. In both the proton and neutron studies, shielding efficiency was determined by utilizing a tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC) behind various thicknesses of shielding composite panels or mixture materials. Preliminary results from these studies indicated that adding 2 wt% water to regolith particles could increase shielding of

  9. Location selection and layout for LB10, a lunar base at the Lunar North Pole with a liquid mirror observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detsis, Emmanouil; Doule, Ondrej; Ebrahimi, Aliakbar

    2013-04-01

    We present the site selection process and urban planning of a Lunar Base for a crew of 10 (LB10), with an infrared astronomical telescope, based on the concept of the Lunar LIquid Mirror Telescope. LB10 is a base designated for permanent human presence on the Moon. The base architecture is based on utilization of inflatable, rigid and regolith structures for different purposes. The location for the settlement is identified through a detailed analysis of surface conditions and terrain parameters around the Lunar North and South Poles. A number of selection criteria were defined regarding construction, astronomical observations, landing and illumination conditions. The location suggested for the settlement is in the vicinity of the North Pole, utilizing the geographical morphology of the area. The base habitat is on a highly illuminated and relatively flat plateau. The observatory in the vicinity of the base, approximately 3.5 kilometers from the Lunar North Pole, inside a crater to shield it from Sunlight. An illustration of the final form of the habitat is also depicted, inspired by the baroque architectural form.

  10. Lunar geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Dickey, J. O.

    2002-01-01

    Experience with the dynamics and data analyses for earth and moon reveals both similarities and differences. Analysis of Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) data provides information on the lunar orbit, rotation, solid-body tides, and retroreflector locations.

  11. The Future Lunar Flora Colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, E. G.; Guven, U. G.

    2017-10-01

    A constructional design for the primary establishment for a lunar colony using the micrometeorite rich soil is proposed. It highlights the potential of lunar regolith combined with Earth technology for water and oxygen for human outposts on the Moon.

  12. GN and C Subsystem Concept for Safe Precision Landing of the Proposed Lunar MARE Robotic Science Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, John M., III; Johnson, Andrew E.; Anderson, F. Scott; Condon, Gerald L.; Nguyen, Louis H.; Olansen, Jon B.; Devolites, Jennifer L.; Harris, William J.; Hines, Glenn D.; Lee, David E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Lunar MARE (Moon Age and Regolith Explorer) Discovery Mission concept targets delivery of a science payload to the lunar surface for sample collection and dating. The mission science is within a 100-meter radius region of smooth lunar maria terrain near Aristarchus crater. The location has several small, sharp craters and rocks that present landing hazards to the spacecraft. For successful delivery of the science payload to the surface, the vehicle Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) subsystem requires safe and precise landing capability, so design infuses the NASA Autonomous precision Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) and a gimbaled, throttleable LOX/LCH4 main engine. The ALHAT system implemented for Lunar MARE is a specialization of prototype technologies in work within NASA for the past two decades, including a passive optical Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) sensor, a Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL) velocity and range sensor, and a Lidar-based Hazard Detection (HD) sensor. The landing descent profile is from a retrograde orbit over lighted terrain with landing near lunar dawn. The GN&C subsystem with ALHAT capabilities will deliver the science payload to the lunar surface within a 20-meter landing ellipse of the target location and at a site having greater than 99% safety probability, which minimizes risk to safe landing and delivery of the MARE science payload to the intended terrain region.

  13. Simulations of Water Migration in the Lunar Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurley, D.; Benna, M.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Elphic, R. C.; Goldstein, D. B.

    2014-12-01

    We perform modeling and analysis of water in the lunar exosphere. There were two controlled experiments of water interactions with the surface of the Moon observed by the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS). The Chang'e 3 landing on the Moon on 14 Dec 2013 putatively sprayed ~120 kg of water on the surface on the Moon at a mid-morning local time. Observations by LADEE near the noon meridian on six of the orbits in the 24 hours following the landing constrain the propagation of water vapor. Further, on 4 Apr 2014, LADEE's Orbital Maintenance Manuever (OMM) #21 sprayed the surface of the Moon with an estimated 0.73 kg of water in the pre-dawn sector. Observations of this maneuver and later in the day constrain the adsorption and release at dawn of adsorbed materials. Using the Chang'e 3 exhaust plume and LADEE's OMM-21 as control experiments, we set limits to the adsorption and thermalization of water with lunar regolith. This enables us to predict the efficiency of the migration of water as a delivery mechanism to the lunar poles. Then we simulate the migration of water through the lunar exosphere using the rate of sporadic inputs from meteoritic sources (Benna et al., this session). Simulations predict the amount of water adsorbed to the surface of the Moon and the effective delivery rate to the lunar polar cold traps.

  14. High-Resolution Spectroscopy of the Lunar Sodium Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mierkiewicz, E. J.; Oliversen, R. J.; Roesler, F. L.; Lupie, O. L.

    2014-01-01

    We have applied high-resolution Fabry-Perot spectroscopy to the study of the lunar sodium exosphere for the study of exospheric effective temperature and velocity variations. Observing from the National Solar Observatory McMath-Pierce Telescope, we used a dual-etalon Fabry-Perot spectrometer with a resolving power of 180,000 to measure line widths and Doppler shifts of the sodium D2 (5889.95 Å) emission line. Our field of view was 360 km, and measurements were made in equatorial and polar regions from 500 km to 3500 km off the limb. Data were obtained from full moon to 3 days following full moon (waning phase) in March 2009. Measured Doppler line widths within 1100 km of the sunlit east and south lunar limbs for observations between 5 and 40 deg lunar phase imply effective temperatures ranging between 3260 +/- 190 and 1000 +/- 135 K. Preliminary line center analysis indicates velocity displacements between different locations off the lunar limb ranging between 100 and 600 m/s from the lunar rest velocity with a precision of +/-20 to +/-50 m/s depending on brightness. Based on the success of these exploratory observations, an extensive program has been initiated that is expected to constrain lunar atmospheric and surface-process modeling and help quantify source and escape mechanisms.

  15. Lunar and Vesta Web Portals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; JPL Luna Mapping; Modeling Project Team

    2015-06-01

    The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project offers Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (http://lmmp.nasa.gov) and Vesta Trek Portal (http://vestatrek.jpl.nasa.gov) providing interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable users to access mapped Lunar and Vesta data products.

  16. Consequences of the low density of the lunar primary crust on its magmatic history (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaut, C.; Thorey, C.

    2013-12-01

    The lunar highlands are very old, with ages covering a timespan between 4.5 to 4.2 Gyr, and probably formed by flotation of light plagioclase minerals on top of the lunar magma ocean. The lunar crust provides thus an invaluable evidence of the geological and magmatic processes occurring in the first times of the terrestrial planets history. According to the last estimates from the GRAIL mission, the lunar primary crust is particularly light and relatively thick. This low-density crust acted as a barrier for the dense primary mantle melts. This is particularly evident in the fact that subsequent mare basalts erupted primarily within large impact basins: at least part of the crust must have been removed for the magma to reach the surface. However, the trajectory of the magma from the mantle to the surface is unknown. Here, we provide evidence of intrusions within the crust of the Moon as surface deformations in the form of low-slope lunar domes and floor-fractured craters. All these geological features have morphologies consistent with models of magma spreading at depth and deforming an overlying elastic layer. Furthermore, at floor-fractured craters, the deformation is contained within the crater interior, suggesting that the overpressure at the origin of magma ascent and intrusion was less than the pressure due to the weight of the crust removed by impact. The pressure release due to material removal by impact is significant over a depth equivalent to the crater radius. Because many of these floor-fractured craters are relatively small, i.e. less than 20 to 30 km in radius, this observation suggests that the magma at the origin of the intrusion was already stored within or just below the crust, in deeper intrusions. Thus, a large fraction of the mantle melt might have stored at depth below or within the light primary crust before reaching shallower layers. And hence, magma intrusions must have had a large influence on the thermal and geological evolution of the

  17. Birth of the International Lunar Impact Astronomical Detection (ILIAD) network : first detections in Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ait Moulay Larbi, E.; Bouley, S.; Dassou, A.; Benkhaldoun, Z.; Baratoux, D.; Lazrek, M.

    2013-12-01

    We present the research environment of our network. We highlight some results of the analysis of the first Lunar Meteorides impacts detected in Morocco. We present an exemple of ground-based instrumentation to carry out a successful search for lunar flashes phenomena. We also discuss the interest to monotoring these phenomena by focusing on the interest of determining the positions of the craters on the moon. The precise determination of impact flashes is very advantageous, especially in the near future there will be several new craters identified by LROC or other robotic spacecraft cameras. The two flashes reported in this study are optimally situated on central region of the lunar disk, which reduce the mismatch between the barycenter of radiation and the actual position of the impact. Smaller-scale lunar features are easily identified after superposition of a large number of images in order to increase the signal to noise ratio and produce an optimal image of the non-illuminated fraction of the moon. The sub-pixel shift of each image relative to the first frame (base frame) was determined by fitting the correlation peak obtained in the Fourier space to a 2- dimensional gaussian following Schaum and McHugh [1996]; Baratoux et al. [2001]. To increase further the positioning, the signal of the flash is is fitted to a 2-dimensional gaussian for each frame (previously shifted to the base image) where the flash is present. The barycenter of the flash is given as the rounded to the nearest integer of the average centers of the 2-dimensional gaussian functions. Two impact flashes are detected from AGM observatory in Marrakech, respectively on the February 6, 2013, at 06:29:56.7 UT and April 14, 2013, 20:00:45.4 UT. The characteristics of each flash are given in the table below. the diameter of the crater formed on the lunar surface can be estimated using Gault's formula for craters of less than 100 m in diameter, the results show that the meteoroids are likely producing

  18. Endogenous Lunar Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Liu, Y.; Barnes, J. J.; Boyce, J. W.; Day, J. M. D.; Elardo, S. M.; Hui, H.; Magna, T.; Ni, P.; Tartese, R.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The chapter will begin with an introduction that defines magmatic volatiles (e.g., H, F, Cl, S) versus geochemical volatiles (e.g., K, Rb, Zn). We will discuss our approach of understanding both types of volatiles in lunar samples and lay the ground work for how we will determine the overall volatile budget of the Moon. We will then discuss the importance of endogenous volatiles in shaping the "Newer Views of the Moon", specifically how endogenous volatiles feed forward into processes such as the origin of the Moon, magmatic differentiation, volcanism, and secondary processes during surface and crustal interactions. After the introduction, we will include a re-view/synthesis on the current state of 1) apatite compositions (volatile abundances and isotopic compositions); 2) nominally anhydrous mineral phases (moderately to highly volatile); 3) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of lunar pyroclastic glass beads; 4) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of lunar basalts; 5) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of melt inclusions; and finally 6) experimental constraints on mineral-melt partitioning of moderately to highly volatile elements under lunar conditions. We anticipate that each section will summarize results since 2007 and focus on new results published since the 2015 Am Min review paper on lunar volatiles [9]. The next section will discuss how to use sample abundances of volatiles to understand the source region and potential caveats in estimating source abundances of volatiles. The following section will include our best estimates of volatile abundances and isotopic compositions (where permitted by available data) for each volatile element of interest in a number of important lunar reservoirs, including the crust, mantle, KREEP, and bulk Moon. The final section of the chapter will focus upon future work, outstanding questions

  19. Goals and Strategies for the Human Lunar Reference Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seaman, Calvin H.

    2010-01-01

    The presentation examines common goals for human lunar exploration and strategic guidance. Three major sections include illustrative example goals, introduction to the GPoD campaign, and GPoD overview. The first section includes slides about strategic view of partnerships, the moon as a stepping stone and a uniquely preserved record, human-robotic partnership, innovative engagement, strategic considerations, and evaluation of campaigns against common goals. The second section examines campaigns considered, the philosophy of GPoD, GPoD campaign phase definitions, and GPoD design decision points. The third section examines lunar exploration capabilities, extended stay-relocation exploration mode, notional campaign destinations for GPoD, early robotics phase, development of the GPoD early robotics phase, polar exploration/system validation phase, polar relocatability phase, non-polar relocatability phase, long duration phase, and return to evaluation of campaigns.

  20. Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and How to Observe Them

    CERN Document Server

    Cudnik, Brian

    2009-01-01

    We all know that the pock marked face of the Moon looks the way it does because it was hit by meteors. But not many people know that this is still happening today. While the era of major impacts is over, lunar meteorites still cause flashes and puffs of gas, vaporized rock, and dust that we can observe. The Moon itself has a fascinating history. It is now thought to have been formed after a Mars-sized object collided with Earth and stripped off a portion of its mass. This debris took shape within a few hundred years and was originally much closer to our planet. The craters on its surface were largely formed by intense meteorite and asteroid bombardment between 4.6 billion and 3.8 billion years ago. In this comprehensive book, Brian Cudnik, one of the first people to observe a meteorite impact on the Moon in real time, shows how both amateur and practical astronomers can look for these ‘lunar transient phenomena,’ or LTPs. He explains in detail the processes that formed the craters and impact marks we see ...

  1. Exploration of the Moon to Enable Lunar and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Moon represents an enabling Solar System exploration asset because of its proximity, resources, and size. Its location has facilitated robotic missions from 5 different space agencies this century. The proximity of the Moon has stimulated commercial space activity, which is critical for sustainable space exploration. Since 2000, a new view of the Moon is coming into focus, which is very different from that of the 20th century. The documented presence of volatiles on the lunar surface, coupled with mature ilmenite-rich regolith locations, represent known resources that could be used for life support on the lunar surface for extended human stays, as well as fuel for robotic and human exploration deeper into the Solar System. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to explore the terrestrial planets and Solar System processes. For example, it is an end-member in terrestrial planetary body differentiation. Ever since the return of the first lunar samples by Apollo 11, the magma ocean concept was developed and has been applied to both Earth and Mars. Because of the small size of the Moon, planetary differentiation was halted at an early (primary?) stage. However, we still know very little about the lunar interior, despite the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments, and to understand the structure of the Moon will require establishing a global lunar geophysical network, something Apollo did not achieve. Also, constraining the impact chronology of the Moon allows the surfaces of other terrestrial planets to be dated and the cratering history of the inner Solar System to be constrained. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to study space weathering of airless bodies. It is apparent, then, that human and robotic missions to the Moon will enable both science and exploration. For example, the next step in resource exploration is prospecting on the surface those deposits identified from orbit to understand the yield that can be expected. Such prospecting will also

  2. Exploring the Moon at High-Resolution: First Results From the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Mark; Hiesinger, Harald; McEwen, Alfred; Jolliff, Brad; Thomas, Peter C.; Turtle, Elizabeth; Eliason, Eric; Malin, Mike; Ravine, A.; Bowman-Cisneros, Ernest

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V 401 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41 on June 18, 2009. After spending four days in Earth-Moon transit, the spacecraft entered a three month commissioning phase in an elliptical 30×200 km orbit. On September 15, 2009, LRO began its planned one-year nominal mapping mission in a quasi-circular 50 km orbit. A multi-year extended mission in a fixed 30×200 km orbit is optional. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera, which images the Moon at 100 and 400 m/pixel in the visible and UV, respectively, while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers with 0.5 m/pixel spatial resolution. LROC was specifically designed to address two of the primary LRO mission requirements and six other key science objectives, including 1) assessment of meter-and smaller-scale features in order to select safe sites for potential lunar landings near polar resources and elsewhere on the Moon; 2) acquire multi-temporal synoptic 100 m/pixel images of the poles during every orbit to unambiguously identify regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near permanent illumination; 3) meter-scale mapping of regions with permanent or near-permanent illumination of polar massifs; 4) repeat observations of potential landing sites and other regions to derive high resolution topography; 5) global multispectral observations in seven wavelengths to characterize lunar resources, particularly ilmenite; 6) a global 100-m/pixel basemap with incidence angles (60° -80° ) favorable for morphological interpretations; 7) sub-meter imaging of a variety of geologic units to characterize their physical properties, the variability of the regolith, and other key science questions; 8) meter-scale coverage overlapping with Apollo-era panoramic images (1-2 m/pixel) to document

  3. Lunar electrostatic effects and protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Yongwei; Yuan, Qingyun; Xiong, Jiuliang

    2013-01-01

    The space environment and features on the moon surface are factors in strong electrostatic electrification. Static electricity will be produced in upon friction between lunar soil and detectors or astronauts on the lunar surface. Lunar electrostatic environment effects from lunar exploration equipment are very harmful. Lunar dust with electrostatic charge may enter the equipment or even cover the instruments. It can affect the normal performance of moon detectors. Owing to the huge environmental differences between the moon and the earth, the electrostatic protection technology on the earth can not be applied. In this paper, we review the electrostatic characteristics of lunar dust, its effects on aerospace equipment and moon static elimination technologies. It was concluded that the effect of charged lunar dust on detectors and astronauts should be completely researched as soon as possible.

  4. The Sooner Lunar Schooner: Lunar engineering education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D. P.; Hougen, D. F.; Shirley, D.

    2003-06-01

    The Sooner Lunar Schooner is a multi-disciplinary ongoing project at the University of Oklahoma to plan, design, prototype, cost and (when funds become available) build/contract and fly a robotic mission to the Moon. The goal of the flight will be to explore a small section of the Moon; conduct a materials analysis of the materials left there by an Apollo mission thirty years earlier; and to perform a selenographic survey of areas that were too distant or considered too dangerous to be done by the Apollo crew. The goal of the Sooner Lunar Schooner Project is to improve the science and engineering educations of the hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students working on the project. The participants, while primarily from engineering and physics, will also include representatives from business, art, journalism, law and education. This project ties together numerous existing research programs at the University, and provides a framework for the creation of many new research proposals. The authors were excited and motivated by the Apollo missions to the Moon. When we asked what we could do to similarly motivate students we realized that nothing is as exciting as going to the Moon. The students seem to agree.

  5. Toxicity of lunar dust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linnarsson, D.; Carpenter, J.; Fubini, B.; Gerde, P.; Loftus, D.; Prisk, K.; Staufer, U.; Tranfield, E.; van Westrenen, W.

    2012-01-01

    The formation, composition and physical properties of lunar dust are incompletely characterised with regard to human health. While the physical and chemical determinants of dust toxicity for materials such as asbestos, quartz, volcanic ashes and urban particulate matter have been the focus of

  6. Lunar Phases Planisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shawl, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a lunar phases planisphere with which a user can answer questions about the rising and setting times of the Moon as well as questions about where the Moon will be at a given phase and time. The article contains figures that can be photocopied to make the planisphere. (Contains 2 figures.)

  7. Lunar magma transport phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spera, Frank J.

    1992-01-01

    An outline of magma transport theory relevant to the evolution of a possible Lunar Magma Ocean and the origin and transport history of the later phase of mare basaltic volcanism is presented. A simple model is proposed to evaluate the extent of fractionation as magma traverses the cold lunar lithosphere. If Apollo green glasses are primitive and have not undergone significant fractionation en route to the surface, then mean ascent rates of 10 m/s and cracks of widths greater than 40 m are indicated. Lunar tephra and vesiculated basalts suggest that a volatile component plays a role in eruption dynamics. The predominant vapor species appear to be CO CO2, and COS. Near the lunar surface, the vapor fraction expands enormously and vapor internal energy is converted to mixture kinetic energy with the concomitant high-speed ejection of vapor and pyroclasts to form lunary fire fountain deposits such as the Apollo 17 orange and black glasses and Apollo 15 green glass.

  8. Indigenous lunar construction materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Wayne P.; Sture, Stein

    1991-01-01

    The utilization of local resources for the construction and operation of a lunar base can significantly reduce the cost of transporting materials and supplies from Earth. The feasibility of processing lunar regolith to form construction materials and structural components is investigated. A preliminary review of potential processing methods such as sintering, hot-pressing, liquification, and cast basalt techniques, was completed. The processing method proposed is a variation on the cast basalt technique. It involves liquification of the regolith at 1200-1300 C, casting the liquid into a form, and controlled cooling. While the process temperature is higher than that for sintering or hot-pressing (1000-1100 C), this method is expected to yield a true engineering material with low variability in properties, high strength, and the potential to form large structural components. A scenario for this processing method was integrated with a design for a representative lunar base structure and potential construction techniques. The lunar shelter design is for a modular, segmented, pressurized, hemispherical dome which could serve as habitation and laboratory space. Based on this design, estimates of requirements for power, processing equipment, and construction equipment were made. This proposed combination of material processing method, structural design, and support requirements will help to establish the feasibility of lunar base construction using indigenous materials. Future work will refine the steps of the processing method. Specific areas where more information is needed are: furnace characteristics in vacuum; heat transfer during liquification; viscosity, pouring and forming behavior of molten regolith; design of high temperature forms; heat transfer during cooling; recrystallization of basalt; and refinement of estimates of elastic moduli, compressive and tensile strength, thermal expansion coefficient, thermal conductivity, and heat capacity. The preliminary

  9. Investigation of Secondary Craters in the Saturnian System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogenboom, T.; Schenk, P.; White, O. L.

    2012-03-01

    To derive accurate ages using impact craters, the impact source must be determined. We investigate secondary crater size, frequency, distribution, formation, and crater chain formation on icy satellites throughout the Jupiter and Saturn systems.

  10. Machine cataloging of impact craters on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepinski, Tomasz F.; Mendenhall, Michael P.; Bue, Brian D.

    2009-09-01

    This study presents an automated system for cataloging impact craters using the MOLA 128 pixels/degree digital elevation model of Mars. Craters are detected by a two-step algorithm that first identifies round and symmetric topographic depressions as crater candidates and then selects craters using a machine-learning technique. The system is robust with respect to surface types; craters are identified with similar accuracy from all different types of martian surfaces without adjusting input parameters. By using a large training set in its final selection step, the system produces virtually no false detections. Finally, the system provides a seamless integration of crater detection with its characterization. Of particular interest is the ability of our algorithm to calculate crater depths. The system is described and its application is demonstrated on eight large sites representing all major types of martian surfaces. An evaluation of its performance and prospects for its utilization for global surveys are given by means of detailed comparison of obtained results to the manually-derived Catalog of Large Martian Impact Craters. We use the results from the test sites to construct local depth-diameter relationships based on a large number of craters. In general, obtained relationships are in agreement with what was inferred on the basis of manual measurements. However, we have found that, in Terra Cimmeria, the depth/diameter ratio has an abrupt decrease at ˜38°S regardless of crater size. If shallowing of craters is attributed to presence of sub-surface ice, a sudden change in its spatial distribution is suggested by our findings.

  11. Characterization and Distribution of Lunar Mare Basalt Types Using Remote Sensing Techniques. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieters, C.

    1977-01-01

    The types of basal to be found on the moon were identified using reflectance spectra from a variety of lunar mare surfaces and craters as well as geochemical interpretations of laboratory measurements of reflectance from lunar, terrestrial, and meteoritic samples. Findings indicate that major basaltic units are not represented in lunar sample collections. The existence of late stage high titanium basalts is confirmed. All maria contain lateral variations of compositionally heterogenous basalts; some are vertically inhomogenous with distinctly different subsurface composition. Some basalt types are spectrally gradational, suggesting minor variations in composition. Mineral components of unsampled units can be defined if spectra are obtained with sufficient spectral coverage (.3 to 2.5 micron m) and spatial resolution (approximating .5 km).

  12. The Moon is a Planet Too: Lunar Science and Robotic Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara A.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews some of what is known about the moon, and draws parallels between the moon and any other terrestrial planet. The Moon is a cornerstone for all rocky planets The Moon is a terrestrial body, formed and evolved similarly to Earth, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and large asteroids The Moon is a differentiated body, with a layered internal structure (crust, mantle, and core) The Moon is a cratered body, preserving a record of bombardment history in the inner solar system The Moon is an active body, experiencing moonquakes, releasing primordial heat, conducting electricity, sustaining bombardment, and trapping volatile molecules Lunar robotic missions provide early science return to obtain important science and engineering objectives, rebuild a lunar science community, and keep our eyes on the Moon. These lunar missions, both past and future are reviewed.

  13. Impact craters in South America

    CERN Document Server

    Acevedo, Rogelio Daniel; Ponce, Juan Federico; Stinco, Sergio G

    2015-01-01

    A complete and updated catalogue of impact craters and structures in South America from 2014 is presented here. Approximately eighty proven, suspected and disproven structures have been identified by several sources in this continent. All the impact sites of this large continent have been exhaustively reviewed: the proved ones, the possible ones and some very doubtful. Many sites remain without a clear geological ""in situ"" confirmation and some of them could be even rejected. Argentina and Brazil are leading the list containing almost everything detected. In Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Guyana,

  14. The International Lunar Decade Declaration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, V.; Foing, B.; Bland, D.; Crisafulli, J.

    2015-10-01

    The International Lunar Decade Declaration was discussed at the conference held November 9-13, 2014 in Hawaii "The Next Giant Leap: Leveraging Lunar Assets for Sustainable Pathways to Space" - http://2014giantleap.aerospacehawaii.info/ and accepted by a core group that forms the International Lunar Decade Working Group (ILDWG) that is seeking to make the proposed global event and decade long process a reality. The Declaration will be updated from time to time by members of the ILDWreflecting new knowledge and fresh perspectives that bear on building a global consortium with a mission to progress from lunar exploration to the transformation of the Moon into a wealth gene rating platform for the expansion of humankind into the solar system. When key organizations have endorsed the idea and joined the effort the text of the Declaration will be considered final. An earlier International Lunar Decade proposal was issued at the 8th ICEUM Conference in 2006 in Beijing together with 13 specific initiatives for lunar exploration[1,2,3]. These initiatives have been largely implemented with coordination among the different space agencies involved provided by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group[2,3]. The Second International Lunar Decade from 2015 reflects current trends towards increasing involvement of commercial firms in space, particularly seeking opportunities beyond low Earth orbit. The central vision of the International Lunar Decade is to build the foundations for a sustainable space economy through international collaboration concurrently addressing Lunar exploration and building a shared knowledge base;Policy development that enables collabo rative research and development leading to lunar mining and industrial and commercial development;Infrastructure on the Moon and in cislunar space (communications, transport, energy systems, way-stations, other) that reduces costs, lowers risks and speeds up the time to profitable operations;Enabling technologies

  15. Lunar Science from and for Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieters, M. C.; Hiesinger, H.; Head, J. W., III

    2008-09-01

    Our Moon Every person on Earth is familiar with the Moon. Every resident with nominal eyesight on each continent has seen this near-by planetary body with their own eyes countless times. Those fortunate enough to have binoculars or access to a telescope have explored the craters, valleys, domes, and plains across the lunar surface as changing lighting conditions highlight the mysteries of this marvellously foreign landscape. Schoolchildren learn that the daily rhythm and flow of tides along the coastlines of our oceans are due to the interaction of the Earth and the Moon. This continuous direct and personal link is but one of the many reasons lunar science is fundamental to humanity. The Earth-Moon System In the context of space exploration, our understanding of the Earth-Moon system has grown enormously. The Moon has become the cornerstone for most aspects of planetary science that relate to the terrestrial (rocky) planets. The scientific context for exploration of the Moon is presented in a recent report by a subcommittee of the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council [free from the website: http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11954]. Figure 1 captures the interwoven themes surrounding lunar science recognized and discussed in that report. In particular, it is now recognized that the Earth and the Moon have been intimately linked in their early history. Although they subsequently took very different evolutionary paths, the Moon provides a unique and valuable window both into processes that occurred during the first 600 Million years of solar system evolution (planetary differentiation and the heavy bombardment record) as well as the (ultimately dangerous) impact record of more recent times. This additional role of the Moon as keystone is because the Earth and the Moon share the same environment at 1 AU, but only the Moon retains a continuous record of cosmic events. An Initial Bloom of Exploration and Drought The space age celebrated its 50th

  16. Polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    The book on 'polarized neutrons' is intended to inform researchers in condensed matter physics and chemistry of the diversity of scientific problems that can be investigated using polarized neutron beams. The contents include chapters on:- neutron polarizers and instrumentation, polarized neutron scattering, neutron polarization analysis experiments and precessing neutron polarization. (U.K.)

  17. Technical problems and future cratering experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knox, J B [Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Livermore, CA (United States)

    1969-07-01

    This paper reviews some of the key technical problems that remain to be solved in nuclear cratering technology. These include: (1) developing a broader understanding of the effects that material properties and water content of the earth materials around the shot have on cratering behavior, (2) extending the experimental investigation of retarc formation to include intermediate yields and various materials, and (3) improving our ability to predict the escape of radioactive material to the atmosphere to form the cloud source responsible for fallout. The formation processes of ejecta craters, retarcs, and subsidence craters are described in the light of our present understanding, and the major gaps in our understanding are indicated. Methods of calculating crater and retarc formation are discussed, with particular reference to the input information needed. Methods for calculating fallout are presented, and their shortcomings are discussed. A preliminary analysis of the safety factors associated with the presently proposed nuclear excavation concepts is presented. (author)

  18. Technical problems and future cratering experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knox, J.B.

    1969-01-01

    This paper reviews some of the key technical problems that remain to be solved in nuclear cratering technology. These include: (1) developing a broader understanding of the effects that material properties and water content of the earth materials around the shot have on cratering behavior, (2) extending the experimental investigation of retarc formation to include intermediate yields and various materials, and (3) improving our ability to predict the escape of radioactive material to the atmosphere to form the cloud source responsible for fallout. The formation processes of ejecta craters, retarcs, and subsidence craters are described in the light of our present understanding, and the major gaps in our understanding are indicated. Methods of calculating crater and retarc formation are discussed, with particular reference to the input information needed. Methods for calculating fallout are presented, and their shortcomings are discussed. A preliminary analysis of the safety factors associated with the presently proposed nuclear excavation concepts is presented. (author)

  19. Petrology of lunar rocks and implication to lunar evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridley, W. I.

    1976-01-01

    Recent advances in lunar petrology, based on studies of lunar rock samples available through the Apollo program, are reviewed. Samples of bedrock from both maria and terra have been collected where micrometeorite impact penetrated the regolith and brought bedrock to the surface, but no in situ cores have been taken. Lunar petrogenesis and lunar thermal history supported by studies of the rock sample are discussed and a tentative evolutionary scenario is constructed. Mare basalts, terra assemblages of breccias, soils, rocks, and regolith are subjected to elemental analysis, mineralogical analysis, trace content analysis, with studies of texture, ages and isotopic composition. Probable sources of mare basalts are indicated.

  20. Manifestations and possible sources of lunar transient phenomena (LTP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cameron, W.S.

    1975-01-01

    Several different manifestations of lunar transient phenomena (LTP) have been reported. These include: (1) brightenings--both sudden and slow, (2) reddish--both bright and dull, (3) bluish--both bright and dull, (4) fairly abrupt dimmings or darkenings, and (5) obscurations, which may be accompanied by any of the other four manifestations. Approximately 200 lunar features exhibiting such anomalies have been reported at least once, but 80% of all observations are found in less than a dozen sites and 60% are found in about one-half dozen sites. An observing program is being conducted for the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers which is designed to monitor the LTP sites, the seismic epicenter sites and non-LTP comparison sites. It addresses the ''brightenings'' category of observations and is designed to establish normal brightness of each observed feature for all phases of a lunation. It also seeks to establish a quantified ''seeing'' scale. About one-half dozen observers have reported albedo measures (estimated from an albedo scale set up by each observer). The most extensive new data on albedo versus age (phase of Moon) are for the crater Dawes. Several LTP effects have been discerned in Dawes. In addition, seeing estimates, based on the behavior of a star's diffraction disk, provided some unexpected results when disk behavior is compared with other subjective estimates of seeing

  1. Lunar rock surfaces as detectors of solar processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartung, J.B.; Hunter College, New York, NY)

    1980-01-01

    Lunar rock surfaces exposed at or just below the lunar surface are considered as detectors of the solar wind, solar flares and solar-derived magnetic fields through their interactions with galactic cosmic rays. The degradation of the solar detector capabilities of lunar surface rocks by meteoroid impact erosion, accreta deposition, loose dust, and sputtering, amorphous layer formation and accelerated diffusion due to solar particles and illumination is discussed, and it is noted that the complex interactions of factors affecting the outer micron of exposed surface material has so far prevented the development of a satisfactory model for a particle detector on the submicron scale. Methods for the determination of surface exposure ages based on the accumulation of light solar wind noble gases, Fe and Mg, impact craters, solar flare tracks, and cosmogenic Kr isotopes are examined, and the systematic variations in the ages determined by the various clocks are discussed. It is concluded that a means of obtaining satisfactory quantitative rate or flux data has not yet been established

  2. Laser-powered lunar base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Costen, R.; Humes, D.H.; Walker, G.H.; Williams, M.D.; Deyoung, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    The objective was to compare a nuclear reactor-driven Sterling engine lunar base power source to a laser-to-electric converter with orbiting laser power station, each providing 1 MW of electricity to the lunar base. The comparison was made on the basis of total mass required in low-Earth-orbit for each system. This total mass includes transportation mass required to place systems in low-lunar orbit or on the lunar surface. The nuclear reactor with Sterling engines is considered the reference mission for lunar base power and is described first. The details of the laser-to-electric converter and mass are discussed. The next two solar-driven high-power laser concepts, the diode array laser or the iodine laser system, are discussed with associated masses in low-lunar-orbit. Finally, the payoff for laser-power beaming is summarized

  3. Lunar ash flows - Isothermal approximation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, S. I.; Hsieh, T.; O'Keefe, J. A.

    1972-01-01

    Suggestion of the ash flow mechanism as one of the major processes required to account for some features of lunar soil. First the observational background and the gardening hypothesis are reviewed, and the shortcomings of the gardening hypothesis are shown. Then a general description of the lunar ash flow is given, and a simple mathematical model of the isothermal lunar ash flow is worked out with numerical examples to show the differences between the lunar and the terrestrial ash flow. The important parameters of the ash flow process are isolated and analyzed. It appears that the lunar surface layer in the maria is not a residual mantle rock (regolith) but a series of ash flows due, at least in part, to great meteorite impacts. The possibility of a volcanic contribution is not excluded. Some further analytic research on lunar ash flows is recommended.

  4. Asteroid families from cratering: Detection and models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, A.; Cellino, A.; Knežević, Z.; Novaković, B.; Spoto, F.; Paolicchi, P.

    2014-07-01

    A new asteroid families classification, more efficient in the inclusion of smaller family members, shows how relevant the cratering impacts are on large asteroids. These do not disrupt the target, but just form families with the ejecta from large craters. Of the 12 largest asteroids, 8 have cratering families: number (2), (4), (5), (10), (87), (15), (3), and (31). At least another 7 cratering families can be identified. Of the cratering families identified so far, 7 have >1000 members. This imposes a remarkable change from the focus on fragmentation families of previous classifications. Such a large dataset of asteroids believed to be crater ejecta opens a new challenge: to model the crater and family forming event(s) generating them. The first problem is to identify which cratering families, found by the similarity of proper elements, can be formed at once, with a single collision. We have identified as a likely outcome of multiple collisions the families of (4), (10), (15), and (20). Of the ejecta generated by cratering, only a fraction reaches the escape velocity from the surviving parent body. The distribution of velocities at infinity, giving to the resulting family an initial position and shape in the proper elements space, is highly asymmetric with respect to the parent body. This shape is deformed by the Yarkovsky effect and by the interaction with resonances. All the largest asteroids have been subjected to large cratering events, thus the lack of a family needs to be interpreted. The most interesting case is (1) Ceres, which is not the parent body of the nearby family of (93). Two possible interpretations of the low family forming efficiency are based on either the composition of Ceres with a significant fraction of ice, protected by a thin crust, or with the larger escape velocity of ~500 m/s.

  5. Lunar Dust Mitigation Screens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, Shawn; Holloway, Nancy

    With plans for the United States to return to the moon, and establish a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface many issues must be successfully overcome. Lunar dust is one of a number of issues with the potential to create a myriad of problems if not adequately addressed. Samples of dust brought back from Apollo missions show it to be soft, yet sharp and abrasive. The dust consists of a variety of morphologies including spherical, angular blocks, shards, and a number of irregular shapes. One of the main issues with lunar dust is its attraction to stick to anything it comes in contact with (i.e. astronauts, equipment, habitats, etc.). Ionized radiation from the sun strikes the moon's surface and creates an electrostatic charge on the dust. Further, the dust harbors van der Waals forces making it especially difficult to separate once it sticks to a surface. During the Apollo missions, it was discovered that trying to brush the lunar dust from spacesuits was not effective, and rubbing it caused degradation of the suit material. Further, when entering the lunar module after moonwalks, the astronauts noted that the dust was so prolific inside the cabin that they inhaled and ingested it, causing at least one of them, Harrison "Jack" Schmidt, to report irritation of the throat and lungs. It is speculated that the dust could also harm an astronaut's nervous and cardiovascular systems, especially during an extended stay. In addition to health issues, the dust can also cause problems by scouring reflective coatings off of thermal blankets, and roughening surfaces of windows and optics. Further, panels on solar cells and photovoltaics can also be compromised due to dust sticking on the surfaces. Lunar dust has the capacity to penetrate seals, interfere with connectors, as well as mechanisms on digging machines, all of which can lead to problems and failure. To address lunar dust issues, development of electrostatic screens to mitigate dust on sur-faces is currently

  6. International Lunar Decade Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, VZ; Crisafulli, J.; Dunlop, D.; Foing, B.

    2017-09-01

    The International Lunar Decade is a global decadal event designed to provide a framework for strategically directed international cooperation for permanent return to the Moon. To be launched July 20, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the giant leap for mankind marked by Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon, the ILD launch will include events around the world to celebrate space exploration, science, and the expansion of humanity into the Solar System. The ILD framework links lunar exploration and space sciences with the development of enabling technologies, infrastructure, means of financing, laws and policies aimed at lowering the costs and risks of venturing into space. Dramatically reduced costs will broaden the range of opportunities available in space and widen access to space for more states, companies and people worldwide. The ILD is intended to bring about the efflorescence of commercial business based on space resources from the Moon, asteroids, comets and other bodies in the Solar System.

  7. Lunar Core and Tides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.

    2004-01-01

    Variations in rotation and orientation of the Moon are sensitive to solid-body tidal dissipation, dissipation due to relative motion at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and tidal Love number k2 [1,2]. There is weaker sensitivity to flattening of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) [2,3,4] and fluid core moment of inertia [1]. Accurate Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements of the distance from observatories on the Earth to four retroreflector arrays on the Moon are sensitive to lunar rotation and orientation variations and tidal displacements. Past solutions using the LLR data have given results for dissipation due to solid-body tides and fluid core [1] plus Love number [1-5]. Detection of CMB flattening, which in the past has been marginal but improving [3,4,5], now seems significant. Direct detection of the core moment has not yet been achieved.

  8. Lunar Health Monitor (LHM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisy, Frederick J.

    2015-01-01

    Orbital Research, Inc., has developed a low-profile, wearable sensor suite for monitoring astronaut health in both intravehicular and extravehicular activities. The Lunar Health Monitor measures respiration, body temperature, electrocardiogram (EKG) heart rate, and other cardiac functions. Orbital Research's dry recording electrode is central to the innovation and can be incorporated into garments, eliminating the need for conductive pastes, adhesives, or gels. The patented dry recording electrode has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The LHM is easily worn under flight gear or with civilian clothing, making the system completely versatile for applications where continuous physiological monitoring is needed. During Phase II, Orbital Research developed a second-generation LHM that allows sensor customization for specific monitoring applications and anatomical constraints. Evaluations included graded exercise tests, lunar mission task simulations, functional battery tests, and resting measures. The LHM represents the successful integration of sensors into a wearable platform to capture long-duration and ambulatory physiological markers.

  9. The Lunar Sample Compendium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Charles

    2009-01-01

    The Lunar Sample Compendium is a succinct summary of the data obtained from 40 years of study of Apollo and Luna samples of the Moon. Basic petrographic, chemical and age information is compiled, sample-by-sample, in the form of an advanced catalog in order to provide a basic description of each sample. The LSC can be found online using Google. The initial allocation of lunar samples was done sparingly, because it was realized that scientific techniques would improve over the years and new questions would be formulated. The LSC is important because it enables scientists to select samples within the context of the work that has already been done and facilitates better review of proposed allocations. It also provides back up material for public displays, captures information found only in abstracts, grey literature and curatorial databases and serves as a ready access to the now-vast scientific literature.

  10. Lunar concrete for construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullingford, Hatice S.; Keller, M. Dean

    1988-01-01

    Feasibility of using concrete for lunar-base construction has been discussed recently without relevant data for the effects of vacuum on concrete. Experimental studies performed earlier at Los Alamos have shown that concrete is stable in vacuum with no deterioration of its quality as measured by the compressive strength. Various considerations of using concrete successfully on the moon are provided in this paper along with specific conclusions from the existing data base.

  11. First lunar outpost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andino, Aureo F.; Silva, Daniel; Ortiz, Nelson; Alvarez, Omar; Colon, Julio A.; Colon, Myrelle; Diaz, Alicia; Escobar, Xochiquetzal Y.; Garcia, Alberto; Gonzalez, Isabel C.

    1992-01-01

    Design and research efforts at the University of Puerto Rico have focused on the evaluation and refinement of the Habitability Criteria for a prolonged human presence in space during the last four years. Living quarters for a Mars mission and a third generation lunar base concept were proposed. This academic year, 1991-92, work on further refinement of the habitability criteria and design of partial gravity furniture was carried on. During the first semester, design alternatives for furniture necessary in a habitat design optimized for lunar and Martian environments were developed. Designs are based on recent research data from lunar and Mars gravity simulations, and current NASA standards. Artifacts will be submitted to NASA architects to be tested in KC-135 flights. Test findings will be submitted for incorporation in future updates to NASA habitat design standards. Second semester work was aimed at integrating these findings into the First Lunar Outpost (FLO), a mission scenario currently being considered by NASA. The mission consists of a manned return to the moon by crews of four astronauts for periods of 45 days. The major hardware components of the mission are as follows: (1) a Crew Module for the delivery of the crew and their supplies, and (2) the Habitat Module, which will arrive on the Moon unmanned. Our design efforts concentrated on this Habitat Module and on application of habitability criteria. Different geometries for the pressure vessel and their impact on the interior architecture were studied. Upon the selection of a geometry, a more detailed analysis of the interior design was performed, taking into consideration the reduced gravity, and the protection against radiation, micrometeorites, and the extreme temperature variation. A proposal for a FLO was submitted by the students, consisting essentially of a 24-feet (7.3 m.) by 35-feet (10.67 m) high vertical cylinder with work areas, crew quarters, galley, wardroom, leisure facilities, health

  12. The Lunar Scout Program: An international program to survey the Moon from orbit for geochemistry, mineralogy, imagery, geodesy, and gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Donald A. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    The Lunar Scout Program was one of a series of attempts by NASA to develop and fly an orbiting mission to the moon to collect geochemical, geological, and gravity data. Predecessors included the Lunar Observer, the Lunar Geochemical Orbiter, and the Lunar Polar Orbiter - missions studied under the auspices of the Office of Space Science. The Lunar Scout Program, however, was an initiative of the Office of Exploration. It was begun in late 1991 and was transferred to the Office of Space Science after the Office of Exploration was disbanded in 1993. Most of the work was done by a small group of civil servants at the Johnson Space Center; other groups also responsible for mission planning included personnel from the Charles Stark Draper Laboratories, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Boeing, and Martin Marietta. The Lunar Scout Program failed to achieve new start funding in FY 93 and FY 94 as a result of budget downturns, the de-emphasis of the Space Exploration Initiative, and the fact that lunar science did not rate as high a priority as other planned planetary missions, and was cancelled. The work done on the Lunar Scout Program and other lunar orbiter studies, however, represents assets that will be useful in developing new approaches to lunar orbit science.

  13. Religion and Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pop, V.

    1969: The Eagle lands on the Moon. A moment that would not only mark the highest scientific achievement of all times, but would also have significant religious impli- cations. While the island of Bali lodges a protest at the United Nations against the US for desecrating a sacred place, Hopi Indians celebrate the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy that would reveal the "truth of the Sacred Ways". The plaque fastened to the Eagle - "We Came in Peace for All Mankind" would have contained the words "under God" as directed by the US president, if not for an assistant administrator at NASA that did not want to offend any religion. In the same time, Buzz Aldrin takes the Holy Communion on the Moon, and a Bible is left there by another Apollo mission - not long after the crew of Apollo 8 reads a passage from Genesis while circling the Moon. 1998: Navajo Indians lodge a protest with NASA for placing human ashes aboard the Lunar Prospector, as the Moon is a sacred place in their religion. Past, present and fu- ture exploration of the Moon has significant religious and spiritual implications that, while not widely known, are nonetheless important. Is lunar exploration a divine duty, or a sacrilege? This article will feature and thoroughly analyse the examples quoted above, as well as other facts, as for instance the plans of establishing lunar cemeteries - welcomed by some religions, and opposed by others.

  14. Lunar sample studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-01-01

    Lunar samples discussed and the nature of their analyses are: (1) an Apollo 15 breccia which is thoroughly analyzed as to the nature of the mature regolith from which it derived and the time and nature of the lithification process, (2) two Apollo 11 and one Apollo 12 basalts analyzed in terms of chemistry, Cross-Iddings-Pirsson-Washington norms, mineralogy, and petrography, (3) eight Apollo 17 mare basalts, also analyzed in terms of chemistry, Cross-Iddings-Pirsson-Washington norms, mineralogy, and petrography. The first seven are shown to be chemically similar although of two main textural groups; the eighth is seen to be distinct in both chemistry and mineralogy, (4) a troctolitic clast from a Fra Mauro breccia, analyzed and contrasted with other high-temperature lunar mineral assemblages. Two basaltic clasts from the same breccia are shown to have affinities with rock 14053, and (5) the uranium-thorium-lead systematics of three Apollo 16 samples are determined; serious terrestrial-lead contamination of the first two samples is attributed to bandsaw cutting in the lunar curatorial facility

  15. Modeling lunar volcanic eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Housley, R. M.

    1978-01-01

    Simple physical arguments are used to show that basaltic volcanos on different planetary bodies would fountain to the same height if the mole fraction of gas in the magma scaled with the acceleration of gravity. It is suggested that the actual eruption velocities and fountain heights are controlled by the velocities of sound in the two phase gas/liquid flows. These velocities are in turn determined by the gas contents in the magma. Predicted characteristics of Hawaiian volcanos are in excellent accord with observations. Assuming that the only gas in lunar volcano is the CO which would be produced if the observed Fe metal in lunar basalts resulted from graphite reduction, lunar volcanos would fountain vigorously, but not as spectacularly as their terrestrial counterparts. The volatile trace metals, halogens, and sulfur released would be transported over the entire moon by the transient atmosphere. Orange and black glass type pyroclastic materials would be transported in sufficient amounts to produce the observed dark mantle deposits.

  16. Investigations of Ceres's Craters with Straightened Rim

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frigeri, A.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Ammannito, E.; Raponi, A.; Formisano, M.; Ciarniello, M.; Magni, G.; Combe, J. P.; Marchi, S.; Raymond, C. A.; Schwartz, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    Dwarf planet Ceres hosts some geological features that are unique in the solar system because its composition, rich in aqueously-altered silicates, is usually found on full-size planets, whereas its mean radius is smaller than most natural satellites in the solar system. For example, the local high-albedo, carbonate-rich areas or faculaeare specific to Ceres; also, the absence of big impact crater structures is key to understand the overall mechanical behaviour of the Cerean crust. After the first findings of water ice occurring in the shadowed areas of craters on Ceres by the NASA/Dawn mission (1, 2), we analyzed the morphology of craters looking for features similar to the ones where the water ice composition has been detected analyzing the data from the VIR spectrometer (3). These craters fall outside of the family of polygonal craters which are mainly related to regional or global scale tectonics (4). We analyzed the morphology on the base of the global mosaic, the digital terrain model derived by using the stereo photogrammetry method and the single data frames of the Framing Camera. Our investigation started from crater Juling, which is characterized by a portion of the rim which forms a straight segment instead of a portion of a circle. This linear crater wall is also steep enough that it forms a cliff that is in the shadowed area in all images acquired by Dawn. Very smooth and bright deposits lay at the foot of this crater-wall cliff. Then, we identified several other craters, relatively fresh, with radius of 2 to 10 kilometers, showing one or two sectors of the crater-rim being truncated by a mass-wasting process, probably a rockfall. Our first analysis show that in the selected craters, the truncated sectors are always in the north-eastern sector of the rim for the craters in the southern hemisphere. Conversely, the craters on the northern hemisphere exhibit a truncated rim in their south-eastern sector. Although a more detailed analysis is mandatory

  17. Simulation of the Chang'E-5 mission contribution in lunar long wavelength gravity field improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Jianguo; Yang, Xuan; Ping, Jinsong; Ye, Mao; Liu, Shanhong; Jin, Weitong; Li, Fei; Barriot, Jean-Pierre

    2018-06-01

    The precision of lunar gravity field estimation has improved by means of three to five orders of magnitude since the successful GRAIL lunar mission. There are still discrepancies however, in the low degree coefficients and long wavelength components of the solutions developed by two space research centers (JPL and GSFC). These discrepancies hint at the possibilities for improving the accuracy in the long wavelength part of the lunar gravity field. In the near future, China will launch the Chang'E-5 lunar mission. In this sample-return mission, there will be a chance to do KBRR measurements between an ascending module and an orbiting module. These two modules will fly around lunar at an inclination of ˜49 degrees, with an orbital height of 100 km and an inter-satellite distance of 200 km. In our research, we simulated the contribution of the KBRR tracking mode for different GRAIL orbital geometries. This analysis indicated possible deficiencies in the low degree coefficient solutions for the polar satellite-to-satellite tracking mode at various orbital heights. We also investigated the potential contributions of the KBRR to the Chang'E-5 mission goal of lunar gravity field recovery, especially in the long wavelength component. Potential improvements were assessed using various power spectrums of the lunar gravity field models. In addition, we also investigated possible improvements in solving lunar tidal Love number K2. These results may assist the implementation of the Chang'E-5 mission.

  18. Drainage systems of Lonar Crater, India: Contributions to Lonar Lake hydrology and crater degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komatsu, Goro; Senthil Kumar, P.; Goto, Kazuhisa; Sekine, Yasuhito; Giri, Chaitanya; Matsui, Takafumi

    2014-05-01

    Lonar, a 1.8-km-diameter impact crater in India, is a rare example of terrestrial impact craters formed in basaltic bedrock. The estimated age of the crater ranges widely from less than 12 ka to over 600 ka, but the crater preserves a relatively pristine morphology. We conducted a study of various drainage systems of Lonar Crater. The crater floor hosts a shallow 5-m-deep lake, which fluctuates seasonally. Our investigation reveals that the lake level is influenced by surface runoff that is active during the monsoon and groundwater input effective during both the rainy and the dry seasons. The groundwater discharge is observed as springs on the inner rim walls corresponding to weathered vesicular basalt and/or proximal ejecta, which are underlain by thick massive basalt layers. This observation indicates that groundwater movement is lithologically controlled: it passes preferentially through permeable vesicular basalt or proximal ejecta but is hindered in less permeable massive basalt. It is hypothesized that groundwater is also structurally controlled by dipping of basalt layers, interconnectivity of the permeable lithologic units through fractures, and preferential pathways such as fractures within the permeable lithologic units. Investigation on hydrological processes at Lonar Crater and its lake could provide useful insights into purported paleo-crater lakes presumably formed in the basaltic crust of Mars. The Lonar Crater interior shows signs of degradation in the forms of gullies and debris flows, and the Dhar valley incising in the rim leading to form a fan delta. The ejecta surface is characterized by the presence of channels, originating from the rim area and extending radially away from the crater center. The channels probably resulted from surface runoff, and its erosion contributes to the removal of the ejecta. Lonar Crater is a valuable analog site for studying degradation processes with potential application to impact craters occurring on

  19. Saying Goodbye to 'Bonneville' Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Annotated Image NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this panoramic camera image on sol 86 (March 31, 2004) before driving 36 meters (118 feet) on sol 87 toward its future destination, the Columbia Hills. This is probably the last panoramic camera image that Spirit will take from the high rim of 'Bonneville' crater, and provides an excellent view of the ejecta-covered path the rover has journeyed thus far. The lander can be seen toward the upper right of the frame and is approximately 321 meters (1060 feet) away from Spirit's current location. The large hill on the horizon is Grissom Hill. The Colombia Hills, located to the left, are not visible in this image.

  20. SMALL CRATERS AND THEIR DIAGNOSTIC POTENTIAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bugiolacchi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available I analysed and compared the size-frequency distributions of craters in the Apollo 17 landing region, comprising of six mare terrains with varying morphologies and cratering characteristics, along with three other regions allegedly affected by the same secondary event (Tycho secondary surge. I propose that for the smaller crater sizes (in this work 9–30 m, a] an exponential curve of power −0.18D can approximate Nkm−2 crater densities in a regime of equilibrium, while b] a power function D−3 closely describes the factorised representation of craters by size (1 m. The saturation level within the Central Area suggests that c] either the modelled rates of crater erosion on the Moon should be revised, or that the Tycho event occurred much earlier in time than the current estimate. We propose that d] the size-frequency distribution of small secondary craters may bear the signature (in terms of size-frequency distribution of debris/surge of the source impact and that this observation should be tested further.

  1. Sands at Gusev Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Farmer, Jack D.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Grin, E.A.; Li, Ron; Fenton, Lori; Cohen, B.; Bell, J.F.; Yingst, R. Aileen

    2014-01-01

    Processes, environments, and the energy associated with the transport and deposition of sand at Gusev Crater are characterized at the microscopic scale through the comparison of statistical moments for particle size and shape distributions. Bivariate and factor analyses define distinct textural groups at 51 sites along the traverse completed by the Spirit rover as it crossed the plains and went into the Columbia Hills. Fine-to-medium sand is ubiquitous in ripples and wind drifts. Most distributions show excess fine material, consistent with a predominance of wind erosion over the last 3.8 billion years. Negative skewness at West Valley is explained by the removal of fine sand during active erosion, or alternatively, by excess accumulation of coarse sand from a local source. The coarse to very coarse sand particles of ripple armors in the basaltic plains have a unique combination of size and shape. Their distribution display significant changes in their statistical moments within the ~400 m that separate the Columbia Memorial Station from Bonneville Crater. Results are consistent with aeolian and/or impact deposition, while the elongated and rounded shape of the grains forming the ripples, as well as their direction of origin, could point to Ma'adim Vallis as a possible source. For smaller particles on the traverse, our findings confirm that aeolian processes have dominated over impact and other processes to produce sands with the observed size and shape patterns across a spectrum of geologic (e.g., ripples and plains soils) and aerographic settings (e.g., wind shadows).

  2. Lunar imaging and ionospheric calibration for the Lunar Cherenkov technique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McFadden, R.; Scholten, O.; Mevius, M.

    2013-01-01

    The Lunar Cherenkov technique is a promising method for UHE neutrino and cosmic ray detection which aims to detect nanosecond radio pulses produced during particle interactions in the Lunar regolith. For low frequency experiments, such as NuMoon, the frequency dependent dispersive effect of the

  3. NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.

    2016-12-01

    NASA's Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling Portals provide web-based suites of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, planetary scientists, students, and the general public to access mapped lunar data products from past and current missions for the Moon, Mars, and Vesta. New portals for additional planetary bodies are being planned. This presentation will recap significant enhancements to these toolsets during the past year and look forward to the results of the exciting work currently being undertaken. Additional data products and tools continue to be added to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP). These include both generalized products as well as polar data products specifically targeting potential sites for the Resource Prospector mission. Current development work on LMMP also includes facilitating mission planning and data management for lunar CubeSat missions, and working with the NASA Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office's Lunar Apollo Sample database in order to help better visualize the geographic contexts from which samples were retrieved. A new user interface provides, among other improvements, significantly enhanced 3D visualizations and navigation. Mars Trek, the project's Mars portal, has now been assigned by NASA's Planetary Science Division to support site selection and analysis for the Mars 2020 Rover mission as well as for the Mars Human Landing Exploration Zone Sites. This effort is concentrating on enhancing Mars Trek with data products and analysis tools specifically requested by the proposing teams for the various sites. Also being given very high priority by NASA Headquarters is Mars Trek's use as a means to directly involve the public in these upcoming missions, letting them explore the areas the agency is focusing upon, understand what makes these sites so fascinating, follow the selection process, and get caught up in the excitement of exploring Mars. The portals also serve as

  4. Architecture Analysis of Wireless Power Transmission for Lunar Outposts

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    continuous supply of electrical power would be required. The primary research was to determine if it is feasible to provide power to a lunar polar...space exploration business wish to go beyond the Moon, to Mars and to the asteroids , the technology for these ventures is not yet adequate for the task...klystron, both 16 developed during World War II, that the use of microwaves became available for effective transmission of energy. However, the

  5. Lunar geodesy and cartography: a new era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duxbury, Thomas; Smith, David; Robinson, Mark; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory; Danton, Jacob; Oberst, Juergen; Archinal, Brent; Glaeser, Philipp

    altimetry to NAC images is aided by the 5 spots showing regional and local slopes, along and cross-track, that are easily correlated visually to features within the images. Once can precisely register each of the 5 LOLA spots to specific pixels in LROC images of distinct features such as craters and boulders. This can be performed routinely for features at the 100 m level and larger. However, even features at the several m level can also be registered if a single LOLA spots probes the depth of a small crater while the other 4 spots are on the surrounding surface or one spot returns from the top of a small boulder seen by NAC. The automatic registration of LOLA tracks with NAC stereo digital terrain models should provide for even higher accuracy. Also the LOLA pulse spread of the returned signal, which is sensitive to slopes and roughness, is an additional source of information to help match the LOLA tracks to the images As the global coverage builds, LOLA will provide absolute coordinates in latitude, longitude and radius of surface features with accuracy at the meter level or better. The NAC images will then be reg-istered to the LOLA reference surface in the production of precision, controlled photomosaics, having spatial resolutions as good as 0.5 m/pixel. For hundreds of strategic sites viewed in stereo, even higher precision and more complete surface coverage is possible for the produc-tion of digital terrain models and mosaics. LRO, with LOLA and LROC, will improve the relative and absolute accuracy of geodesy and cartography by orders of magnitude, ushering in a new era for lunar geodesy and cartography. Robinson, M., et al., Space Sci. Rev., DOI 10.1007/s11214-010-9634-2, Date: 2010-02-23, in press. Smith, D., et al., Space Sci. Rev., DOI 10.1007/s11214-009-9512-y, published online 16 May 2009.

  6. Aboriginal oral traditions of Australian impact craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Goldsmith, John

    2013-11-01

    In this paper we explore Aboriginal oral traditions that relate to Australian meteorite craters. Using the literature, first-hand ethnographic records and field trip data, we identify oral traditions and artworks associated with four impact sites: Gosses Bluff, Henbury, Liverpool and Wolfe Creek. Oral traditions describe impact origins for Gosses Bluff, Henbury and Wolfe Creek Craters, and non-impact origins for Liverpool Crater, with Henbury and Wolfe Creek stories having both impact and non-impact origins. Three impact sites that are believed to have been formed during human habitation of Australia -- Dalgaranga, Veevers, and Boxhole -- do not have associated oral traditions that are reported in the literature.

  7. Cratering statistics on asteroids: Methods and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C.

    2014-07-01

    Crater size-frequency distributions (SFDs) on the surfaces of solid-surfaced bodies in the solar system have provided valuable insights about planetary surface processes and about impactor populations since the first spacecraft images were obtained in the 1960s. They can be used to determine relative age differences between surficial units, to obtain absolute model ages if the impactor flux and scaling laws are understood, to assess various endogenic planetary or asteroidal processes that degrade craters or resurface units, as well as assess changes in impactor populations across the solar system and/or with time. The first asteroid SFDs were measured from Galileo images of Gaspra and Ida (cf., Chapman 2002). Despite the superficial simplicity of these studies, they are fraught with many difficulties, including confusion by secondary and/or endogenic cratering and poorly understood aspects of varying target properties (including regoliths, ejecta blankets, and nearly-zero-g rubble piles), widely varying attributes of impactors, and a host of methodological problems including recognizability of degraded craters, which is affected by illumination angle and by the ''personal equations'' of analysts. Indeed, controlled studies (Robbins et al. 2014) demonstrate crater-density differences of a factor of two or more between experienced crater counters. These inherent difficulties have been especially apparent in divergent results for Vesta from different members of the Dawn Science Team (cf. Russell et al. 2013). Indeed, they have been exacerbated by misuse of a widely available tool (Craterstats: hrscview.fu- berlin.de/craterstats.html), which incorrectly computes error bars for proper interpretation of cumulative SFDs, resulting in derived model ages specified to three significant figures and interpretations of statistically insignificant kinks. They are further exacerbated, and for other small-body crater SFDs analyzed by the Berlin group, by stubbornly adopting

  8. Lunar terrain mapping and relative-roughness analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowan, Lawrence C.; McCauley, John F.; Holm, Esther A.

    1971-01-01

    Terrain maps of the equatorial zone (long 70° E.-70° W. and lat 10° N-10° S.) were prepared at scales of 1:2,000,000 and 1:1,000,000 to classify lunar terrain with respect to roughness and to provide a basis for selecting sites for Surveyor and Apollo landings as well as for Ranger and Lunar Orbiter photographs. The techniques that were developed as a result of this effort can be applied to future planetary exploration. By using the best available earth-based observational data and photographs 1:1,000,000-scale and U.S. Geological Survey lunar geologic maps and U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Chart and Information Center LAC charts, lunar terrain was described by qualitative and quantitative methods and divided into four fundamental classes: maria, terrae, craters, and linear features. Some 35 subdivisions were defined and mapped throughout the equatorial zone, and, in addition, most of the map units were illustrated by photographs. The terrain types were analyzed quantitatively to characterize and order their relative-roughness characteristics. Approximately 150,000 east-west slope measurements made by a photometric technique (photoclinometry) in 51 sample areas indicate that algebraic slope-frequency distributions are Gaussian, and so arithmetic means and standard deviations accurately describe the distribution functions. The algebraic slope-component frequency distributions are particularly useful for rapidly determining relative roughness of terrain. The statistical parameters that best describe relative roughness are the absolute arithmetic mean, the algebraic standard deviation, and the percentage of slope reversal. Statistically derived relative-relief parameters are desirable supplementary measures of relative roughness in the terrae. Extrapolation of relative roughness for the maria was demonstrated using Ranger VII slope-component data and regional maria slope data, as well as the data reported here. It appears that, for some morphologically homogeneous

  9. REE Partitioning in Lunar Minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapp, J. F.; Lapen, T. J.; Draper, D. S.

    2015-01-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) are an extremely useful tool in modeling lunar magmatic processes. Here we present the first experimentally derived plagioclase/melt partition coefficients in lunar compositions covering the entire suite of REE. Positive europium anomalies are ubiquitous in the plagioclase-rich rocks of the lunar highlands, and complementary negative Eu anomalies are found in most lunar basalts. These features are taken as evidence of a large-scale differentiation event, with crystallization of a global-scale lunar magma ocean (LMO) resulting in a plagioclase flotation crust and a mafic lunar interior from which mare basalts were subsequently derived. However, the extent of the Eu anomaly in lunar rocks is variable. Fagan and Neal [1] reported highly anorthitic plagioclase grains in lunar impact melt rock 60635,19 that displayed negative Eu anomalies as well as the more usual positive anomalies. Indeed some grains in the sample are reported to display both positive and negative anomalies. Judging from cathodoluminescence images, these anomalies do not appear to be associated with crystal overgrowths or zones.

  10. Complex explosive volcanic activity on the Moon within Oppenheimer crater, Icarus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Kristen A; Horgan, Briony H N; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Greenhagen, Benjamin T; Allen, Carlton C.; Hayne, Paul O; Bell, James F III; Paige, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Oppenheimer Crater is a floor-fractured crater located within the South Pole-Aitken basin on the Moon, and exhibits more than a dozen localized pyroclastic deposits associated with the fractures. Localized pyroclastic volcanism on the Moon is thought to form as a result of intermittently explosive Vulcanian eruptions under low effusion rates, in contrast to the higher-effusion rate, Hawaiian-style fire fountaining inferred to form larger regional deposits. We use Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images and Diviner Radiometer mid-infrared data, Chandrayaan-1 orbiter Moon Mineralogy Mapper near-infrared spectra, and Clementine orbiter Ultraviolet/Visible camera images to test the hypothesis that the pyroclastic deposits in Oppenheimer crater were emplaced via Vulcanian activity by constraining their composition and mineralogy. Mineralogically, we find that the deposits are variable mixtures of orthopyroxene and minor clinopyroxene sourced from the crater floor, juvenile clinopyroxene, and juvenile iron-rich glass, and that the mineralogy of the pyroclastics varies both across the Oppenheimer deposits as a whole and within individual deposits. We observe similar variability in the inferred iron content of pyroclastic glasses, and note in particular that the northwest deposit, associated with Oppenheimer U crater, contains the most iron-rich volcanic glass thus far identified on the Moon, which could be a useful future resource. We propose that this variability in mineralogy indicates variability in eruption style, and that it cannot be explained by a simple Vulcanian eruption. A Vulcanian eruption should cause significant country rock to be incorporated into the pyroclastic deposit; however, large areas within many of the deposits exhibit spectra consistent with high abundances of juvenile phases and very little floor material. Thus, we propose that at least the most recent portion of these deposits must have erupted via a Strombolian or more continuous fire

  11. Lunar Flashlight: Exploration and Science at the Moon with a 6U Cubesat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, B. A.; Hayne, P. O.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Paige, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the composition, quantity, distribution, and form of water and other volatiles associated with lunar permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) is identified as a NASA Strategic Knowledge Gap (SKG) for Human Exploration. These polar volatile deposits are also scientifically interesting, having the potential to reveal important information about the delivery of water to the Earth-Moon system. In order to address NASA's SKGs, the Lunar Flashlight mission was selected as a secondary payload on the first test flight (EM1) of the Space Launch System (SLS), currently scheduled for 2018. Recent reflectance data from LRO instruments suggest volatiles may be present on the surface, though the detection is not yet definitive. The goal of Lunar Flashlight is to determine the presence or absence of exposed water ice and map its concentration at the 1-2 kilometer scale within the PSRs. After being ejected in cislunar space by SLS, Lunar Flashlight maneuvers into a low-energy transfer to lunar orbit and then an elliptical polar orbit, spiraling down to a perilune of 10-30 km above the south pole for data collection. Lunar Flashlight will illuminate permanently shadowed regions, measuring surface albedo with point spectrometer at 1.1, 1.5 1.9, and 2.0 mm. Water ice will be distinguished from dry regolith in two ways: 1) spatial variations in absolute reflectance (water ice is much brighter in the continuum channels), and 2) reflectance ratios between absorption and continuum channels. Derived reflectance and water ice band depths will be mapped onto the lunar surface in order to distinguish the composition of the PSRs from that of the sunlit terrain, and to compare with lunar datasets such as LRO and Moon Mineralogy Mapper. Lunar Flashlight enables a low-cost path to science and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) by identifying ice deposits (if there are any), which would be a game-changing result for expanded human exploration.

  12. Chronology of early lunar crust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dasch, E.J.; Nyquist, L.E.; Ryder, G.

    1988-01-01

    The chronology of lunar rocks is summarized. The oldest pristine (i.e., lacking meteoritic contamination of admixed components) lunar rock, recently dated with Sm-Nd by Lugmair, is a ferroan anorthosite, with an age of 4.44 + 0.02 Ga. Ages of Mg-suite rocks (4.1 to 4.5 Ga) have large uncertainties, so that age differences between lunar plutonic rock suites cannot yet be resolved. Most mare basalts crystallized between 3.1 and 3.9 Ga. The vast bulk of the lunar crust, therefore, formed before the oldest preserved terrestrial rocks. If the Moon accreted at 4.56 Ga, then 120 Ma may have elapsed before lunar crust was formed

  13. Lunar Regolith Particle Shape Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiekhaefer, Rebecca; Hardy, Sandra; Rickman, Douglas; Edmunson, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Future engineering of structures and equipment on the lunar surface requires significant understanding of particle characteristics of the lunar regolith. Nearly all sediment characteristics are influenced by particle shape; therefore a method of quantifying particle shape is useful both in lunar and terrestrial applications. We have created a method to quantify particle shape, specifically for lunar regolith, using image processing. Photomicrographs of thin sections of lunar core material were obtained under reflected light. Three photomicrographs were analyzed using ImageJ and MATLAB. From the image analysis measurements for area, perimeter, Feret diameter, orthogonal Feret diameter, Heywood factor, aspect ratio, sieve diameter, and sieve number were recorded. Probability distribution functions were created from the measurements of Heywood factor and aspect ratio.

  14. Topography of the Martian Impact Crater Tooting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Garbeil, H.; Boyce, J. M.

    2009-01-01

    Tooting crater is approx.29 km in diameter, is located at 23.4degN, 207.5degE, and is classified as a multi-layered ejecta crater [1]. Our mapping last year identified several challenges that can now be addressed with HiRISE and CTX images, but specifically the third dimension of units. To address the distribution of ponded sediments, lobate flows, and volatile-bearing units within the crater cavity, we have focused this year on creating digital elevation models (DEMs) for the crater and ejecta blanket from stereo CTX and HiRISE images. These DEMs have a spatial resolution of approx.50 m for CTX data, and 2 m for HiRISE data. Each DEM is referenced to all of the available individual MOLA data points within an image, which number approx.5,000 and 800 respectively for the two data types

  15. Fresh Impact Crater and Rays in Tharsis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Extended Mission has included dozens of opportunities to point the spacecraft directly at features of interest so that pictures of things not seen during the earlier Mapping Mission can be obtained. The example shown here is a small meteorite impact crater in northern Tharsis near 17.2oN, 113.8oW. Viking Orbiter images from the late 1970's showed at this location what appeared to be a dark patch with dark rays emanating from a brighter center. The MOC team surmised that the dark rays may be indicating the location of afresh crater formed by impact sometime in the past few centuries (since dark ray are quickly covered by dust falling out of the martian atmosphere). All through MOC's Mapping Mission in 1999 and 2000, attempts were made to image the crater as predictions indicated that the spacecraft would pass over the site, but the crater was never seen. Finally, in June 2001, Extended Mission operations allowed the MOC team to point the spacecraft (and hence the camera, which is fixed to the spacecraft)directly at the center of the dark rays, where we expected to find the crater.The picture on the left (above, A) is a mosaic of three MOC high resolution images and one much lower-resolution Viking image. From left to right, the images used in the mosaic are: Viking 1 516A55, MOC E05-01904, MOCM21-00272, and MOC M08-03697. Image E05-01904 is the one taken in June 2001 by pointing the spacecraft. It captured the impact crater responsible for the rays. A close-up of the crater, which is only 130 meters (427 ft)across, is shown on the right (above, B). This crater is only one-tenth the size of the famous Meteor Crater in northern Arizona.The June 2001 MOC image reveals many surprises about this feature. For one, the crater is not located at the center of the bright area from which the dark rays radiate. The rays point to the center of this bright area, not the crater. Further, the dark material ejected from the

  16. NASA Lunar Impact Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggs, Robert M.; Moser, D. E.

    2015-01-01

    The MSFC lunar impact monitoring program began in 2006 in support of environment definition for the Constellation (return to Moon) program. Work continued by the Meteoroid Environment Office after Constellation cancellation. Over 330 impacts have been recorded. A paper published in Icarus reported on the first 5 years of observations and 126 calibrated flashes. Icarus: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103514002243; ArXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.6458 A NASA Technical Memorandum on flash locations is in press

  17. Lunar architecture and urbanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Brent

    1992-01-01

    Human civilization and architecture have defined each other for over 5000 years on Earth. Even in the novel environment of space, persistent issues of human urbanism will eclipse, within a historically short time, the technical challenges of space settlement that dominate our current view. By adding modern topics in space engineering, planetology, life support, human factors, material invention, and conservation to their already renaissance array of expertise, urban designers can responsibly apply ancient, proven standards to the exciting new opportunities afforded by space. Inescapable facts about the Moon set real boundaries within which tenable lunar urbanism and its component architecture must eventually develop.

  18. Terrestrial Analogs for Surface Properties Associated with Impact Cratering on the Moon - Self-secondary Impact Features at Kings Bowl, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matiella Novak, M. A.; Zanetti, M.; Neish, C.; Kukko, A.; Fan, K.; Heldmann, J.; Hughes, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    The Kings Bowl (KB) eruptive fissure and lava field, located in the southern end of Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, is an ideal location for planetary analogue field studies of surface properties related to volcanic and impact processes. Here we look at possible impact features present in the KB lava field near the main vent that resulted in squeeze-ups of molten lava from beneath a semi-solid lava lake crust. These may have been caused by the ejection of blocks during the phreatic eruption that formed the Kings Bowl pit, and their subsequent impact into a partially solidified lava pond. We compare and contrast these features with analogous self-secondary impact features, such as irregular, rimless secondary craters ("splash craters") observed in lunar impact melt deposits, to better understand how self-secondary impacts determine the surface properties of volcanic and impact crater terrains. We do this by analyzing field measurements of these features, as well as high-resolution DEM data collected through the Kinematic LiDAR System (KLS), both of which give us feature dimensions and distributions. We then compare these data with self-secondary impact features on the Moon and related surface roughness constrained through Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter observations (Mini-RF and LROC NACs). Possible self-secondary impact features can be found in association with many lunar impact craters. These are formed when ballistic ejecta from the crater falls onto the ejecta blanket and melt surrounding the newly formed crater. Self-secondary impact features involving impact melt deposits are particularly useful to study because the visibly smooth melt texture serves to highlight the impact points in spacecraft imagery. The unusual morphology of some of these features imply that they formed when the melt had not yet completely solidified, strongly suggesting a source of impactors from the primary crater itself. We will also discuss ongoing efforts to integrate field

  19. Alkali gabbronorite, ultra-KREEPy melt rock and the diverse suite of clasts in North Ray crater feldspathic fragmental breccia 67975

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindstrom, M.M.

    1984-01-01

    Lunar breccia 67975 is a feldspathic fragmental breccia from North Ray crater, Apollo 16. It contains clasts of alkali gabbronorite and ultra-KREEPy mafic fragment-laden melt breccias, which are unique among Apollo 16 samples. Both are alkali- and iron-rich rocks with moderate to high REE concentrations. They more strongly resemble Apollo 14 gabbronorites and alkali anorthosites and KREEP-rich rocks than they do other Apollo 16 samples. The other clasts in 67975 are the ferroan anorthosites, feldspathic melt rocks, and magnesian granulites, which are typical of other feldspathic fragmental breccias. Examination of bulk and mineral compositions of other breccias and melt rocks suggests that alkali gabbronorite may be a minor component in other North Ray crater breccias and feldspathic melt rocks. This implies that alkali gabbronorite was a fairly early (4.0 b.y.) crustal component in the North Ray crater region

  20. Crater Mound Formation by Wind Erosion on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, L. J.; Kite, E. S.; Michaels, T. I.

    2018-01-01

    Most of Mars' ancient sedimentary rocks by volume are in wind-eroded sedimentary mounds within impact craters and canyons, but the connections between mound form and wind erosion are unclear. We perform mesoscale simulations of different crater and mound morphologies to understand the formation of sedimentary mounds. As crater depth increases, slope winds produce increased erosion near the base of the crater wall, forming mounds. Peak erosion rates occur when the crater depth is ˜2 km. Mound evolution depends on the size of the host crater. In smaller craters mounds preferentially erode at the top, becoming more squat, while in larger craters mounds become steeper sided. This agrees with observations where smaller craters tend to have proportionally shorter mounds and larger craters have mounds encircled by moats. If a large-scale sedimentary layer blankets a crater, then as the layer recedes across the crater it will erode more toward the edges of the crater, resulting in a crescent-shaped moat. When a 160 km diameter mound-hosting crater is subject to a prevailing wind, the surface wind stress is stronger on the leeward side than on the windward side. This results in the center of the mound appearing to "march upwind" over time and forming a "bat-wing" shape, as is observed for Mount Sharp in Gale crater.

  1. Lunar impact basins revealed by Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Gregory A; Zuber, Maria T; Wieczorek, Mark A; Head, James W; Baker, David M H; Solomon, Sean C; Smith, David E; Lemoine, Frank G; Mazarico, Erwan; Sabaka, Terence J; Goossens, Sander J; Melosh, H Jay; Phillips, Roger J; Asmar, Sami W; Konopliv, Alexander S; Williams, James G; Sori, Michael M; Soderblom, Jason M; Miljković, Katarina; Andrews-Hanna, Jeffrey C; Nimmo, Francis; Kiefer, Walter S

    2015-10-01

    Observations from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission indicate a marked change in the gravitational signature of lunar impact structures at the morphological transition, with increasing diameter, from complex craters to peak-ring basins. At crater diameters larger than ~200 km, a central positive Bouguer anomaly is seen within the innermost peak ring, and an annular negative Bouguer anomaly extends outward from this ring to the outer topographic rim crest. These observations demonstrate that basin-forming impacts remove crustal materials from within the peak ring and thicken the crust between the peak ring and the outer rim crest. A correlation between the diameter of the central Bouguer gravity high and the outer topographic ring diameter for well-preserved basins enables the identification and characterization of basins for which topographic signatures have been obscured by superposed cratering and volcanism. The GRAIL inventory of lunar basins improves upon earlier lists that differed in their totals by more than a factor of 2. The size-frequency distributions of basins on the nearside and farside hemispheres of the Moon differ substantially; the nearside hosts more basins larger than 350 km in diameter, whereas the farside has more smaller basins. Hemispherical differences in target properties, including temperature and porosity, are likely to have contributed to these different distributions. Better understanding of the factors that control basin size will help to constrain models of the original impactor population.

  2. Nuclear cratering on a digital computer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terhune, R W; Stubbs, T F; Cherry, J T [Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, University of California, Livermore, CA (United States)

    1970-05-01

    Computer programs based on the artificial viscosity method are applied to developing an understanding of the physics of cratering, with emphasis on cratering by nuclear explosives. Two established codes, SOC (spherical symmetry) and TENSOR (cylindrical symmetry), are used to illustrate the effects of variations in the material properties of various media on the cratering processes, namely shock, spall, and gas acceleration. Water content is found to be the most important material property, followed by strength, porosity, and compressibility. Crater profile calculations are presented for Pre-Gondola Charley (20-ton nitromethane detonation in shale) and Sedan (100-kt nuclear detonation in alluvium). Calculations also are presented for three 1-Mt yields in saturated Divide basalt and 1-Mt yield in dry Buckboard basalt, to show crater geometry as a function of the burial depth for large explosive yields. The calculations show, for megaton-level yields, that gas acceleration is the dominate mechanism in determining crater size and depends in turn on the water content in the medium. (author)

  3. Nuclear cratering on a digital computer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terhune, R.W.; Stubbs, T.F.; Cherry, J.T.

    1970-01-01

    Computer programs based on the artificial viscosity method are applied to developing an understanding of the physics of cratering, with emphasis on cratering by nuclear explosives. Two established codes, SOC (spherical symmetry) and TENSOR (cylindrical symmetry), are used to illustrate the effects of variations in the material properties of various media on the cratering processes, namely shock, spall, and gas acceleration. Water content is found to be the most important material property, followed by strength, porosity, and compressibility. Crater profile calculations are presented for Pre-Gondola Charley (20-ton nitromethane detonation in shale) and Sedan (100-kt nuclear detonation in alluvium). Calculations also are presented for three 1-Mt yields in saturated Divide basalt and 1-Mt yield in dry Buckboard basalt, to show crater geometry as a function of the burial depth for large explosive yields. The calculations show, for megaton-level yields, that gas acceleration is the dominate mechanism in determining crater size and depends in turn on the water content in the medium. (author)

  4. Plume Impingement to the Lunar Surface: A Challenging Problem for DSMC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumpkin, Forrest; Marichalar, Jermiah; Piplica, Anthony

    2007-01-01

    The President's Vision for Space Exploration calls for the return of human exploration of the Moon. The plans are ambitious and call for the creation of a lunar outpost. Lunar Landers will therefore be required to land near predeployed hardware, and the dust storm created by the Lunar Lander's plume impingement to the lunar surface presents a hazard. Knowledge of the number density, size distribution, and velocity of the grains in the dust cloud entrained into the flow is needing to develop mitigation strategies. An initial step to acquire such knowledge is simulating the associated plume impingement flow field. The following paper presents results from a loosely coupled continuum flow solver/Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) technique for simulating the plume impingement of the Apollo Lunar module on the lunar surface. These cases were chosen for initial study to allow for comparison with available Apollo video. The relatively high engine thrust and the desire to simulate interesting cases near touchdown result in flow that is nearly entirely continuum. The DSMC region of the flow field was simulated using NASA's DSMC Analysis Code (DAC) and must begin upstream of the impingement shock for the loosely coupled technique to succeed. It was therefore impossible to achieve mean free path resolution with a reasonable number of molecules (say 100 million) as is shown. In order to mitigate accuracy and performance issues when using such large cells, advanced techniques such as collision limiting and nearest neighbor collisions were employed. The final paper will assess the benefits and shortcomings of such techniques. In addition, the effects of plume orientation, plume altitude, and lunar topography, such as craters, on the flow field, the surface pressure distribution, and the surface shear stress distribution are presented.

  5. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 20th, Houston, TX, Mar. 13-17, 1989, Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpton, V.L.; Ryder, G.

    1990-01-01

    Topics discussed include the petrology and geochemistry of the moon, the geology of the moon, lunar regolith processes and resources, the petrology and geochemistry of achondrites, comets and interplanetary dust, shock and terrestrial cratering, the geology of Mars, and the geology of Venus. Papers are presented on silicate liquid immiscibility in isothermal crystallization experiments; highly evolved and ultramafic lithologies from Apollo 14 soils; the relationship between orbital, earth-based, and sample data for lunar landing sites; and the volcanotectonic evolution of Mare Frigoris. Attention is also given to glass variants and multiple HASP trends in Apollo 14 regolith breccias, the characterization of lunar ilmenite resources, the U-Th-Pb systematics of the Estherville mesosiderite, and the extraterrestrial halogen and sulfur contents of the stratosphere. Other papers are on argon-40/argon-39 dating of impact craters; the outliers of dust along the southern margin of the Tharsis region, Mars; and the geology of southern Guinevere Planitia, Venus, based on analyses of Goldstone radar data

  6. Lunar and Planetary Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilevsky, Alexander T.

    2018-05-01

    Lunar and planetary geology can be described using examples such as the geology of Earth (as the reference case) and geologies of the Earth's satellite the Moon; the planets Mercury, Mars and Venus; the satellite of Saturn Enceladus; the small stony asteroid Eros; and the nucleus of the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Each body considered is illustrated by its global view, with information given as to its position in the solar system, size, surface, environment including gravity acceleration and properties of its atmosphere if it is present, typical landforms and processes forming them, materials composing these landforms, information on internal structure of the body, stages of its geologic evolution in the form of stratigraphic scale, and estimates of the absolute ages of the stratigraphic units. Information about one body may be applied to another body and this, in particular, has led to the discovery of the existence of heavy "meteoritic" bombardment in the early history of the solar system, which should also significantly affect Earth. It has been shown that volcanism and large-scale tectonics may have not only been an internal source of energy in the form of radiogenic decay of potassium, uranium and thorium, but also an external source in the form of gravity tugging caused by attractions of the neighboring bodies. The knowledge gained by lunar and planetary geology is important for planning and managing space missions and for the practical exploration of other bodies of the solar system and establishing manned outposts on them.

  7. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  8. The apollo 15 lunar samples: A preliminary description

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gast, P.W.; Phinney, W.C.; Duke, M.B.; Silver, L.T.; Hubbard, N.J.; Heiken, G.H.; Butler, P.; McKay, D.S.; Warner, J.L.; Morrison, D.A.; Horz, F.; Head, J.; Lofgren, G.E.; Ridley, W.I.; Reid, A.M.; Wilshire, H.; Lindsay, J.F.; Carrier, W.D.; Jakes, P.; Bass, M.N.; Brett, P.R.; Jackson, E.D.; Rhodes, J.M.; Bansal, B.M.; Wainwright, J.E.; Parker, K.A.; Rodgers, K.V.; Keith, J.E.; Clark, R.S.; Schonfeld, E.; Bennett, L.; Robbins, Martha M.; Portenier, W.; Bogard, D.D.; Hart, W.R.; Hirsch, W.C.; Wilkin, R.B.; Gibson, E.K.; Moore, C.B.; Lewis, C.F.

    1972-01-01

    Samples returned from the Apollo 15 site consist of mare basalts and breccias with a variety of premare igneous rocks. The mare basalts are from at least two different lava flows. The bulk chemical compositions and textures of these rocks confirm the previous conclusion that the lunar maria consist of a series of extrusive volcanic rocks that are rich in iron and poor in sodium. The breccias contain abundant clasts of anorthositic fragments along with clasts of basaltic rocks much richer in plagioclase than the mare basalts. These two rock types also occur as common components in soil samples from this site. The rocks and soils from both the front and mare region exhibit a variety of shock characteristics that can best be ascribed to ray material from the craters Aristillus or Autolycus.

  9. A Monte Carlo model for the exposure history of lunar dust grains in the ancient solar wind

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borg, J.; Comstock, G.M.; Langevin, Y.; Maurette, M.; Jouffrey, B.; Jouret, C.

    1976-01-01

    The theoretical motion of the individual dust grains in the lunar regolith is analyzed by using a Monte Carlo statistical code where the variables are the mass and speed distribution of meteorites at the lunar surface and the geometrical shape of impact craters. From these computations the detailed irradiation history of the grains in the ancient solar wind is traced back, over a period of 4 billion years, as a function of the grain-size. Then by combining this irradiation scheme with the results of solar wind simulation experiments, the time and depth dependent accumulation of solar wind effects in the theoretical grains (solar wind maturation) is inferred. Finally, the validity of these predictions is tentatively checked by discussing a variety of physical and chemical solar wind effects which are registered in the surface layers of lunar dust grains. Therefore these studies give a tentative scenario for the 'maturation' of the lunar regolith with respect to solar wind effects, but they also reveal useful guidelines to deduce meaningful information from such effects. In particular, they suggest a 'lunar skin' sampling technique for extracting dust grains in lunar core tubes which could help in deciphering the past activity of the ancient solar wind over a time scale of several billion years. (Auth.)

  10. Effect of terrestrial radiation on brightness temperature at lunar nearside: Based on theoretical calculation and data analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Guangfei; Li, Xiongyao; Wang, Shijie

    2015-02-01

    Terrestrial radiation is another possible source of heat in lunar thermal environment at its nearside besides the solar illumination. On the basis of Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) data products, the effect of terrestrial radiation on the brightness temperature (TBe) of the lunar nearside has been theoretically calculated. It shows that the mafic lunar mare with high TBe is more sensitive to terrestrial radiation than the feldspathic highland with low TBe value. According to the synchronous rotation of the Moon, we extract TBe on lunar nearside using the microwave radiometer data from the first Chinese lunar probe Chang'E-1 (CE-1). Consistently, the average TBe at Mare Serenitatis is about 1.2 K while the highland around the Geber crater (19.4°S, 13.9°E) is relatively small at ∼0.4 K. Our results indicate that there is no significant effect of terrestrial radiation on TBe at the lunar nearside. However, to extract TBe accurately, effects of heat flow, rock abundance and subsurface rock fragments which are more significant should be considered in the future work.

  11. LRO-LAMP Observations of the Lunar Exosphere Coordinated with LADEE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grava, C.; Retherford, K. D.; Greathouse, T. K.; Gladstone, R.; Hurley, D.; Cook, J. C.; Stern, S. A.; Feldman, P. D.; Kaufmann, D. E.; Miles, P. F.; Pryor, W. R.; Halekas, J. S.

    2014-12-01

    The polar orbiting Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's (LRO) Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) carried out an atmospheric campaign during the month of December 2013, at the same time the Lunar Atmospheric and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission was sampling the lunar exosphere in a retrograde equatorial orbit. Observations of the lunar exosphere were performed by LAMP during a solar "beta-90" geometry, i.e. riding along the lunar terminator. During this geometry, the LAMP nadir-pointed line of sight to the nightside surface also includes illuminated columns of foreground emissions from exospheric species, which is invaluable in the study of the tenuous lunar exosphere. Other types of maneuvers to probe the lunar exosphere were also performed by LAMP/LRO during this campaign. During backward pitch slews, the LRO spacecraft was pitched to look opposite its direction of motion to a point just inside the limb in the nightside region around the polar terminator. Forward pitch slews were also obtained, and the angles of 63 deg or 77 deg from nadir were set depending on the polar region observed. Finally, during lateral roll slews, LRO rotated by ~60 deg towards the nightside limb, maximizing the amount of illuminated atmosphere in the foreground probed by the LAMP field of view. We extract day to day density variations on helium and/or upper limits for numerous other species that were accessible to both LAMP and LADEE (e.g., Ar, Ne, O, and H2). Moreover, constraints on helium density will complement measurements of solar wind alpha particles (He++) from the ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, & Electrodynamics of Moon's Interaction with the Sun) mission. This comparison will provide a comprehensive picture of composition, abundance, and spatial and temporal variations of volatiles of the lunar exosphere, combining equatorial (LADEE) and polar (LAMP) measurements for the first time. Volatiles in the lunar exosphere, especially water, are of paramount

  12. Tests of the lunar hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1984-01-01

    The concept that the Moon was fissioned from the Earth after core separation is the most readily testable hypothesis of lunar origin, since direct comparisons of lunar and terrestrial compositions can be made. Differences found in such comparisons introduce so many ad hoc adjustments to the fission hypothesis that it becomes untestable. Further constraints may be obtained from attempting to date the volatile-refractory element fractionation. The combination of chemical and isotopic problems suggests that the fission hypothesis is no longer viable, and separate terrestrial and lunar accretion from a population of fractionated precursor planetesimals provides a more reasonable explanation.

  13. Year 3 LUNAR Annual Report to the NASA Lunar Science Institute

    OpenAIRE

    Burns, Jack; Lazio, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR) is a team of researchers and students at leading universities, NASA centers, and federal research laboratories undertaking investigations aimed at using the Moon as a platform for space science. LUNAR research includes Lunar Interior Physics & Gravitation using Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), Low Frequency Cosmology and Astrophysics (LFCA), Planetary Science and the Lunar Ionosphere, Radio Heliophysics, and Exploration Science. The LUN...

  14. Pancam Peek into 'Victoria Crater' (Stereo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left-eye view of a stereo pair for PIA08776 [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right-eye view of a stereo pair for PIA08776 A drive of about 60 meters (about 200 feet) on the 943rd Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's exploration of Mars' Meridiani Planum region (Sept. 18, 2006) brought the NASA rover to within about 50 meters (about 160 feet) of the rim of 'Victoria Crater.' This crater has been the mission's long-term destination for the past 21 Earth months. Opportunity reached a location from which the cameras on top of the rover's mast could begin to see into the interior of Victoria. This stereo anaglyph was made from frames taken on sol 943 by the panoramic camera (Pancam) to offer a three-dimensional view when seen through red-blue glasses. It shows the upper portion of interior crater walls facing toward Opportunity from up to about 850 meters (half a mile) away. The amount of vertical relief visible at the top of the interior walls from this angle is about 15 meters (about 50 feet). The exposures were taken through a Pancam filter selecting wavelengths centered on 750 nanometers. Victoria Crater is about five times wider than 'Endurance Crater,' which Opportunity spent six months examining in 2004, and about 40 times wider than 'Eagle Crater,' where Opportunity first landed. The great lure of Victoria is the expectation that a thick stack of geological layers will be exposed in the crater walls, potentially several times the thickness that was previously studied at Endurance and therefore, potentially preserving several times the historical record.

  15. The Early Lunar Orbit and Principal Moments of Inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrick-Bethell, I.; Zuber, M. T.

    2007-12-01

    If taken at face value, the principal lunar moments of inertia suggest that the Moon froze in a past tidal and rotational state during a high eccentricity orbit [1]. At this time the Moon may have been in either synchronous rotation or in a 3:2 resonance of spin and mean motion. We have performed further investigations of the plausibility of past high eccentricity lunar orbits on the basis of orbital evolution, the dynamics of entry into any past 3:2 resonance, and tidal dissipation. We have found that the requisite permanent (B-A)/C (where A, B, and C are the principal moments of inertia) for a 3:2 resonance can be achieved in a magma ocean if a density anomaly is present shortly after lunar accretion. In a high eccentricity orbit, tidal dissipation will affect the Moon's ability to develop lithospheric strength. The Moon is presently able to support degree-two loads, while Io, which is approximately the same size as the Moon and strongly heated by tidal dissipation, probably cannot [2]. Therefore, somewhere between the present lunar radioactive heating rate (~1012 W), and Io's observed dissipation (~1014 W), the Moon may develop lithospheric strength. We use 1014 W as a loose upper bound on where freeze-in may begin and find that in a 3:2 resonance tidal dissipation [3] can drop below 1014 W at a = 25 RE and e = 0.17, and the present moments of inertia can be approximately reproduced for lunar values of QM = 475 (where a is the lunar semimajor axis, RE is the Earth radius, and Q is the specific dissipation function). This value of QM is somewhat large, but the biggest problem with a 3:2 resonance that lasts until 25 RE is how to achieve the current low eccentricity synchronous orbit. The required damping cannot be easily achieved unless the Moon is knocked out of a 3:2 resonance by an impactor that would produce a crater approximately 800 km in diameter. In sum, there is no single strong constraint that completely rules out a 3:2 resonance, but it would require a

  16. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Workshops for Educators, Year 1 Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Bleacher, L.; Shaner, A. J.; Dalton, H.

    2011-12-01

    This past summer, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) sponsored a series of weeklong professional development workshops designed to educate and inspire grade 6-12 science teachers: the Lunar Workshops for Educators. Participants learned about lunar science and exploration, gained tools to help address common student misconceptions about the Moon, heard some of the latest research results from LRO scientists, worked with LRO data, and learned how to bring these data to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grade 6-12 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks. Where possible, the workshops also included tours of science facilities or field trips intended to help the teachers better understand mission operations or geologic processes relevant to the Moon. The workshops were very successful. Participants demonstrated an improved understanding of lunar science concepts in post-workshop assessments (as compared to identical pre-assessments) and a greater understanding of how to access and productively share data from LRO with their students and provide them with authentic research experiences. Participant feedback on workshop surveys was also enthusiastically positive. 5 additional Lunar Workshops for Educators will be held around the country in the summer of 2012. For more information and to register, visit http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html.

  17. A Tale of Two Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] In western Acidalia, two craters of similar size (a few km's) dramatically display the effects of geologic activity. The younger one on the left has been left relatively well preserved, retaining a sharp rim crest, a classic bowl shape, and a clearly defined ejecta blanket. The older one on the right likely has experienced a flood of lava that covered over the ejecta and filled in the bowl (note the breach in the rim). Its rim crest has been worn down by a multitude of subsequent impacts.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 35.9, Longitude 311.1 East (48.9 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  18. The Global Contribution of Secondary Craters on the Icy Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogenboom, T.; Johnson, K. E.; Schenk, P.

    2014-12-01

    At present, surface ages of bodies in the Outer Solar System are determined only from crater size-frequency distributions (a method dependent on an understanding of the projectile populations responsible for impact craters in these planetary systems). To derive accurate ages using impact craters, the impactor population must be understood. Impact craters in the Outer Solar System can be primary, secondary or sesquinary. The contribution of secondary craters to the overall population has recently become a "topic of interest." Our objective is to better understand the contribution of dispersed secondary craters to the small crater populations, and ultimately that of small comets to the projectile flux on icy satellites in general. We measure the diameters of obvious secondary craters (determined by e.g. irregular crater shape, small size, clustering) formed by all primary craters on Ganymede for which we have sufficiently high resolution data to map secondary craters. Primary craters mapped range from approximately 40 km to 210 km. Image resolution ranges from 45 to 440 m/pixel. Bright terrain on Ganymede is our primary focus. These resurfaced terrains have relatively low crater densities and serve as a basis for characterizing secondary populations as a function of primary size on an icy body for the first time. Although focusing on Ganymede, we also investigate secondary crater size, frequency, distribution, and formation, as well as secondary crater chain formation on icy satellites throughout the Saturnian and Jovian systems principally Rhea. We compare our results to similar studies of secondary cratering on the Moon and Mercury. Using Galileo and Voyager data, we have identified approximately 3,400 secondary craters on Ganymede. In some cases, we measured crater density as a function of distance from a primary crater. Because of the limitations of the Galileo data, it is necessary to extrapolate from small data sets to the global population of secondary craters

  19. Cratering Equations for Zinc Orthotitanate Coated Aluminum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, James; Christiansen, Eric; Liou, Jer-Chyi; Ryan, Shannon

    2009-01-01

    The final STS-125 servicing mission (SM4) to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in May of 2009 saw the return of the 2nd Wide Field Planetary Camera (WFPC2) aboard the shuttle Discovery. This hardware had been in service on HST since it was installed during the SM1 mission in December of 1993 yielding one of the longest low Earth orbit exposure times (15.4 years) of any returned space hardware. The WFPC2 is equipped with a 0.8 x 2.2 m radiator for thermal control of the camera electronics (Figure 1). The space facing surface of the 4.1 mm thick aluminum radiator is coated with Z93 zinc orthotitanate thermal control paint with a nominal thickness of 0.1 0.2 mm. Post flight inspections of the radiator panel revealed hundreds of micrometeoroid/orbital debris (MMOD) impact craters ranging in size from less than 300 to nearly 1000 microns in diameter. The Z93 paint exhibited large spall areas around the larger impact sites (Figure 2) and the craters observed in the 6061-T651 aluminum had a different shape than those observed in uncoated aluminum. Typical hypervelocity impact craters in aluminum have raised lips around the impact site. The craters in the HST radiator panel had suppressed crater lips, and in some cases multiple craters were present instead of a single individual crater. Humes and Kinard observed similar behavior after the WFPC1 post flight inspection and assumed the Z93 coating was acting like a bumper in a Whipple shield. Similar paint behavior (spall) was also observed by Bland2 during post flight inspection of the International Space Station (ISS) S-Band Antenna Structural Assembly (SASA) in 2008. The SASA, with similar Z93 coated aluminum, was inspected after nearly 4 years of exposure on the ISS. The multi-crater phenomena could be a function of the density, composition, or impact obliquity angle of the impacting particle. For instance, a micrometeoroid particle consisting of loosely bound grains of material could be responsible for creating the

  20. Early lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, S. K.; Mellema, J. P.

    1976-01-01

    A new method (Shaw, 1974) for investigating paleointensity (the ancient magnetic field) was applied to three subsamples of a single, 1-m homogeneous clast from a recrystallized boulder of lunar breccia. Several dating methods established 4 billion years as the age of boulder assembly. Results indicate that the strength of the ambient magnetic field at the Taurus-Littrow region of the moon was about 0.4 oersted at 4 billion years ago. Values as high as 1.2 oersted have been reported (Collison et al., 1973). The required fields are approximately 10,000 times greater than present interplanetary or solar flare fields. It is suggested that this large field could have arisen from a pre-main sequence T-Tauri sun.

  1. Electrochemistry of lunar rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, D. J.; Haskin, L. A.

    1979-01-01

    Electrolysis of silicate melts has been shown to be an effective means of producing metals from common silicate materials. No fluxing agents need be added to the melts. From solution in melts of diopside (CaMgSi2O6) composition, the elements Si, Ti, Ni, and Fe have been reduced to their metallic states. Platinum is a satisfactory anode material, but other cathode materials are needed. Electrolysis of compositional analogs of lunar rocks initially produces iron metal at the cathode and oxygen gas at the anode. Utilizing mainly heat and electricity which are readily available from sunlight, direct electrolysis is capable of producing useful metals from common feedstocks without the need for expendable chemicals. This simple process and the products obtained from it deserve further study for use in materials processing in space.

  2. Lunar magnetic anomalies detected by the Apollo substatellite magnetometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, L.L.; Coleman, P.J.; Russell, C.T.; Wilhelms, D.E.

    1979-01-01

    Properties of lunar crustal magnetization thus far deduced from Apollo subsatellite magnetometer data are reviewed using two of the most accurate presently available magnetic anomaly maps - one covering a portion of the lunar near side and the other a part of the far side. The largest single anomaly found within the region of coverage on the near-side map correlates exactly with a conspicuous, light-colored marking in western Oceanus Procellarum called Reiner Gamma. This feature is interpreted as an unusual deposit of ejecta from secondary craters of the large nearby primary impact crater Cavalerius. An age for Cavalerius (and, by implication, for Reiner Gamma) of 3.2 ?? 0.2 ?? 109 y is estimated. The main (30 ?? 60 km) Reiner Gamma deposit is nearly uniformly magnetized in a single direction, with a minimum mean magnetization intensity of ???7 ?? 10-2 G cm3/g (assuming a density of 3 g/cm3), or about 700 times the stable magnetization component of the most magnetic returned samples. Additional medium-amplitude anomalies exist over the Fra Mauro Formation (Imbrium basin ejecta emplaced ???3.9 ?? 109 y ago) where it has not been flooded by mare basalt flows, but are nearly absent over the maria and over the craters Copernicus, Kepler, and Reiner and their encircling ejecta mantles. The mean altitude of the far-side anomaly gap is much higher than that of the near-side map and the surface geology is more complex, so individual anomaly sources have not yet been identified. However, it is clear that a concentration of especially strong sources exists in the vicinity of the craters Van de Graaff and Aitken. Numerical modeling of the associated fields reveals that the source locations do not correspond with the larger primary impact craters of the region and, by analogy with Reiner Gamma, may be less conspicuous secondary crater ejecta deposits. The reason for a special concentration of strong sources in the Van de Graaff-Aitken region is unknown, but may be indirectly

  3. Google Moon Lunar Mapping Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A collection of lunar maps and charts. This tool is an exciting new way to explore the story of the Apollo missions, still the only time mankind has set foot on...

  4. First oxygen from lunar basalt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, M. A.; Knudsen, C. W.; Brueneman, D. J.; Kanamori, H.; Ness, R. O.; Sharp, L. L.; Brekke, D. W.; Allen, C. C.; Morris, R. V.; Keller, L. P.

    1993-01-01

    The Carbotek/Shimizu process to produce oxygen from lunar soils has been successfully demonstrated on actual lunar samples in laboratory facilities at Carbotek with Shimizu funding and support. Apollo sample 70035 containing approximately 25 percent ilmenite (FeTiO3) was used in seven separate reactions with hydrogen varying temperature and pressure: FeTiO3 + H2 yields Fe + TiO2 + H2O. The experiments gave extremely encouraging results as all ilmenite was reduced in every experiment. The lunar ilmenite was found to be about twice as reactive as terrestrial ilmenite samples. Analytical techniques of the lunar and terrestrial ilmenite experiments performed by NASA Johnson Space Center include iron Mossbauer spectroscopy (FeMS), optical microscopy, SEM, TEM, and XRD. The Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota performed three SEM techniques (point count method, morphology determination, elemental mapping), XRD, and optical microscopy.

  5. Thermodynamics of lunar ilmenite reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altenberg, B. H.; Franklin, H. A.; Jones, C. H.

    1993-01-01

    With the prospect of returning to the moon, the development of a lunar occupation would fulfill one of the goals of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of the late 1980's. Processing lunar resources into useful products, such as liquid oxygen for fuel and life support, would be one of many aspects of an active lunar base. ilmenite (FeTiO3) is found on the lunar surface and can be used as a feed stock to produce oxygen. Understanding the various ilmenite-reduction reactions elucidates many processing options. Defining the thermodynamic chemical behavior at equilibrium under various conditions of temperature and pressures can be helpful in specifying optimal operating conditions. Differences between a previous theoretical analysis and experimentally determined results has sparked interest in trying to understand the effect of operating pressure on the hydrogen-reduction-of-ilmenite reaction. Various aspects of this reduction reaction are discussed.

  6. Lunar Health Monitor, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — During the Phase II Lunar Health Monitor program, Orbital Research will develop a second generation wearable sensor suite for astronaut physiologic monitoring. The...

  7. Optimizing laser crater enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lednev, V. N.; Sdvizhenskii, P. A.; Grishin, M. Ya.; Fedorov, A. N.; Khokhlova, O. V.; Oshurko, V. B.; Pershin, S. M.

    2018-05-01

    The laser crater enhanced Raman scattering (LCERS) spectroscopy technique has been systematically studied for chosen sampling strategy and influence of powder material properties on spectra intensity enhancement. The same nanosecond pulsed solid state Nd:YAG laser (532 nm, 10 ns, 0.1-1.5 mJ/pulse) was used for laser crater production and Raman scattering experiments for L-aspartic acid powder. Increased sampling area inside crater cavity is the key factor for Raman signal improvement for the LCERS technique, thus Raman signal enhancement was studied as a function of numerous experimental parameters including lens-to-sample distance, wavelength (532 and 1064 nm) and laser pulse energy utilized for crater production. Combining laser pulses of 1064 and 532 nm wavelengths for crater ablation was shown to be an effective way for additional LCERS signal improvement. Powder material properties (particle size distribution, powder compactness) were demonstrated to affect LCERS measurements with better results achieved for smaller particles and lower compactness.

  8. Dielectric properties of lunar surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yushkova, O. V.; Kibardina, I. N.

    2017-03-01

    Measurements of the dielectric characteristics of lunar soil samples are analyzed in the context of dielectric theory. It has been shown that the real component of the dielectric permittivity and the loss tangent of rocks greatly depend on the frequency of the interacting electromagnetic field and the soil temperature. It follows from the analysis that one should take into account diurnal variations in the lunar surface temperature when interpreting the radar-sounding results, especially for the gigahertz radio range.

  9. Lunar Navigation Architecture Design Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Christopher; Getchius, Joel; Holt, Greg; Moreau, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The NASA Constellation Program is aiming to establish a long-term presence on the lunar surface. The Constellation elements (Orion, Altair, Earth Departure Stage, and Ares launch vehicles) will require a lunar navigation architecture for navigation state updates during lunar-class missions. Orion in particular has baselined earth-based ground direct tracking as the primary source for much of its absolute navigation needs. However, due to the uncertainty in the lunar navigation architecture, the Orion program has had to make certain assumptions on the capabilities of such architectures in order to adequately scale the vehicle design trade space. The following paper outlines lunar navigation requirements, the Orion program assumptions, and the impacts of these assumptions to the lunar navigation architecture design. The selection of potential sites was based upon geometric baselines, logistical feasibility, redundancy, and abort support capability. Simulated navigation covariances mapped to entry interface flightpath- angle uncertainties were used to evaluate knowledge errors. A minimum ground station architecture was identified consisting of Goldstone, Madrid, Canberra, Santiago, Hartebeeshoek, Dongora, Hawaii, Guam, and Ascension Island (or the geometric equivalent).

  10. Two-dimensional computer simulation of hypervelocity impact cratering: some preliminary results for Meteor Crater, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, J.B.; Burton, D.E.; Cunningham, M.E.; Lettis, L.A. Jr.

    1978-06-01

    A computational approach used for subsurface explosion cratering was extended to hypervelocity impact cratering. Meteor (Barringer) Crater, Arizona, was selected for the first computer simulation because it is one of the most thoroughly studied craters. It is also an excellent example of a simple, bowl-shaped crater and is one of the youngest terrestrial impact craters. Initial conditions for this calculation included a meteorite impact velocity of 15 km/s, meteorite mass of 1.67 x 10 8 kg, with a corresponding kinetic energy of 1.88 x 10 16 J (4.5 megatons). A two-dimensional Eulerian finite difference code called SOIL was used for this simulation of a cylindrical iron projectile impacting at normal incidence into a limestone target. For this initial calculation, a Tillotson equation-of-state description for iron and limestone was used with no shear strength. Results obtained for this preliminary calculation of the formation of Meteor Crater are in good agreement with field measurements. A color movie based on this calculation was produced using computer-generated graphics. 19 figures, 5 tables, 63 references

  11. Two-dimensional computer simulation of hypervelocity impact cratering: some preliminary results for Meteor Crater, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, J.B.; Burton, D.E.; Cunningham, M.E.; Lettis, L.A. Jr.

    1978-04-01

    A computational approach used for subsurface explosion cratering has been extended to hypervelocity impact cratering. Meteor (Barringer) Crater, Arizona, was selected for our first computer simulation because it was the most thoroughly studied. It is also an excellent example of a simple, bowl-shaped crater and is one of the youngest terrestrial impact craters. Shoemaker estimates that the impact occurred about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago [Roddy (1977)]. Initial conditions for this calculation included a meteorite impact velocity of 15 km/s. meteorite mass of 1.57E + 08 kg, with a corresponding kinetic energy of 1.88E + 16 J (4.5 megatons). A two-dimensional Eulerian finite difference code called SOIL was used for this simulation of a cylindrical iron projectile impacting at normal incidence into a limestone target. For this initial calculation a Tillotson equation-of-state description for iron and limestone was used with no shear strength. A color movie based on this calculation was produced using computer-generated graphics. Results obtained for this preliminary calculation of the formation of Meteor Crater, Arizona, are in good agreement with Meteor Crater Measurements

  12. Two-dimensional computer simulation of hypervelocity impact cratering: some preliminary results for Meteor Crater, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bryan, J.B.; Burton, D.E.; Cunningham, M.E.; Lettis, L.A. Jr.

    1978-06-01

    A computational approach used for subsurface explosion cratering was extended to hypervelocity impact cratering. Meteor (Barringer) Crater, Arizona, was selected for the first computer simulation because it is one of the most thoroughly studied craters. It is also an excellent example of a simple, bowl-shaped crater and is one of the youngest terrestrial impact craters. Initial conditions for this calculation included a meteorite impact velocity of 15 km/s, meteorite mass of 1.67 x 10/sup 8/ kg, with a corresponding kinetic energy of 1.88 x 10/sup 16/ J (4.5 megatons). A two-dimensional Eulerian finite difference code called SOIL was used for this simulation of a cylindrical iron projectile impacting at normal incidence into a limestone target. For this initial calculation, a Tillotson equation-of-state description for iron and limestone was used with no shear strength. Results obtained for this preliminary calculation of the formation of Meteor Crater are in good agreement with field measurements. A color movie based on this calculation was produced using computer-generated graphics. 19 figures, 5 tables, 63 references.

  13. Experimental investigation of crater growth dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, R. M.; Housen, K. R.; Bjorkman, M. D.; Holsapple, K. A.

    1985-01-01

    This work is a continuation of an ongoing program whose objective is to perform experiments and to develop scaling relationships for large-body impacts onto planetary surfaces. The centrifuge technique is used to provide experimental data for actual target materials of interest. With both power and gas guns mounted on the rotor arm, it is possible to match various dimensionless similarity parameters, which have been shown to govern the behavior of large-scale impacts. The development of the centrifuge technique has been poineered by the present investigators and is documented by numerous publications, the most recent of which are listed below. Understanding the dependence of crater size upon gravity has been shown to be key to the complete determination of the dynamic and kinematic behavior of crater formation as well as ejecta phenomena. Three unique time regimes in the formation of an impact crater have been identified.

  14. Physics of soft impact and cratering

    CERN Document Server

    Katsuragi, Hiroaki

    2016-01-01

    This book focuses on the impact dynamics and cratering of soft matter to describe its importance, difficulty, and wide applicability to planetary-related problems. A comprehensive introduction to the dimensional analysis and constitutive laws that are necessary to discuss impact mechanics and cratering is first provided. Then, particular coverage is given to the impact of granular matter, which is one of the most crucial constituents for geophysics. While granular matter shows both solid-like and fluid-like behaviors, neither solid nor fluid dynamics is sufficient to fully understand the physics of granular matter. In order to reveal its fundamental properties, extensive impact tests have been carried out recently. The author reveals the findings of these recent studies as well as what remains unsolved in terms of impact dynamics. Impact crater morphology with various soft matter impacts also is discussed intensively. Various experimental and observational results up to the recent Itokawa asteroid’s terrain...

  15. A concept of row crater enhancement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Redpath, B.B.

    1970-01-01

    Linear craters formed by the simultaneous detonation of a row of buried explosives will probably have a wider application than single charges in the explosive excavation of engineering structures. Most cratering experience to date has been with single charges, and an analytical procedure for the design of a row of charges to excavate a crater with a specified configuration has been lacking. There are no digital computer codes having direct application to a row of charges as there are for single charges. This paper derives a simple relationship which can be used to design row charges with some assurance of achieving the desired result and with considerable flexibility in the choice of explosive yield of the individual charges

  16. Goat paddock cryptoexplosion crater, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, J.E.; Milton, D.J.; Ferguson, J.; Gilbert, D.J.; Harris, W.K.; Goleby, B.

    1980-01-01

    Goat Paddock, a crater slightly over 5 km in diameter (18??20??? S, 126??40???E), lies at the north edge of the King Leopold Range/Mueller Range junction in the Kimberley district, Western Australia (Fig. 1). It was noted as a geological anomaly in 1964 during regional mapping by the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics and the Geological Survey of Western Australia. The possibility of its being a meteorite impact crater has been discussed1, although this suggestion was subsequently ignored2. Two holes were drilled by a mining corporation in 1972 to test whether kimberlite underlay the structure. Here we report the findings of five days of reconnaissance in August 1979 which established that Goat Paddock is a cryptoexplosion crater containing shocked rocks and an unusually well exposed set of structural features. ?? 1980 Nature Publishing Group.

  17. Lomonosov Crater, Day and Night

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Released 16 June 2004 This pair of images shows part of Lomonosov Crater. Day/Night Infrared Pairs The image pairs presented focus on a single surface feature as seen in both the daytime and nighttime by the infrared THEMIS camera. The nighttime image (right) has been rotated 180 degrees to place north at the top. Infrared image interpretation Daytime: Infrared images taken during the daytime exhibit both the morphological and thermophysical properties of the surface of Mars. Morphologic details are visible due to the effect of sun-facing slopes receiving more energy than antisun-facing slopes. This creates a warm (bright) slope and cool (dark) slope appearance that mimics the light and shadows of a visible wavelength image. Thermophysical properties are seen in that dust heats up more quickly than rocks. Thus dusty areas are bright and rocky areas are dark. Nighttime: Infrared images taken during the nighttime exhibit only the thermophysical properties of the surface of Mars. The effect of sun-facing versus non-sun-facing energy dissipates quickly at night. Thermophysical effects dominate as different surfaces cool at different rates through the nighttime hours. Rocks cool slowly, and are therefore relatively bright at night (remember that rocks are dark during the day). Dust and other fine grained materials cool very quickly and are dark in nighttime infrared images. Image information: IR instrument. Latitude 64.9, Longitude 350.7 East (9.3 West). 100 meter/pixel resolution. Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project

  18. Giordano Bruno crater on the Moon: Detection and Mapping of Hydration Features of Endogenic and/or Exogenic Nature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saran Bhiravarasu, Sriram; Bhattacharya, Satadru; Chauhan, Prakash

    2017-10-01

    We analyze high resolution spectral and spatial data from the recent lunar missions and report the presence of strong hydration features within the inner flank, hummocky floor, ejecta and impact melt deposits of crater Giordano Bruno. Hydroxyl-bearing lithologies at Giordano Bruno are characterized primarily by a prominent absorption feature near 2800 nm, the band minima of which goes beyond 3000 nm. The hydration features are found to be associated with low-Ca pyroxene-bearing noritic lithologies along the inner crater flanks, whereas similar features are also seen within the hummocky crater floor in association with shocked plagioclase-bearing anorthositic lithology. Interestingly, the ejecta blanket is characterized by sharp, narrow features centered near 2800 nm similar to the features previously reported from Compton-Belkovich volcanic complex and central peak of crater Theophilus. The low-Ca pyroxene-bearing rock exposures within the crater inner flanks are characterized by both presence and absence of the hydration features. Enhanced hydration is also seen within the ejecta blanket covering the nearby Harkhebi K and J craters. We also analyze the impact melts and ejecta using radar images at regions interior and exterior to the Giordano Bruno crater rim.Anomalous behaviors of hydration feature associated with low-Ca pyroxene-rich exposures, its nature and occurrences within the impact melt sheets inside the crater along with the ejecta blankets could possibly indicate endogenic and/or exogenic nature of the observed hydration feature. Initial results indicate the presence of strongest hydration feature in the partially shadowed pole-facing slopes (with low-Ca pyroxene-bearing exposures) and its complete absence in the equator-facing sun-lit slopes. This hints at a possible exogenic origin, whereas the same feature occurring (with same mineral) under both sun-lit and shadowed conditions suggest it to be of magmatic origin. We propose that the heterogeneous

  19. Optimizing laser crater enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lednev, V N; Sdvizhenskii, P A; Grishin, M Ya; Filichkina, V A; Shchegolikhin, A N; Pershin, S M

    2018-03-20

    Raman signal enhancement by laser crater production was systematically studied for 785 nm continuous wave laser pumping. Laser craters were produced in L-aspartic acid powder by a nanosecond pulsed solid state neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser (532 nm, 8 ns, 1 mJ/pulse), while Raman spectra were then acquired by using a commercial spectrometer with 785 nm laser beam pumping. The Raman signal enhancement effect was studied in terms of the number of ablating pulses used, the lens-to-sample distance, and the crater-center-laser-spot offset. The influence of the experiment parameters on Raman signal enhancement was studied for different powder materials. Maximum Raman signal enhancement reached 11 fold for loose powders but decreased twice for pressed tablets. Raman signal enhancement was demonstrated for several diverse powder materials like gypsum or ammonium nitrate with better results achieved for the samples tending to give narrow and deep craters upon the laser ablation stage. Alternative ways of cavity production (steel needle tapping and hole drilling) were compared with the laser cratering technique in terms of Raman signal enhancement. Drilling was found to give the poorest enhancement of the Raman signal, while both laser ablation and steel needle tapping provided comparable results. Here, we have demonstrated for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, that a Raman signal can be enhanced 10 fold with the aid of simple cavity production by steel needle tapping in rough highly reflective materials. Though laser crater enhancement Raman spectroscopy requires an additional pulsed laser, this technique is more appropriate for automatization compared to the needle tapping approach.

  20. Laboratory and Field Investigations of Small Crater Repair Technologies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Priddy, Lucy P; Tingle, Jeb S; McCaffrey, Timothy J; Rollings, Ray S

    2007-01-01

    .... This airfield damage repair (ADR) investigation consisted of laboratory testing of selected crater fill and capping materials, as well as full-scale field testing of small crater repairs to evaluate field mixing methods, installation...

  1. Lunar Limb Observatory: An Incremental Plan for the Utilization, Exploration, and Settlement of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowman, Paul. D., Jr.

    1996-01-01

    This paper proposes a comprehensive incremental program, Lunar Limb Observatory (LLO), for a return to the Moon, beginning with robotic missions and ending with a permanent lunar settlement. Several recent technological developments make such a program both affordable and scientifically valuable: robotic telescopes, the Internet, light-weight telescopes, shared- autonomy/predictive graphics telerobotic devices, and optical interferometry systems. Reasons for focussing new NASA programs on the Moon include public interest, Moon-based astronomy, renewed lunar exploration, lunar resources (especially helium-3), technological stimulus, accessibility of the Moon (compared to any planet), and dispersal of the human species to counter predictable natural catastrophes, asteroidal or cometary impacts in particular. The proposed Lunar Limb Observatory would be located in the crater Riccioli, with auxiliary robotic telescopes in M. Smythii and at the North and South Poles. The first phase of the program, after site certification, would be a series of 5 Delta-launched telerobotic missions to Riccioli (or Grimaldi if Riccioli proves unsuitable), emplacing robotic telescopes and carrying out surface exploration. The next phase would be 7 Delta-launched telerobotic missions to M. Smythii (2 missions), the South Pole (3 missions), and the North Pole (2 missions), emplacing robotic telescopes to provide continuous all-sky coverage. Lunar base establishment would begin with two unmanned Shuttle/Fitan-Centaur missions to Riccioli, for shelter emplacement, followed by the first manned return, also using the Shuttle/Fitan-Centaur mode. The main LLO at Riccioli would then be permanently or periodically inhabited, for surface exploration, telerobotic rover and telescope operation and maintenance, and support of Earth-based student projects. The LLO would evolve into a permanent human settlement, serving, among other functions, as a test area and staging base for the exploration

  2. Mars: Stratigraphy of Western Highlands and Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Scott, D. H.; Tuesink, M. F.

    1985-01-01

    Geologic mapping and stratigraphic studies of Mars based on Viking images improved knowledge of the relative age and occurrence of geologic units on a global scale. Densities of geologic units or features during the Noarchian, Hesperian, and Amazonian periods are indicated for the North and South polar regions as well as the equatorial region of Mars. Cumulative counts of crater size frequencies for craters larger than 2 km in diameter on plateau units mapped in the western region of Mars counts indicate that the plateau terrain as a whole was thinly resurfaced during the Hesperian Period, and a large proportion of pre-existing craters less than 10 to 15 km in diameter was buried. The formation of northern plains, subpolar highlands, and both polar regions is also described.

  3. Modern mysteries of the Moon what we still don’t know about our lunar companion

    CERN Document Server

    Foster, Vincent S

    2016-01-01

    There are still many questions that remain about the Moon. From concentric craters to lunar swirls, water vapor and lunar reverberations on impact, Foster collects it all for a fascinating tour that will illuminate the backyard observer's understanding of this easily viewed, yet also imperfectly understood, celestial object. Data from Apollo and a flotilla of unmanned Moon orbiters, crashers, and landers have all contributed to our understanding of the Moon, but these mysteries linger despite decades of research. When Project Apollo brought back lunar rocks and soil samples, it opened a new chapter of understanding Earth's lone natural satellite, a process that continues to this day, as old results are revisited and new techniques are used on existing samples. Topics such as the origin, evolution, structure and composition of the Moon, however, are still under debate. Lunar research is still an active field of study. New technologies make it possible to continue to learn. But even so, the Moon continues to h...

  4. Lunar evolution: is there a global radioactive crust on the moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murthy, V.R.

    1977-01-01

    Chemical and isotopic analyses of various grainsize fractions of lunar soils show the presence of an 'exotic component' in practically all lunar soils. The patterns of enrichments in the grain-size fractions and the Sr-isotopic data show that the regolith evolution displays the combined effects of comminution of local rock types and addition of the exotic component. The chemical characteristics of this exotic component as deduced from the chemical and isotopic data in soils from Apollo 11, 12, 15 and 16 uniformly point to compositions similar to the material from Fra Mauro region collected in the Apollo 14 mission. There is a strong correlation between the amount of exotic component in a soil and its distance from the Fra Mauro region. It is suggested that the exotic component represents trace element enriched material from the Imbrium-Procellarum region, which was surficially deposited during Imbrium excavation and re-exposed from under the mare-lavas in subsequent cratering events. Surficial transport processes have distributed these materials widely over the lunar surface. There appears no need to invoke a global radioactive crust on the Moon nor of 'hot spots' distributed over the entire surface of the Moon to explain the ubiquitous presence of this component in lunar regolith, nor is there a compelling reason at present to postulate a global melting process for the generation of highly differentiated materials such as 'kreep' and the exotic component. (author)

  5. Lunar Quest in Second Life, Lunar Exploration Island, Phase II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ireton, F. M.; Day, B. H.; Mitchell, B.; Hsu, B. C.

    2010-12-01

    Linden Lab’s Second Life is a virtual 3D metaverse created by users. At any one time there may be 40,000-50,000 users on line. Users develop a persona and are seen on screen as a human figure or avatar. Avatars move through Second Life by walking, flying, or teleporting. Users form communities or groups of mutual interest such as music, computer graphics, and education. These groups communicate via e-mail, voice, and text within Second Life. Information on downloading the Second Life browser and joining can be found on the Second Life website: www.secondlife.com. This poster details Phase II in the development of Lunar Exploration Island (LEI) located in Second Life. Phase I LEI highlighted NASA’s LRO/LCROSS mission. Avatars enter LEI via teleportation arriving at a hall of flight housing interactive exhibits on the LRO/ LCROSS missions including full size models of the two spacecraft and launch vehicle. Storyboards with information about the missions interpret the exhibits while links to external websites provide further information on the mission, both spacecraft’s instrument suites, and related EPO. Other lunar related activities such as My Moon and NLSI EPO programs. A special exhibit was designed for International Observe the Moon Night activities with links to websites for further information. The sim includes several sites for meetings, a conference stage to host talks, and a screen for viewing NASATV coverage of mission and other televised events. In Phase II exhibits are updated to reflect on-going lunar exploration highlights, discoveries, and future missions. A new section of LEI has been developed to showcase NASA’s Lunar Quest program. A new exhibit hall with Lunar Quest information has been designed and is being populated with Lunar Quest information, spacecraft models (LADEE is in place) and kiosks. A two stage interactive demonstration illustrates lunar phases with static and 3-D stations. As NASA’s Lunar Quest program matures further

  6. Lunar Meteorites: A Global Geochemical Dataset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigler, R. A.; Joy, K. H.; Arai, T.; Gross, J.; Korotev, R. L.; McCubbin, F. M.

    2017-01-01

    To date, the world's meteorite collections contain over 260 lunar meteorite stones representing at least 120 different lunar meteorites. Additionally, there are 20-30 as yet unnamed stones currently in the process of being classified. Collectively these lunar meteorites likely represent 40-50 distinct sampling locations from random locations on the Moon. Although the exact provenance of each individual lunar meteorite is unknown, collectively the lunar meteorites represent the best global average of the lunar crust. The Apollo sites are all within or near the Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT), thus lithologies from the PKT are overrepresented in the Apollo sample suite. Nearly all of the lithologies present in the Apollo sample suite are found within the lunar meteorites (high-Ti basalts are a notable exception), and the lunar meteorites contain several lithologies not present in the Apollo sample suite (e.g., magnesian anorthosite). This chapter will not be a sample-by-sample summary of each individual lunar meteorite. Rather, the chapter will summarize the different types of lunar meteorites and their relative abundances, comparing and contrasting the lunar meteorite sample suite with the Apollo sample suite. This chapter will act as one of the introductory chapters to the volume, introducing lunar samples in general and setting the stage for more detailed discussions in later more specialized chapters. The chapter will begin with a description of how lunar meteorites are ejected from the Moon, how deep samples are being excavated from, what the likely pairing relationships are among the lunar meteorite samples, and how the lunar meteorites can help to constrain the impactor flux in the inner solar system. There will be a discussion of the biases inherent to the lunar meteorite sample suite in terms of underrepresented lithologies or regions of the Moon, and an examination of the contamination and limitations of lunar meteorites due to terrestrial weathering. The

  7. Precision Lunar Laser Ranging For Lunar and Gravitational Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkowitz, S. M.; Arnold, D.; Dabney, P. W.; Livas, J. C.; McGarry, J. F.; Neumann, G. A.; Zagwodzki, T. W.

    2008-01-01

    Laser ranging to retroreflector arrays placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts and the Soviet Lunar missions over the past 39 years have dramatically increased our understanding of gravitational physics along with Earth and Moon geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics. Significant advances in these areas will require placing modern retroreflectors and/or active laser ranging systems at new locations on the lunar surface. Ranging to new locations will enable better measurements of the lunar librations, aiding in our understanding of the interior structure of the moon. More precise range measurements will allow us to study effects that are too small to be observed by the current capabilities as well as enabling more stringent tests of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Setting up retroreflectors was a key part of the Apollo missions so it is natural to ask if future lunar missions should include them as well. The Apollo retroreflectors are still being used today, and nearly 40 years of ranging data has been invaluable for scientific as well as other studies such as orbital dynamics. However, the available retroreflectors all lie within 26 degrees latitude of the equator, and the most useful ones within 24 degrees longitude of the sub-earth meridian. This clustering weakens their geometrical strength.

  8. Lunar Industry & Research Base Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lysenko, J.; Kaliapin, M.; Osinovyy, G.

    2017-09-01

    Currently, all main space industry players, such as Europe, USA, Russia, China, etc., are looking back again at the idea of Moon exploration building there a manned lunar base. Alongside with other world spacefaring nations, Yuzhnoye State Design Office with its long-time development experience, technological and intellectual potential, organized its own conceptual work on development of the Lunar Industry & Research Base. In the frames of conceptual project "Lunar Industrial & Research Base" were formed its appearance, preliminary configuration and infrastructure at different stages of operation, trajectory and flight scheme to the Moon, as well as terms of the project's realization, and main technical characteristics of the systems under development, such as space transportation system for crew and cargo delivery to lunar surface and return to Earth, standardized designs of lunar modules, lunar surface vehicles, etc. The "Lunar Industrial & Research Base" project's preliminary risk assessment has shown a high value of its overall risk due to the lack of reliable information about the Moon, technical risks, long-term development of its elements, very high financial costs and dependence on state support. This points to the fact that it is reasonable to create such a global project in cooperation with other countries. International cooperation will expand the capabilities of any nation, reduce risks and increase the success probability of automated or manned space missions. It is necessary to create and bring into operation practical mechanisms for long-term space exploration on a global scale. One of the ways to do this is to create a multinational agency which would include both state enterprises and private companies.

  9. Crater ejecta scaling laws: fundamental forms based on dimensional analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Housen, K.R.; Schmidt, R.M.; Holsapple, K.A.

    1983-01-01

    A model of crater ejecta is constructed using dimensional analysis and a recently developed theory of energy and momentum coupling in cratering events. General relations are derived that provide a rationale for scaling laboratory measurements of ejecta to larger events. Specific expressions are presented for ejection velocities and ejecta blanket profiles in two limiting regimes of crater formation: the so-called gravity and strength regimes. In the gravity regime, ejectra velocities at geometrically similar launch points within craters vary as the square root of the product of crater radius and gravity. This relation implies geometric similarity of ejecta blankets. That is, the thickness of an ejecta blanket as a function of distance from the crater center is the same for all sizes of craters if the thickness and range are expressed in terms of crater radii. In the strength regime, ejecta velocities are independent of crater size. Consequently, ejecta blankets are not geometrically similar in this regime. For points away from the crater rim the expressions for ejecta velocities and thickness take the form of power laws. The exponents in these power laws are functions of an exponent, α, that appears in crater radius scaling relations. Thus experimental studies of the dependence of crater radius on impact conditions determine scaling relations for ejecta. Predicted ejection velocities and ejecta-blanket profiles, based on measured values of α, are compared to existing measurements of velocities and debris profiles

  10. Coesite from Wabar crater, near Al Hadida, Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, E.C.T.; Fahey, J.J.; Littler, J.

    1961-01-01

    The third natural occurrence of coesite, the high pressure polymorph of silica, is found at the Wabar meteorite crater, Arabia. The Wabar crater is about 300 feet in diameter and about 40 feet deep. It is the smallest of three craters where coesite has been found.

  11. 3D structure of the Gusev Crater region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Kan - Parker, M.; Zegers, T.E.; kneissl, T.; Ivanov, B.; Neukum, G.; Foing, B.

    2010-01-01

    Gusev Crater lies within the Aeolis Quadrangle of Mars at the boundary between the northern lowlands and southern highlands. The ancient valley Ma'adim Vallis dissects the highlands south of Gusev Crater and is thought to have fed the crater with sediments.High Resolution Stereo Camera data and

  12. View of the Lunar Module 'Orion' and Lunar Roving Vehicle during first EVA

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    A view of the Lunar Module (LM) 'Orion' and Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), as photographed by Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA-1) at the Descates landing site. Astronaut John W. Young, commander, can be seen directly behind the LRV. The lunar surface feature in the left background is Stone Mountain.

  13. Topography of the Lunar Poles and Application to Geodesy with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; Rowlands, David D.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) [1] onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) [2] has been operating continuously since July 2009 [3], accumulating approx.5.4 billion measurements from 2 billion on-orbit laser shots. LRO s near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, which are each sampled every 2h. With more than 10,000 orbits, high-resolution maps can be constructed [4] and studied [5]. However, this requires careful processing of the raw data, as subtle errors in the spacecraft position and pointing can lead to visible artifacts in the final map. In other locations on the Moon, ground tracks are subparallel and longitudinal separations are typically a few hundred meters. Near the poles, the track intersection angles can be large and the inter-track spacing is small (above 80 latitude, the effective resolution is better than 50m). Precision Orbit Determination (POD) of the LRO spacecraft [6] was performed to satisfy the LOLA and LRO mission requirements, which lead to a significant improvement in the orbit position knowledge over the short-release navigation products. However, with pixel resolutions of 10 to 25 meters, artifacts due to orbit reconstruction still exist. Here, we show how the complete LOLA dataset at both poles can be adjusted geometrically to produce a high-accuracy, high-resolution maps with minimal track artifacts. We also describe how those maps can then feedback to the POD work, by providing topographic base maps with which individual LOLA altimetric measurements can be contributing to orbit changes. These direct altimetry constraints improve accuracy and can be used more simply than the altimetric crossovers [6].

  14. Computer simulating observations of the Lunar physical libration for the Japanese Lunar project ILOM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrova, Natalia; Hanada, Hideo

    2010-05-01

    In the frame of the second stage of the Japanese space mission SELENE-2 (Hanada et al. 2009) the project ILOM (In-situ Lunar Orientation Measurement) planned after 2017years is a kind of instrument for positioning on the Moon. It will be set near the lunar pole and will determine parameters of lunar physical libration by positioning of several tens of stars in the field of view regularly for longer than one year. Presented work is dedicated to analyses of computer simulating future observations. It's proposed that for every star crossing lunar prime meridian its polar distance will be to measure. The methods of optimal star observation are being developed for the future experiment. The equations are constructed to determine libration angles ? (t),ρ(t),σ(t)- on the basis of observed polar distances pobs: (| f1(?,ρ,Iσ,pobs) = 0 |{ f2(?,ρ,Iσ,pobs) = 0 | f3(?,ρ,Iσ,pobs) = 0 |( or f(X) = 0, where ; f = ? f1 ? | f2 | |? f3 |? X = ? ? ? | ρ | |? Iσ |? (1) At the present stage we have developed the software for selection of stars for these future polar observations. Stars were taken from various stellar catalogues, such as the UCAC2-BSS, Hipparcos, Tycho and FK6. The software reduces ICRS coordinates of star to selenographical system at the epoch of observation (Petrova et al., 2009). For example, to the epochs 2017 - 2018 more than 50 stars brighter than m = 12 were selected for the northern pole. In total, these stars give about 600 crossings of the prime meridian during one year. Nevertheless, only a few stars (2-5) may be observed in a vicinity of the one moment. This is not enough to have sufficient sample to exclude various kind of errors. The software includes programmes which can determine the moment of transition of star across the meridian and theoretical values of libration angles at this moments. A serious problem arises when we try to solve equations (1) with the purpose to determine libration angles on the basis of simulated pobs.. Polar distances

  15. Two lunar global asymmetries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartung, J. B.

    1984-01-01

    The Moon's center of mass is displaced from its center of figure about 2 km in a roughly earthward direction. Most maria are on the side of the Moon which faces the Earth. It is assumed that the Moon was initially spherically symmetric. The emplacement of mare basalts transfers mass which produces most of the observed center of mass displacement toward the Earth. The cause of the asymmetric distribution of lunar maria was examined. The Moon is in a spin orbit coupled relationship with the Earth and the effect of the Earth's gravity on the Moon is asymmetric. The earth-facing side of the Moon is a gravitational favored location for the extrusion of mare basalt magma in the same way that the topographically lower floor of a large impact basin is a gravitationally favored location. This asymmetric effect increases inversely with the fourth power of the Earth Moon distance. The history of the Earth-Moon system includes: formation of the Moon by accretion processes in a heliocentric orbit ner that of the Earth; a gravitational encounter with the Earth about 4 billion years ago resulting in capture of the Moon into a geocentric orbit and heating of the Moon through dissipation of energy related to tides raised during close approaches to the Earth(5) to produce mare basalt magma; and evolution of the Moon's orbit to its present position, slowly at first to accommodate more than 500 million years during which magmas were extruded.

  16. Summary of results of cratering experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toman, J [Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Livermore, CA (United States)

    1969-07-01

    The use of nuclear excavation as a construction technique for producing harbors, canals, highway cuts, and other large excavations requires a high assurance that the yield and depth of burst selected for the explosive will produce the desired configuration within an acceptable degree of tolerance. Nuclear excavation technology advanced significantly during 1968 as a result of the successful execution of Projects Cabriolet, Buggy, and Schooner. Until these experiments were conducted, the only nuclear data available for designing large excavations were derived from Sedan (100 kt in alluvium), Danny Boy (0.42 kt in basalt), and Sulky (0.090 kt in basalt). Applicable experience has now been extended to include two additional rock types: tuff and porphyritic trachyte, non-homogeneous formations with severe geologic layering, and a nuclear row in hard rock. The continued development of cratering calculations using in situ geophysical measurements and high-pressure test data have provided a means for predicting the cratering characteristics of untested materials. Chemical explosive cratering experiments conducted in the pre-Gondola series during the past several years have been directed toward determining the behavior of weak, wet clay shales. This material is important to nuclear excavation because of potential long-term stability problems which may affect the cratered slopes. (author)

  17. Inclement Weather Crater Repair Tool Kit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-11-30

    9. Corrugated steel quadcons. ....................................................................................................... 14 Figure 10...Saw cutting around crater upheaval. ERDC/GSL TR-17-26 6 The excavation team is responsible for breaking up the damaged portland cement ...in the table located on Sheet 2 in Appendix A. The corrugated steel quadcons (Item 1) are equipped with double swing doors on both ends of the

  18. Summary of results of cratering experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toman, J.

    1969-01-01

    The use of nuclear excavation as a construction technique for producing harbors, canals, highway cuts, and other large excavations requires a high assurance that the yield and depth of burst selected for the explosive will produce the desired configuration within an acceptable degree of tolerance. Nuclear excavation technology advanced significantly during 1968 as a result of the successful execution of Projects Cabriolet, Buggy, and Schooner. Until these experiments were conducted, the only nuclear data available for designing large excavations were derived from Sedan (100 kt in alluvium), Danny Boy (0.42 kt in basalt), and Sulky (0.090 kt in basalt). Applicable experience has now been extended to include two additional rock types: tuff and porphyritic trachyte, non-homogeneous formations with severe geologic layering, and a nuclear row in hard rock. The continued development of cratering calculations using in situ geophysical measurements and high-pressure test data have provided a means for predicting the cratering characteristics of untested materials. Chemical explosive cratering experiments conducted in the pre-Gondola series during the past several years have been directed toward determining the behavior of weak, wet clay shales. This material is important to nuclear excavation because of potential long-term stability problems which may affect the cratered slopes. (author)

  19. Fluids, evaporation and precipitates at Gale Crater

    OpenAIRE

    Schwenzer, S. P.; Bridges, J. C.; Leveille, R.; Wiens, R. C.; Mangold, N.; McAdam, A.; Conrad, P.; Kelley, S. P.; Westall, F.; Martín-Torres, F.; Zorzano, M.-P.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission landed in Gale Crater, Mars, on 6th August 2012, and has explored the Yellowknife Bay area. The detailed mineralogical and sedimentological studies provide a unique opportunity to characterise the secondary fluids associated with this habitable environment.

  20. The Carancas meteorite impact crater, Peru: Geologic surveying and modeling of crater formation and atmospheric passage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenkmann, T.; Artemieva, N. A.; Wünnemann, K.; Poelchau, M. H.; Elbeshausen, D.; Núñez Del Prado, H.

    2009-08-01

    The recent Carancas meteorite impact event caused a worldwide sensation. An H4-5 chondrite struck the Earth south of Lake Titicaca in Peru on September 15, 2007, and formed a crater 14.2 m across. It is the smallest, youngest, and one of two eye-witnessed impact crater events on Earth. The impact violated the hitherto existing view that stony meteorites below a size of 100 m undergo major disruption and deceleration during their passage through the atmosphere and are not capable of producing craters. Fragmentation occurs if the strength of the meteoroid is less than the aerodynamic stresses that occur in flight. The small fragments that result from a breakup rain down at terminal velocity and are not capable of producing impact craters. The Carancas cratering event, however, demonstrates that meter-sized stony meteoroids indeed can survive the atmospheric passage under specific circumstances. We present results of a detailed geologic survey of the crater and its ejecta. To constrain the possible range of impact parameters we carried out numerical models of crater formation with the iSALE hydrocode in two and three dimensions. Depending on the strength properties of the target, the impact energies range between approximately 100-1000 MJ (0.024- 0.24 t TNT). By modeling the atmospheric traverse we demonstrate that low cosmic velocities (12- 14 kms-1) and shallow entry angles (<20°) are prerequisites to keep aerodynamic stresses low (<10 MPa) and thus to prevent fragmentation of stony meteoroids with standard strength properties. This scenario results in a strong meteoroid deceleration, a deflection of the trajectory to a steeper impact angle (40-60°), and an impact velocity of 350-600 ms-1, which is insufficient to produce a shock wave and significant shock effects in target minerals. Aerodynamic and crater modeling are consistent with field data and our microscopic inspection. However, these data are in conflict with trajectories inferred from the analysis of

  1. Apollo Missions to the Lunar Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graff, Paige V.

    2018-01-01

    Six Apollo missions to the Moon, from 1969-1972, enabled astronauts to collect and bring lunar rocks and materials from the lunar surface to Earth. Apollo lunar samples are curated by NASA Astromaterials at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Samples continue to be studied and provide clues about our early Solar System. Learn more and view collected samples at: https://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar.

  2. Lunar surface engineering properties experiment definition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, J. K.; Goodman, R. E.; Hurlbut, F. C.; Houston, W. N.; Willis, D. R.; Witherspoon, P. A.; Hovland, H. J.

    1971-01-01

    Research on the mechanics of lunar soils and on developing probes to determine the properties of lunar surface materials is summarized. The areas of investigation include the following: soil simulation, soil property determination using an impact penetrometer, soil stabilization using urethane foam or phenolic resin, effects of rolling boulders down lunar slopes, design of borehole jack and its use in determining failure mechanisms and properties of rocks, and development of a permeability probe for measuring fluid flow through porous lunar surface materials.

  3. New Age for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.; Martel, L. M. V.

    2018-04-01

    Lunar-focused research and plans to return to the lunar surface for science and exploration have reemerged since the Space Policy Directive-1 of December 11, 2017 amended the National Space Policy to include the following, "Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations." In response to this revision, NASA proposes a Lunar Exploration and Discovery Program in the U.S. fiscal year 2019 Budget Request. It supports NASA's interests in commercial and international partnerships in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), long-term exploration in Cislunar space beyond LEO, and research and exploration conducted on the Moon to inform future crewed missions, even to destinations beyond the Moon. (Cislunar refers to the volume of space between LEO and the Moon's orbital distance.) The lunar campaign strengthens the integration of human and robotic activities on the lunar surface with NASA's science, technology, and exploration goals.

  4. Lunar power systems. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-12-01

    The findings of a study on the feasibility of several methods of providing electrical power for a permanently manned lunar base are provided. Two fundamentally different methods for lunar electrical power generation are considered. One is the use of a small nuclear reactor and the other is the conversion of solar energy to electricity. The baseline goal was to initially provide 300 kW of power with growth capability to one megawatt and eventually to 10 megawatts. A detailed, day by day scenario for the establishment, build-up, and operational activity of the lunar base is presented. Also presented is a conceptual approach to a supporting transportation system which identifies the number, type, and deployment of transportation vehicles required to support the base. An approach to the use of solar cells in the lunar environment was developed. There are a number of heat engines which are applicable to solar/electric conversions, and these are examined. Several approaches to energy storage which were used by the electric power utilities were examined and those which could be used at a lunar base were identified

  5. Basic radio interferometry for future lunar missions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aminaei, Amin; Klein Wolt, Marc; Chen, Linjie; Bronzwaer, Thomas; Pourshaghaghi, Hamid Reza; Bentum, Marinus Jan; Falcke, Heino

    2014-01-01

    In light of presently considered lunar missions, we investigate the feasibility of the basic radio interferometry (RIF) for lunar missions. We discuss the deployment of two-element radio interferometer on the Moon surface. With the first antenna element is envisaged to be placed on the lunar lander,

  6. Status and Future of Lunar Geoscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986

    A review of the status, progress, and future direction of lunar research is presented in this report from the lunar geoscience working group of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Information is synthesized and presented in four major sections. These include: (1) an introduction (stating the reasons for lunar study and identifying…

  7. Nanophase Fe0 in lunar soils

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    globules that occur in the rinds of many soil grains and in the ... tinitic glass is a quenched product of silicate melts, also produced by micrometeorite impacts on lunar soils ..... stand impact processes and their products. ... cules at night; the earth's atmosphere by con- .... deep lunar interior from an inversion of lunar free oscil-.

  8. A revised surface age for the North Polar Layered Deposits of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Margaret E.; Byrne, Shane; Daubar, Ingrid J.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Dundas, Colin M.

    2016-01-01

    The North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) of Mars contain a complex stratigraphy that has been suggested to retain a record of past eccentricity- and obliquity-forced climate changes. The surface accumulation rate in the current climate can be constrained by the crater retention age. We scale NPLD crater diameters to account for icy target strength and compare surface age using a new production function for recent small impacts on Mars to the previously used model of Hartmann (2005). Our results indicate that ice is accumulating in these craters several times faster than previously thought, with a 100 m diameter crater being completely infilled within centuries. Craters appear to have a diameter-dependent lifetime, but the data also permit a complete resurfacing of the NPLD at ~1.5 ka.

  9. Is the Linné impact crater morphology influenced by the rheological layering on the Moon's surface? Insights from numerical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martellato, Elena; Vivaldi, Valerio; Massironi, Matteo; Cremonese, Gabriele; Marzari, Francesco; Ninfo, Andrea; Haruyama, Junichi

    2017-07-01

    Linné is a simple crater, with a diameter of 2.23 km and a depth of 0.52 km, located in northwestern Mare Serenitatis. Recent high-resolution data acquired by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera revealed that the shape of this impact structure is best described by an inverted truncated-cone. We perform morphometric measurements, including slope and profile curvature, on the Digital Terrain Model of Linné, finding the possible presence of three subtle topographic steps, at the elevation of +20, -100, and -200 m relative to the target surface. The kink at -100 m might be related to the interface between two different rheological layers. Using the iSALE shock physics code, we numerically model the formation of Linné crater to derive hints on the possible impact conditions and target physical properties. In the initial setup, we adopt a basaltic projectile impacting the Moon with a speed of 18 km s-1. For the local surface, we consider either one or two layers, in order to test the influence of material properties or composite rheologies on the final crater morphology. The one-layer model shows that the largest variations in the crater shape take place when either the cohesion or the friction coefficient is varied. In particular, a cohesion of 10 kPa marks the threshold between conical- and parabolic-shaped craters. The two-layer model shows that the interface between the two layers would be exposed at the observed depth of 100 m when an intermediate value ( 200 m) for the upper fractured layer is set. We have also found that the truncated-cone morphology of Linné might originate from an incomplete collapse of the crater wall, as the breccia lens remains clustered along the crater walls, while the high-albedo deposit on the crater floor can be interpreted as a very shallow lens of fallout breccia. The modeling analysis allows us to derive important clues on the impactor size (under the assumption of a vertical impact and collision velocity equal to the mean

  10. Lunar Cube Transfer Trajectory Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folta, David; Dichmann, Donald James; Clark, Pamela E.; Haapala, Amanda; Howell, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Numerous Earth-Moon trajectory and lunar orbit options are available for Cubesat missions. Given the limited Cubesat injection infrastructure, transfer trajectories are contingent upon the modification of an initial condition of the injected or deployed orbit. Additionally, these transfers can be restricted by the selection or designs of Cubesat subsystems such as propulsion or communication. Nonetheless, many trajectory options can b e considered which have a wide range of transfer duration, fuel requirements, and final destinations. Our investigation of potential trajectories highlights several options including deployment from low Earth orbit (LEO) geostationary transfer orbits (GTO) and higher energy direct lunar transfer and the use of longer duration Earth-Moon dynamical systems. For missions with an intended lunar orbit, much of the design process is spent optimizing a ballistic capture while other science locations such as Sun-Earth libration or heliocentric orbits may simply require a reduced Delta-V imparted at a convenient location along the trajectory.

  11. Lunar Rotation, Orientation and Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Ratcliff, J. T.; Boggs, D. H.

    2004-12-01

    The Moon is the most familiar example of the many satellites that exhibit synchronous rotation. For the Moon there is Lunar Laser Ranging measurements of tides and three-dimensional rotation variations plus supporting theoretical understanding of both effects. Compared to uniform rotation and precession the lunar rotational variations are up to 1 km, while tidal variations are about 0.1 m. Analysis of the lunar variations in pole direction and rotation about the pole gives moment of inertia differences, third-degree gravity harmonics, tidal Love number k2, tidal dissipation Q vs. frequency, dissipation at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and emerging evidence for an oblate boundary. The last two indicate a fluid core, but a solid inner core is not ruled out. Four retroreflectors provide very accurate positions on the Moon. The experience with the Moon is a starting point for exploring the tides, rotation and orientation of the other synchronous bodies of the solar system.

  12. Lunar heat-flow experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langseth, M. G.

    1977-01-01

    The principal components of the experiment were probes, each with twelve thermometers of exceptional accuracy and stability, that recorded temperature variations at the surface and in the regolith down to 2.5 m. The Apollo 15 experiment and the Apollo 17 probes recorded lunar surface and subsurface temperatures. These data provided a unique and valuable history of the interaction of solar energy with lunar surface and the effects of heat flowing from the deep interior out through the surface of the moon. The interpretation of these data resulted in a clearer definition of the thermal and mechanical properties of the upper two meters of lunar regolith, direct measurements of the gradient in mean temperature due to heat flow from the interior and a determination of the heat flow at the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 sites.

  13. Experimental simulation of impact cratering on icy satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, R.; Fink, J. H.; Gault, D. E.; Guest, J. E.

    1982-01-01

    Cratering processes on icy satellites were simulated in a series of 102 laboratory impact experiments involving a wide range of target materials. For impacts into homogeneous clay slurries with impact energies ranging from five million to ten billion ergs, target yield strengths ranged from 100 to 38 Pa, and apparent viscosities ranged from 8 to 200 Pa s. Bowl-shaped craters, flat-floored craters, central peak craters with high or little relief, and craters with no relief were observed. Crater diameters increased steadily as energies were raised. A similar sequence was seen for experiment in which impact energy was held constant but target viscosity and strength progressively decreases. The experiments suggest that the physical properties of the target media relative to the gravitationally induced stresses determined the final crater morphology. Crater palimpsests could form by prompt collapse of large central peak craters formed in low target strength materials. Ages estimated from crater size-frequency distributions that include these large craters may give values that are too high.

  14. Shallow and deep fresh impact craters in Hesperia Planum, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.; Hayashi, Joan N.

    1993-01-01

    The depths of 109 impact craters about 2-16 km in diameter, located on the ridged plains materials of Hesperia Planum, Mars, have been measured from their shadow lengths using digital Viking Orbiter images (orbit numbers 417S-419S) and the PICS computer software. On the basis of their pristine morphology (very fresh lobate ejecta blankets, well preserved rim crests, and lack of superposed impact craters), 57 of these craters have been selected for detailed analysis of their spatial distribution and geometry. We find that south of 30 deg S, craters less than 6.0 km in diameter are markedly shallower than similar-sized craters equatorward of this latitude. No comparable relationship is observed for morphologically fresh craters greater than 6.0 km diameter. We also find that two populations exist for older craters less than 6.0 km diameter. When craters that lack ejecta blankets are grouped on the basis of depth/diameter ratio, the deeper craters also typically lie equatorward of 30 S. We interpret the spatial variation in crater depth/diameter ratios as most likely due to a poleward increase in volatiles within the top 400 m of the surface at the times these craters were formed.

  15. The Distribution of Ice in Lunar Permanently Shadowed Regions: Science Enabling Exploration (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurley, D.; Elphic, R. C.; Bussey, B.; Hibbitts, C.; Lawrence, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Recent prospecting indicates that water ice occurs in enhanced abundances in some lunar PSRs. That water constitutes a resource that enables lunar exploration if it can be harvested for fuel and life support. Future lunar exploration missions will need detailed information about the distribution of volatiles in lunar permanently shadowed regions (PSRs). In addition, the volatiles also offer key insights into the recent and distant past, as they have trapped volatiles delivered to the moon over ~2 Gyr. This comprises an unparalleled reservoir of past inner solar system volatiles, and future scientific missions are needed to make the measurements that will reveal the composition of those volatiles. These scientific missions will necessarily have to acquire and analyze samples of volatiles from the PSRs. For both exploration and scientific purposes, the precise location of volatiles will need to be known. However, data indicate that ice is distributed heterogeneously on the Moon. It is unlikely that the distribution will be known a priori with enough spatial resolution to guarantee access to volatiles using a single point sample. Some mechanism for laterally or vertically distributed access will increase the likelihood of acquiring a rich sample of volatiles. Trade studies will need to be conducted to anticipate the necessary range and duration of missions to lunar PSRs that will be needed to accomplish the mission objectives. We examine the spatial distribution of volatiles in lunar PSRs reported from data analyses and couple those with models of smaller scale processes. FUV and laser data from PSRs that indicate the average surface distribution is consistent with low abundances on the extreme surface in most PSRs. Neutron and radar data that probe the distribution at depth show heterogeneity at broad spatial resolution. We consider those data in conjunction with the model to understand the full, 3-D nature of the heterogeneity. A Monte Carlo technique simulates the

  16. Lunar Base Heat Pump

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D.; Fischbach, D.; Tetreault, R.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this project was to investigate the feasibility of constructing a heat pump suitable for use as a heat rejection device in applications such as a lunar base. In this situation, direct heat rejection through the use of radiators is not possible at a temperature suitable for lde support systems. Initial analysis of a heat pump of this type called for a temperature lift of approximately 378 deg. K, which is considerably higher than is commonly called for in HVAC and refrigeration applications where heat pumps are most often employed. Also because of the variation of the rejection temperature (from 100 to 381 deg. K), extreme flexibility in the configuration and operation of the heat pump is required. A three-stage compression cycle using a refrigerant such as CFC-11 or HCFC-123 was formulated with operation possible with one, two or three stages of compression. Also, to meet the redundancy requirements, compression was divided up over multiple compressors in each stage. A control scheme was devised that allowed these multiple compressors to be operated as required so that the heat pump could perform with variable heat loads and rejection conditions. A prototype heat pump was designed and constructed to investigate the key elements of the high-lift heat pump concept. Control software was written and implemented in the prototype to allow fully automatic operation. The heat pump was capable of operation over a wide range of rejection temperatures and cooling loads, while maintaining cooling water temperature well within the required specification of 40 deg. C +/- 1.7 deg. C. This performance was verified through testing.

  17. Lunar Prospecting With Chandra

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-09-01

    Observations of the bright side of the Moon with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected oxygen, magnesium, aluminum and silicon over a large area of the lunar surface. The abundance and distribution of those elements will help to determine how the Moon was formed. "We see X-rays from these elements directly, independent of assumptions about the mineralogy and other complications," said Jeremy Drake of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., at a press conference at the "Four Years with Chandra" symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. "We have Moon samples from the six widely-space Apollo landing sites, but remote sensing with Chandra can cover a much wider area," continued Drake. "It's the next best thing to being there, and it's very fast and cost-effective." The lunar X-rays are caused by fluorescence, a process similar to the way that light is produced in fluorescent lamps. Solar X-rays bombard the surface of the Moon, knock electrons out of the inner parts of the atoms, putting them in a highly unstable state. Almost immediately, other electrons rush to fill the gaps, and in the process convert their energy into the fluorescent X-rays seen by Chandra. According to the currently popular "giant impact" theory for the formation of the Moon, a body about the size of Mars collided with the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. This impact flung molten debris from the mantle of both the Earth and the impactor into orbit around the Earth. Over the course of tens of millions of years, the debris stuck together to form the Moon. By measuring the amounts of aluminum and other elements over a wide area of the Moon and comparing them to the Earth's mantle, Drake and his colleagues plan to help test the giant impact hypothesis. "One early result," quipped Drake, "is that there is no evidence for large amounts of calcium, so cheese is not a major constituent of the Moon." Illustration of Earth's Geocorona Illustration of Earth's Geocorona The same

  18. Uses for lunar crawler transporters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaden, Richard A.

    This article discusses state-of-the-art crawler transporters and expresses the need for additional research and development for lunar crawlers. The thrust of the paper illustrates how the basic crawler technology has progressed to a point where extremely large modules can be shop fabricated and move to some distant location at a considerable savings. Also, extremely heavy loads may be lifted by large crawler cranes and placed in designed locations. The Transi-Lift Crawler crane with its traveling counterweight is an attractive concept for lunar construction.

  19. Building lunar roads - An overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutledge, Bennett

    The problems involved in constructing lunar roads are explored. The main challenges are airlessness, low gravity, and solar effects, especially temperature extremes. Also involved are the expense of delivering equipment and material to the job site (especially for bridges and other structures), obtaining skilled labor, and providing maintenance. The lunar road will most likely be gravel, but with the size of the material closer to cobblestone to reduce scattering. They will probably be very winding, even on the flats, and feature numerous bridges and some cuts. This traffic will be mostly automatic or teleoperated cargo carriers with a handful of shirtsleeve-pressurized 'passenger cars' large enough to live in for several days.

  20. Wrinkle Ridges and Young Fresh Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    (Released 10 May 2002) The Science Wrinkle ridges are a very common landform on Mars, Mercury, Venus, and the Moon. These ridges are linear to arcuate asymmetric topographic highs commonly found on smooth plains. The origin of wrinkle ridges is not certain and two leading hypotheses have been put forth by scientists over the past 40 years. The volcanic model calls for the extrusion of high viscosity lavas along linear conduits. This thick lava accumulated over these conduits and formed the ridges. The other model is tectonic and advocates that the ridges are formed by compressional faulting and folding. Today's THEMIS image is of the ridged plains of Lunae Planum located between Kasei Valles and Valles Marineris in the northern hemisphere of the planet. Wrinkle ridges are found mostly along the eastern side of the image. The broadest wrinkle ridges in this image are up to 2 km wide. A 3 km diameter young fresh crater is located near the bottom of the image. The crater's ejecta blanket is also clearly seen surrounding the sharp well-defined crater rim. These features are indicative of a very young crater that has not been subjected to erosional processes. The Story The great thing about the solar system is that planets are both alike and different. They're all foreign enough to be mysterious and intriguing, and yet familiar enough to be seen as planetary 'cousins.' By comparing them, we can learn a lot about how planets form and then evolve geologically over time. Crinkled over smooth plains, the long, wavy raised landforms seen here are called 'wrinkle ridges,' and they've been found on Mars, Mercury, Venus, and the Moon - that is, on rocky bodies that are a part of our inner solar system. We know from this observation that planets (and large-enough moons) follow similar processes. What we don't know for sure is HOW these processes work. Scientists have been trying to understand how wrinkle ridges form for 40 years, and they still haven't reached a conclusion. That

  1. Hailar crater - A possible impact structure in Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Zhiyong; Chen, Zhaoxu; Pu, Jiang; Xiao, Xiao; Wang, Yichen; Huang, Jun

    2018-04-01

    Hailar crater, a probable impact structure, is a circular depression about 300 m diameter in Inner Mongolia, northeast China. With broad elevated rims, the present rim-to-floor depth is 8-20 m. Regional geological background and geomorphological comparison suggest that this feature is likely not formed by surface processes such as salt diapir, karst, aeolian, glacial, or volcanic activity. Its unique occurrence in this region and well-preserved morphology are most consistent with it being a Cenozoic impact crater. Two field expeditions in 2016 and 2017 investigated the origin of this structure, recognizing that (1) no additional craters were identified around Hailar crater in the centimeter-scale digital topography models that were constructed using a drone imaging system and stereo photogrammetry; (2) no bedrock exposures are visible within or adjacent to the crater because of thick regolith coverage, and only small pieces of angular unconsolidated rocks are present on the crater wall and the gently-sloped crater rim, suggesting recent energetic formation of the crater; (3) most samples collected from the crater have identical lithology and petrographic characteristics with the background terrain, but some crater samples contain more abundant clasts and silicate hydrothermal veins, indicating that rocks from depths have been exposed by the crater; (4) no shock metamorphic features were found in the samples after thin section examinations; and (5) a systematic sample survey and iron detector scan within and outside of the crater found no iron-rich meteorites larger than 2 cm in size in a depth of 30 cm. Although no conclusive evidence for an impact origin is found yet, Hailar crater was most likely formed by an impact based on its unique occurrence and comparative geomorphologic study. We suggest that drilling in the crater center is required to verify the impact origin, where hypothesized melt-bearing impactites may be encountered.

  2. Lunar phases and crisis center telephone calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, J E; Tobacyk, J J

    1990-02-01

    The lunar hypothesis, that is, the notion that lunar phases can directly affect human behavior, was tested by time-series analysis of 4,575 crisis center telephone calls (all calls recorded for a 6-month interval). As expected, the lunar hypothesis was not supported. The 28-day lunar cycle accounted for less than 1% of the variance of the frequency of crisis center calls. Also, as hypothesized from an attribution theory framework, crisis center workers reported significantly greater belief in lunar effects than a non-crisis-center-worker comparison group.

  3. What is a lunar standstill III?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lionel Duke Sims

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Prehistoric monument alignments on lunar standstills are currently understood for horizon range, perturbation event, crossover event, eclipse prediction, solstice full Moon and the solarisation of the dark Moon. The first five models are found to fail the criteria of archaeoastronomy field methods. The final model of lunar-solar conflation draws upon all the observed components of lunar standstills – solarised reverse phased sidereal Moons culminating in solstice dark Moons in a roughly nine-year alternating cycle between major and minor standstills. This lunar-solar conflation model is a syncretic overlay upon an antecedent Palaeolithic template for lunar scheduled rituals and amenable to transformation.

  4. Polarization developments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prescott, C.Y.

    1993-07-01

    Recent developments in laser-driven photoemission sources of polarized electrons have made prospects for highly polarized electron beams in a future linear collider very promising. This talk discusses the experiences with the SLC polarized electron source, the recent progress with research into gallium arsenide and strained gallium arsenide as a photocathode material, and the suitability of these cathode materials for a future linear collider based on the parameters of the several linear collider designs that exist

  5. Geologic Structures in Crater Walls on Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, David W.; Beck, A. W.; Ammannito, E.; Carsenty, U.; DeSanctis, M. C.; LeCorre, L.; McCoy, T. J.; Reddy, V.; Schroeder, S. E.

    2012-01-01

    The Framing Camera (FC) on the Dawn spacecraft has imaged most of the illuminated surface of Vesta with a resolution of apporpx. 20 m/pixel through different wavelength filters that allow for identification of lithologic units. The Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIR) has imaged the surface at lower spatial resolution but high spectral resolution from 0.25 to 5 micron that allows for detailed mineralogical interpretation. The FC has imaged geologic structures in the walls of fresh craters and on scarps on the margin of the Rheasilvia basin that consist of cliff-forming, competent units, either as blocks or semi-continuous layers, hundreds of m to km below the rims. Different units have different albedos, FC color ratios and VIR spectral characteristics, and different units can be juxtaposed in individual craters. We will describe different examples of these competent units and present preliminary interpretations of the structures. A common occurrence is of blocks several hundred m in size of high albedo (bright) and low albedo (dark) materials protruding from crater walls. In many examples, dark material deposits lie below coherent bright material blocks. In FC Clementine color ratios, bright material is green indicating deeper 1 m pyroxene absorption band. VIR spectra show these to have deeper and wider 1 and 2 micron pyroxene absorption bands than the average vestan surface. The associated dark material has subdued pyroxene absorption features compared to the average vestan surface. Some dark material deposits are consistent with mixtures of HED materials with carbonaceous chondrites. This would indicate that some dark material deposits in crater walls are megabreccia blocks. The same would hold for bright material blocks found above them. Thus, these are not intact crustal units. Marcia crater is atypical in that the dark material forms a semi-continuous, thin layer immediately below bright material. Bright material occurs as one or more layers. In

  6. Heavy Cratering near Callisto's South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Images from NASA's Galileo spacecraft provide new insights into this region near Callisto's south pole. This two frame mosaic shows a heavily cratered surface with smooth plains in the areas between craters. North is to the top of the image. The smoothness of the plains appears to increase toward the south pole, approximately 480 kilometers (293 miles) south of the bottom of the image. This smoothness of Callisto's surface was not evident in images taken during the 1979 flyby of NASA's Voyager spacecraft because the resolution was insufficient to show the effect. This smooth surface, and the process(es) that cause it, are among the most intriguing aspects of Callisto. Although not fully understood, the process(es) responsible for this smoothing could include erosion by tiny meteorites and energetic ions. Some craters, such as Keelut, the 47 kilometer (29 mile) crater in the lower right corner, have sharp, well defined rims. Keelut contains an inner ring surrounding a central depression about 17 kilometers (11 miles) in diameter. Keelut, and the more irregularly shaped, degraded Reginleif, the 32 kilometer (19.5 mile) crater in the top center of the image, are very shallow and have flat floors. Crater forms can be seen down to less than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) in diameter in the image. Each picture element (pixel) in this image is approximately 0.68 kilometers (0.41 miles) across.This image which was taken by the Galileo spacecraft's solid state imaging (CCD) system during its eighth orbit around Jupiter, on May 6th, 1997. The center of the image is located at 71.3 degrees south latitude, 97.6 degrees west longitude, and was taken when the spacecraft was approximately 35,470 kilometers (21,637 miles) from Callisto.The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http

  7. Optical maturity variation in lunar spectra as measured by Moon Mineralogy Mapper data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettles, J.W.; Staid, M.; Besse, S.; Boardman, J.; Clark, R.N.; Dhingra, D.; Isaacson, P.; Klima, R.; Kramer, G.; Pieters, C.M.; Taylor, L.A.

    2011-01-01

    High spectral and spatial resolution data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument on Chandrayaan-1 are used to investigate in detail changes in the optical properties of lunar materials accompanying space weathering. Three spectral parameters were developed and used to quantify spectral effects commonly thought to be associated with increasing optical maturity: an increase in spectral slope ("reddening"), a decrease in albedo ("darkening"), and loss of spectral contrast (decrease in absorption band depth). Small regions of study were defined that sample the ejecta deposits of small fresh craters that contain relatively crystalline (immature) material that grade into local background (mature) soils. Selected craters are small enough that they can be assumed to be of constant composition and thus are useful for evaluating trends in optical maturity. Color composites were also used to identify the most immature material in a region and show that maturity trends can also be identified using regional soil trends. The high resolution M3 data are well suited to quantifying the spectral changes that accompany space weathering and are able to capture subtle spectral variations in maturity trends. However, the spectral changes that occur as a function of maturity were observed to be dependent on local composition. Given the complexity of space weathering processes, this was not unexpected but poses challenges for absolute measures of optical maturity across diverse lunar terrains. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  8. Volcanic glass signatures in spectroscopic survey of newly proposed lunar pyroclastic deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besse, S.; Sunshine, J.M.; Gaddis, L.R.

    2014-01-01

    Moon Mineralogy Mapper spectroscopic observations are used to assess the mineralogy of five sites that have recently been proposed to include lunar dark mantle deposits (DMDs). Volcanic glasses have, for the first time, clearly been identified at the location of three of the proposed pyroclastic deposits. This is the first time that volcanic glasses have been identified at such a small scale on the lunar surface from remote sensing observations. Deposits at Birt E, Schluter, and Walther A appear to be glassy DMDs. Deposits at Birt E and Schluter show (1) morphological evidence suggesting a likely vent and (2) mineralogical evidence indicative of the presence of volcanic glasses. The Walther A deposits, although they show no morphological evidence of vents, have the spectroscopic characteristics diagnostic of volcanic glasses. The deposits of the Freundlich-Sharonov basin are separated in two areas: (1) the Buys-Ballot deposits lack mineralogical and morphological evidence and thus are found to be associated with mare volcanism not with DMDs and (2) the Anderson crater deposits, which do not exhibit glassy DMD signatures, but they appear to be associated with possible vent structures and so may be classifiable as DMDs. Finally, dark deposits near the crater Kopff are found to be associated with likely mare volcanism and not associated with DMDs. The spectral identification of volcanic glass seen in many of the potential DMDs is a strong indicator of their pyroclastic origin.

  9. Mechanical properties of lunar regolith and lunar soil simulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Steven W.

    1989-01-01

    Through the Surveyor 3 and 7, and Apollo 11-17 missions a knowledge of the mechanical properties of Lunar regolith were gained. These properties, including material cohesion, friction, in-situ density, grain-size distribution and shape, and porosity, were determined by indirect means of trenching, penetration, and vane shear testing. Several of these properties were shown to be significantly different from those of terrestrial soils, such as an interlocking cohesion and tensile strength formed in the absence of moisture and particle cementation. To characterize the strength and deformation properties of Lunar regolith experiments have been conducted on a lunar soil simulant at various initial densities, fabric arrangements, and composition. These experiments included conventional triaxial compression and extension, direct tension, and combined tension-shear. Experiments have been conducted at low levels of effective confining stress. External conditions such as membrane induced confining stresses, end platten friction and material self weight have been shown to have a dramatic effect on the strength properties at low levels of confining stress. The solution has been to treat these external conditions and the specimen as a full-fledged boundary value problem rather than the idealized elemental cube of mechanics. Centrifuge modeling allows for the study of Lunar soil-structure interaction problems. In recent years centrifuge modeling has become an important tool for modeling processes that are dominated by gravity and for verifying analysis procedures and studying deformation and failure modes. Centrifuge modeling is well established for terrestrial enginering and applies equally as well to Lunar engineering. A brief review of the experiments is presented in graphic and outline form.

  10. A cislunar transportation system fuelled by lunar resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowers, G. F.

    2016-11-01

    A transportation system for a self sustaining economy in cislunar space is discussed. The system is based on liquid oxygen (LO2), liquid hydrogen (LH2) propulsion whose fuels are derived from ice mined at the polar regions of the Moon. The elements of the transportation system consist of the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage (ACES) and the XEUS lander, both being developed by United Launch Alliance (ULA). The main propulsion elements and structures are common between ACES and XEUS. Both stages are fully reusable with refueling of their LO2/LH2 propellants. Utilization of lunar sourced propellants has the potential to dramatically lower the cost of transportation within the cislunar environs. These lower costs dramatically lower the barriers to entry of a number of promising cislunar based activities including space solar power. One early application of the architecture is providing lunar sourced propellant to refuel ACES for traditional spacecraft deployment missions. The business case for this application provides an economic framework for a potential lunar water mining operation.

  11. Lunar Phase Function at 1064 Nm from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Passive and Active Radiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, M. K.; Sun, X.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.

    2016-01-01

    We present initial calibration and results of passive radiometry collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Al- timeter onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter over the course of 12 months. After correcting for time- and temperature-dependent dark noise and detector responsivity variations, the LOLA passive radiometry measurements are brought onto the absolute radiance scale of the SELENE Spectral Profiler. The resulting photometric precision is estimated to be approximately 5%. We leverage the unique ability of LOLA to measure normal albedo to explore the 1064 nm phase function's dependence on various geologic parameters. On a global scale, we find that iron abundance and optical maturity (quantified by FeO and OMAT) are the dominant controlling parameters. Titanium abundance (TiO2 ), surface roughness on decimeter to decameter scales, and soil thermophysical properties have a smaller effect, but the latter two are correlated with OMAT, indicating that exposure age is the driving force behind their effects in a globally-averaged sense. The phase function also exhibits a dependence on surface slope at approximately 300 m baselines, possibly the result of mass wasting exposing immature material and/or less space weathering due to reduced sky visibility. Modeling the photometric function in the Hapke framework, we find that, relative to the highlands, the maria exhibit decreased backscattering, a smaller opposition effect (OE) width, and a smaller OE amplitude. Immature highlands regolith has a higher backscattering fraction and a larger OE width compared to mature highlands regolith. Within the maria, the backscattering fraction and OE width show little dependence on TiO2 and OMAT. Variations in the phase function shape at large phase angles are observed in and around the Copernican-aged Jackson crater, including its dark halo, a putative impact melt deposit. Finally, the phase function of the Reiner Gamma Formation behaves more optically immature than is typical for its

  12. NASA Lunar Base Wireless System Propagation Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwu, Shian U.; Upanavage, Matthew; Sham, Catherine C.

    2007-01-01

    There have been many radio wave propagation studies using both experimental and theoretical techniques over the recent years. However, most of studies have been in support of commercial cellular phone wireless applications. The signal frequencies are mostly at the commercial cellular and Personal Communications Service bands. The antenna configurations are mostly one on a high tower and one near the ground to simulate communications between a cellular base station and a mobile unit. There are great interests in wireless communication and sensor systems for NASA lunar missions because of the emerging importance of establishing permanent lunar human exploration bases. Because of the specific lunar terrain geometries and RF frequencies of interest to the NASA missions, much of the published literature for the commercial cellular and PCS bands of 900 and 1800 MHz may not be directly applicable to the lunar base wireless system and environment. There are various communication and sensor configurations required to support all elements of a lunar base. For example, the communications between astronauts, between astronauts and the lunar vehicles, between lunar vehicles and satellites on the lunar orbits. There are also various wireless sensor systems among scientific, experimental sensors and data collection ground stations. This presentation illustrates the propagation analysis of the lunar wireless communication and sensor systems taking into account the three dimensional terrain multipath effects. It is observed that the propagation characteristics are significantly affected by the presence of the lunar terrain. The obtained results indicate the lunar surface material, terrain geometry and antenna location are the important factors affecting the propagation characteristics of the lunar wireless systems. The path loss can be much more severe than the free space propagation and is greatly affected by the antenna height, surface material and operating frequency. The

  13. Concept of Lunar Energy Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niino, Masayuki; Kisara, Katsuto; Chen, Lidong

    1993-10-01

    This paper presents a new concept of energy supply system named Lunar Energy Park (LEP) as one of the next-generation clean energy sources. In this concept, electricity is generated by nuclear power plants built on the moon and then transmitted to receiving stations on the earth by laser beam through transporting systems situated in geostationary orbit. The lunar nuclear power plants use a high-efficiency composite energy conversion system consisting of thermionic and thermoelectric generators to change nuclear thermal energy into electricity directly. The nuclear resources are considered to be available from the moon, and nuclear fuel transport from earth to moon is not necessary. Because direct energy conversion systems are employed, the lunar nuclear plants can be operated and controlled by robots and are maintenance-free, and so will cause no pollution to humans. The key technologies for LEP include improvements of conversion efficiency of both thermionic and thermoelectric converters, and developments of laser-beam power transmission technology as well. The details, including the construction of lunar nuclear plants, energy conversion and energy transmission systems, as well as the research plan strategies for this concept are reviewed.

  14. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXII

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This CD-ROM publication contains the extended abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the 32nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held at Houston, TX, March 12-16, 2001. The papers are presented in PDF format and are indexed by author, keyword, meteorite, program and samples for quick reference.

  15. Aqueous alteration detection in Tikhonravov crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancarella, F.; Fonti, S.; Alemanno, G.; Orofino, V.; Blanco, A.

    2018-03-01

    The existence of a wet period lasting long enough to allow the development of elementary forms of life on Mars has always been a very interesting issue. Given this perspective, the research for geological markers of such occurrences has been continually pursued. Once a favorable site is detected, effort should be spent to get as much information as possible aimed at a precise assessment of the genesis and evolution of the areas showing the selected markers. In this work, we discuss the recent finding of possible deposits pointing to the past existence of liquid water in Tikhonravov crater located in Arabia Terra. Comparison of CRISM spectra and those of laboratory minerals formed by aqueous alteration has led us to the conclusion that the studied areas within the impact crater host phyllosilicates deposits. In addition, analysis of the CRISM spectra has resulted in the tentative identification of carbonates mixed with phyllosilicates.

  16. Layers of 'Cabo Frio' in 'Victoria Crater'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    This view of 'Victoria crater' is looking southeast from 'Duck Bay' towards the dramatic promontory called 'Cabo Frio.' The small crater in the right foreground, informally known as 'Sputnik,' is about 20 meters (about 65 feet) away from the rover, the tip of the spectacular, layered, Cabo Frio promontory itself is about 200 meters (about 650 feet) away from the rover, and the exposed rock layers are about 15 meters (about 50 feet) tall. This is an approximately true color rendering of images taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity during the rover's 952nd sol, or Martian day, (Sept. 28, 2006) using the camera's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer filters.

  17. High-Resolution Spectroscopic Observations of Potassium Emissions in the Lunar Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Sarena D.; Oliversen, Ronald J.; Mierkiewicz, Edwin J.; Kuruppuaratchi, Dona Chathuni P.; Derr, Nicholas James; Gallant, Margaret A.; McFarland, Christina G.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2018-01-01

    We investigate lunar exospheric potassium D1 emissions (7698.9646 Å) using high-resolution (R = 180,000 or 1.7 km/s) spectroscopy with our dual-etalon Fabry-Perot instrument to measure line widths and radial velocities. The Field of View (FOV) is 2 arcmins (~224 km at the mean lunar distance of 384,400 km) positioned tangent to the sunlit limb. The FOV placements are at cardinal directions from a variety of reference craters. All observations are collected at the National Solar Observatory McMath-Pierce Telescope in Kitt Peak, Arizona. The data are from several observations from 2014 through 2017 at various times of the year. Results are produced via a newly created automated data reduction using Python. Python was chosen as an open-source alternative to the previously used IDL and MATLAB scripts to decrease the cost of software licenses and maintenance. The potassium spectral line profiles provide a direct method to track exospheric effective temperatures and velocities. By monitoring the state of the potassium emissions over different lunar phases, solar activity, and the influx of meteor streams, we can constrain physical processes of sources and sinks at the lunar surface. Mechanisms that create the exosphere include photon-stimulated desorption, thermal evaporation, meteoroid impact vaporization, and ion sputtering via solar wind. In contrast, the exosphere is diminished due to the low lunar escape velocity, solar radiation pressure, and neutral gas being ionized and swept away by the interplanetary and terrestrial magnetic field. Preliminary analysis of 2017 data (January through June, excluding February) indicates an average potassium temperature of 1140 K but varying over the range of 550 K to 2000 K. Preliminary results from 2014 data depict a similar range of temperatures to that of 2017. Further analysis is expected for additional data from 2014 to later observations in 2017 that were not included in the initial set of models.

  18. Perspectives on Lunar Helium-3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Harrison H.

    1999-01-01

    Global demand for energy will likely increase by a factor of six or eight by the mid-point of the 21st Century due to a combination of population increase, new energy intensive technologies, and aspirations for improved standards of living in the less-developed world (1). Lunar helium-3 (3He), with a resource base in the Tranquillitatis titanium-rich lunar maria (2,3) of at least 10,000 tonnes (4), represents one potential energy source to meet this rapidly escalating demand. The energy equivalent value of 3He delivered to operating fusion power plants on Earth would be about 3 billion per tonne relative to today's coal which supplies most of the approximately 90 billion domestic electrical power market (5). These numbers illustrate the magnitude of the business opportunity. The results from the Lunar Prospector neutron spectrometer (6) suggests that 3He also may be concentrated at the lunar poles along with solar wind hydrogen (7). Mining, extraction, processing, and transportation of helium to Earth requires new innovations in engineering but no known new engineering concepts (1). By-products of lunar 3He extraction, largely hydrogen, oxygen, and water, have large potential markets in space and ultimately will add to the economic attractiveness of this business opportunity (5). Inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) fusion technology appears to be the most attractive and least capital intensive approach to terrestrial fusion power plants (8). Heavy lift launch costs comprise the largest cost uncertainty facing initial business planning, however, many factors, particularly long term production contracts, promise to lower these costs into the range of 1-2000 per kilogram versus about 70,000 per kilogram fully burdened for the Apollo Saturn V rocket (1). A private enterprise approach to developing lunar 3He and terrestrial IEC fusion power would be the most expeditious means of realizing this unique opportunity (9). In spite of the large, long-term potential

  19. Impact cratering experiments in Bingham materials and the morphology of craters on Mars and Ganymede

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, J. H.; Greeley, R.; Gault, D. E.

    1982-01-01

    Results from a series of laboratory impacts into clay slurry targets are compared with photographs of impact craters on Mars and Ganymede. The interior and ejecta lobe morphology of rampart-type craters, as well as the progression of crater forms seen with increasing diameter on both Mars and Ganymede, are equalitatively explained by a model for impact into Bingham materials. For increasing impact energies and constant target rheology, laboratory craters exhibit a morphologic progression from bowl-shaped forms that are typical of dry planetary surfaces to craters with ejecta flow lobes and decreasing interior relief, characteristic of more volatile-rich planets. A similar sequence is seen for uniform impact energy in slurries of decreasing yield strength. The planetary progressions are explained by assuming that volatile-rich or icy planetary surfaces behave locally in the same way as Bingham materials and produce ejecta slurries with yield strenghs and viscosities comparable to terrestrial debris flows. Hypothetical impact into Mars and Ganymede are compared, and it is concluded that less ejecta would be produced on Ganymede owing to its lower gravitational acceleration, surface temperature, and density of surface materials.

  20. Low-velocity impact cratering experiments in granular slopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Kosuke; Sumita, Ikuro

    2017-07-01

    Low-velocity impact cratering experiments are conducted in sloped granular targets to study the effect of the slope angle θ on the crater shape and its scales. We use two types of granular matter, sand and glass beads, former of which has a larger friction coefficient μs = tanθr , where θr is the angle of repose. Experiments show that as θ increases, the crater becomes shallower and elongated in the direction of the slope. Furthermore the crater floor steepens in the upslope side and a thick rim forms in the downslope side, thus forming an asymmetric profile. High-speed images show that these features are results of ejecta being dispersed farther towards the downslope side and the subsequent avalanche which buries much of the crater floor. Such asymmetric ejecta dispersal can be explained by combining the Z-model and a ballistic model. Using the topographic maps of the craters, we classify crater shape regimes I-III, which transition with increasing θ : a full-rim crater (I), a broken-rim crater (II), and a depression (III). The critical θ for the regime transitions are larger for sand compared to glass beads, but collapse to close values when we use a normalized slope θ^ = tanθ / tanθr . Similarly we derive θ^-dependences of the scaled crater depth, length, width and their ratios which collapse the results for different targets and impact energies. We compare the crater profiles formed in our experiments with deep craters on asteroid Vesta and find that some of the scaled profiles nearly overlap and many have similar depth / length ratios. This suggests that these Vestan craters may also have formed in the gravity regime and that the formation process can be approximated by a granular flow with a similar effective friction coefficient.

  1. Cis-Lunar Base Camp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Raymond G.; Goodliff, Kandyce E.; Mazanek, Daniel D.; Reeves, John D., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Historically, when mounting expeditions into uncharted territories, explorers have established strategically positioned base camps to pre-position required equipment and consumables. These base camps are secure, safe positions from which expeditions can depart when conditions are favorable, at which technology and operations can be tested and validated, and facilitate timely access to more robust facilities in the event of an emergency. For human exploration missions into deep space, cis-lunar space is well suited to serve as such a base camp. The outer regions of cis-lunar space, such as the Earth-Moon Lagrange points, lie near the edge of Earth s gravity well, allowing equipment and consumables to be aggregated with easy access to deep space and to the lunar surface, as well as more distant destinations, such as near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and Mars and its moons. Several approaches to utilizing a cis-lunar base camp for sustainable human exploration, as well as some possible future applications are identified. The primary objective of the analysis presented in this paper is to identify options, show the macro trends, and provide information that can be used as a basis for more detailed mission development. Compared within are the high-level performance and cost of 15 preliminary cis-lunar exploration campaigns that establish the capability to conduct crewed missions of up to one year in duration, and then aggregate mass in cis-lunar space to facilitate an expedition from Cis-Lunar Base Camp. Launch vehicles, chemical propulsion stages, and electric propulsion stages are discussed and parametric sizing values are used to create architectures of in-space transportation elements that extend the existing in-space supply chain to cis-lunar space. The transportation options to cis-lunar space assessed vary in efficiency by almost 50%; from 0.16 to 0.68 kg of cargo in cis-lunar space for every kilogram of mass in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). For the 15 cases, 5-year campaign

  2. Neutron polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Firk, F.W.K.

    1976-01-01

    Some recent experiments involving polarized neutrons are discussed; they demonstrate how polarization studies provide information on fundamental aspects of nuclear structure that cannot be obtained from more traditional neutron studies. Until recently, neutron polarization studies tended to be limited either to very low energies or to restricted regions at higher energies, determined by the kinematics of favorable (p, vector n) and (d, vector n) reactions. With the advent of high intensity pulsed electron and proton accelerators and of beams of vector polarized deuterons, this is no longer the case. One has entered an era in which neutron polarization experiments are now being carried out, in a routine way, throughout the entire range from thermal energies to tens-of-MeV. The significance of neutron polarization studies is illustrated in discussions of a wide variety of experiments that include the measurement of T-invariance in the β-decay of polarized neutrons, a search for the effects of meson exchange currents in the photo-disintegration of the deuteron, the determination of quantum numbers of states in the fission of aligned 235 U and 237 Np induced by polarized neutrons, and the double- and triple-scattering of fast neutrons by light nuclei

  3. Ejecta from single-charge cratering explosions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlson, R H

    1970-05-15

    The objective was to obtain experimental data tracing the location of ejecta to its origin within the crater region. The experiment included ten high-explosive spherical charges weighing from 8 to 1000 pounds and detonated in a playa dry lake soil on the Tonopah Test Range. Each event included from 24 to 40 locations of distinctly different tracer material embedded in a plane in the expected crater region. Tracers consisted of glass, ceramic and bugle beads, chopped metal, and plastic wire. Results of this experiment yielded data on tracer dispersion as a function of charge weight, charge burial depth and tracer emplacement position. Tracer pattern parameters such as center-of-tracer mass, range to center-of-tracer mass, and angle to center-of-tracer mass were determined. There is a clear tendency for range (to center-of-tracer mass) and the size of the dispersion pattern to decrease as tracer emplacement depth increases. Increasing tracer emplacement depth and range tends to decrease the area over which tracers are dispersed on the ground surface. Tracers at the same scaled position relative to the charge were deposited closer to the crater (on a scaled basis) as charge weight was increased. (author)

  4. The central uplift of Ritchey crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ning; Bray, Veronica J.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Mattson, Sarah S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2015-01-01

    Ritchey crater is a ∼79 km diameter complex crater near the boundary between Hesperian ridged plains and Noachian highland terrain on Mars (28.8°S, 309.0°E) that formed after the Noachian. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the central peak reveal fractured massive bedrock and megabreccia with large clasts. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectral analysis reveals low calcium pyroxene (LCP), olivine (OL), hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates) and a possible identification of plagioclase bedrock. We mapped the Ritchey crater central uplift into ten units, with 4 main groups from oldest and originally deepest to youngest: (1) megabreccia with large clasts rich in LCP and OL, and with alteration to phyllosilicates; (2) massive bedrock with bright and dark regions rich in LCP or OL, respectively; (3) LCP and OL-rich impactites draped over the central uplift; and (4) aeolian deposits. We interpret the primitive martian crust as igneous rocks rich in LCP, OL, and probably plagioclase, as previously observed in eastern Valles Marineris. We do not observe high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) rich bedrock as seen in Argyre or western Valles Marineris. The association of phyllosilicates with deep megabreccia could be from impact-induced alteration, either as a result of the Richey impact, or alteration of pre-existing impactites from Argyre basin and other large impacts that preceded the Ritchey impact, or both.

  5. The central uplift of Ritchey crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ning; Bray, Veronica J.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Mattson, Sarah S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2015-05-01

    Ritchey crater is a ∼79 km diameter complex crater near the boundary between Hesperian ridged plains and Noachian highland terrain on Mars (28.8°S, 309.0°E) that formed after the Noachian. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the central peak reveal fractured massive bedrock and megabreccia with large clasts. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectral analysis reveals low calcium pyroxene (LCP), olivine (OL), hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates) and a possible identification of plagioclase bedrock. We mapped the Ritchey crater central uplift into ten units, with 4 main groups from oldest and originally deepest to youngest: (1) megabreccia with large clasts rich in LCP and OL, and with alteration to phyllosilicates; (2) massive bedrock with bright and dark regions rich in LCP or OL, respectively; (3) LCP and OL-rich impactites draped over the central uplift; and (4) aeolian deposits. We interpret the primitive martian crust as igneous rocks rich in LCP, OL, and probably plagioclase, as previously observed in eastern Valles Marineris. We do not observe high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) rich bedrock as seen in Argyre or western Valles Marineris. The association of phyllosilicates with deep megabreccia could be from impact-induced alteration, either as a result of the Richey impact, or alteration of pre-existing impactites from Argyre basin and other large impacts that preceded the Ritchey impact, or both.

  6. Integrated lunar materials manufacturing process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Michael A. (Inventor); Knudsen, Christian W. (Inventor)

    1990-01-01

    A manufacturing plant and process for production of oxygen on the moon uses lunar minerals as feed and a minimum of earth-imported, process materials. Lunar feed stocks are hydrogen-reducible minerals, ilmenite and lunar agglutinates occurring in numerous, explored locations mixed with other minerals in the pulverized surface layer of lunar soil known as regolith. Ilmenite (FeTiO.sub.3) and agglutinates contain ferrous (Fe.sup.+2) iron reducible by hydrogen to yield H.sub.2 O and metallic Fe at about 700.degree.-1,200.degree. C. The H.sub.2 O is electrolyzed in gas phase to yield H.sub.2 for recycle and O.sub.2 for storage and use. Hydrogen losses to lunar vacuum are minimized, with no net hydrogen (or any other earth-derived reagent) consumption except for small leaks. Feed minerals are surface-mined by front shovels and transported in trucks to the processing area. The machines are manned or robotic. Ilmenite and agglutinates occur mixed with silicate minerals which are not hydrogen-reducible at 700.degree.-1,200.degree. C. and consequently are separated and concentrated before feeding to the oxygen generation process. Solids rejected from the separation step and reduced solids from the oxygen process are returned to the mine area. The plant is powered by nuclear or solar power generators. Vapor-phase water electrolysis, a staged, countercurrent, fluidized bed reduction reactor and a radio-frequency-driven ceramic gas heater are used to improve thermal efficiency.

  7. Polarization holography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nikolova, L.; Ramanujam, P.S.

    Current research into holography is concerned with applications in optically storing, retrieving, and processing information. Polarization holography has many unique properties compared to conventional holography. It gives results in high efficiency, achromaticity, and special polarization...... properties. This books reviews the research carried out in this field over the last 15 years. The authors provide basic concepts in polarization and the propagation of light through anisotropic materials, before presenting a sound theoretical basis for polarization holography. The fabrication...... and characterization of azobenzene based materials, which remain the most efficient for the purpose, is described in detail. This is followed by a description of other materials that are used in polarization holography. An in-depth description of various applications, including display holography and optical storage...

  8. Design and Construction of Manned Lunar Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhijie

    2016-07-01

    Building manned lunar base is one of the core aims of human lunar exploration project, which is also an important way to carry out the exploitation and utilization of lunar in situ resources. The most important part of manned lunar base is the design and construction of living habitation and many factors should be considered including science objective and site selection. Through investigating and research, the scientific goals of manned lunar base should be status and characteristics ascertainment of lunar available in situ resources, then developing necessary scientific experiments and utilization of lunar in situ resources by using special environment conditions of lunar surface. The site selection strategy of manned lunar base should rely on scientific goals according to special lunar surface environment and engineering capacity constraints, meanwhile, consulting the landing sites of foreign unmanned and manned lunar exploration, and choosing different typical regions of lunar surface and analyzing the landform and physiognomy, reachability, thermal environment, sunlight condition, micro meteoroids protection and utilization of in situ resources, after these steps, a logical lunar living habitation site should be confirmed. This paper brings out and compares three kinds of configurations with fabricating processes of manned lunar base, including rigid module, flexible and construction module manned lunar base. 1.The rigid habitation module is usually made by metal materials. The design and fabrication may consult the experience of space station, hence with mature technique. Because this configuration cannot be folded or deployed, which not only afford limit working and living room for astronauts, but also needs repetitious cargo transit between earth and moon for lunar base extending. 2. The flexible module habitation can be folded in fairing while launching. When deploying on moon, the configuration can be inflatable or mechanically-deployed, which means under

  9. Morphological Indicators of a Mascon Beneath Ceres's Largest Crater, Kerwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, M. T.; Ermakov, A. I.; Raymond, C. A.; Williams, D. A.; Bowling, T. J.; Preusker, F.; Park, R. S.; Marchi, S.; Castillo-Rogez, J. C.; Fu, R. R.; Russell, C. T.

    2018-02-01

    Gravity data of Ceres returned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dawn spacecraft is consistent with a lower density crust of variable thickness overlying a higher density mantle. Crustal thickness variations can affect the long-term, postimpact modification of impact craters on Ceres. Here we show that the unusual morphology of the 280 km diameter crater Kerwan may result from viscous relaxation in an outer layer that thins substantially beneath the crater floor. We propose that such a structure is consistent with either impact-induced uplift of the high-density mantle beneath the crater or from volatile loss during the impact event. In either case, the subsurface structure inferred from the crater morphology is superisostatic, and the mass excess would result in a positive Bouguer anomaly beneath the crater, consistent with the highest-degree gravity data from Dawn. Ceres joins the Moon, Mars, and Mercury in having basin-associated gravity anomalies, although their origin may differ substantially.

  10. A schematic model of crater modification by gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1982-01-01

    The morphology of craters found on planets and moons of the solar system is examined and a development model which can account for the observed crater characteristics is discussed. The prompt collapse of craters to form flat floors, terraced walls, and central peak structures is considered to be the result of an approximate Bingham plastic rheology of the material surrounding the crater. This rheology is induced dynamically by the strong incoherent acoustic 'noise' accompanying excavation of the crater. Central pits, peak rings, and other multiple symmetric-profile rings originate by oscillation of this fluid. Large craters with transient depths comparable to the lithosphere thickness are subject to collapse by fragmentation of the lithosphere as well as fluidization. The considered concepts are developed mathematically. A model emerges which appears capable of explaining most of the qualitative features of large impact structures.

  11. Opportunity's Surroundings on Sol 1687 (Polar)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to take the images combined into this 360-degree view of the rover's surroundings on the 1,687th Martian day, or sol, of its surface mission (Oct. 22, 2008). Opportunity had driven 133 meters (436 feet) that sol, crossing sand ripples up to about 10 centimeters (4 inches) tall. The tracks visible in the foreground are in the east-northeast direction. Opportunity's position on Sol 1687 was about 300 meters southwest of Victoria Crater. The rover was beginning a long trek toward a much larger crater, Endeavour, about 12 kilometers (7 miles) to the southeast. This view is presented as a polar projection with geometric seam correction.

  12. Crater populations in the early history of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guest, J.E.; Gault, D.E.

    1976-01-01

    Crater populations on two major geologic units of Mercury have been classified into three morphologic types which characterize their state of degradation. The results indicate that one or more processes either prior to or contemporary with the formation of the 1300 km diameter Caloris Planitia reduced the population of fresh craters smaller than 70--80 km diameter and totally erased the population of fresh craters smaller than 20--30 km

  13. Geologic map of Tooting crater, Amazonis Planitia region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Tooting crater has a diameter of 27.2 km, and formed on virtually flat lava flows within Amazonis Planitia ~1,300 km west of the summit of Olympus Mons volcano, where there appear to have been no other major topographic features prior to the impact. The crater formed in an area ~185 x 135 km that is at an elevation between −3,870 m and −3,874 m relative to the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Mars datum. This fortuitous situation (for example, a bland, horizontal target) allows the geometry of the crater and the thickness of the ejecta blanket to be accurately determined by subtracting the appropriate elevation of the surrounding landscape (−3,872 m) from the individual MOLA measurements across the crater. Thus, for the first time, it is possible to determine the radial decrease of ejecta thickness as a function of distance away from the rim crest. On the basis of the four discrete ejecta layers surrounding the crater cavity, Tooting crater is classified as a Multiple-Layered Ejecta (MLE) crater. By virtue of the asymmetric distribution of secondary craters and the greater thickness of ejecta to the northeast, Morris and others (2010) proposed that Tooting crater formed by an oblique impact from the southwest. The maximum range of blocks that produced identifiable secondary craters is ~500 km (~36.0 crater radii) from the northeast rim crest. In contrast, secondary craters are only identifiable ~215 km (15.8 radii) to the southeast and 225 km (16.5 radii) to the west.

  14. The Lunar Magma Ocean (LMO) Paradigm Versus the Realities of Lunar Anorthosites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, A. H.; Gross, J.

    2018-05-01

    The paradigm of the Lunar Magma Ocean (LMO) is inconsistent with much chemical and compositional data on lunar anorthosites. The paradigm of serial anorthosite diapirism is more consistent, though not a panacea.

  15. Nonlinear Electrostatic Properties of Lunar Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Stacy A.

    2012-01-01

    A laboratory experiment was designed to study the induction charging and charge decay characteristics of small dielectric particles, or glass beads. Initially, the goal of the experiment was further understanding of induction charging of lunar dust particles. However, the mechanism of charging became a point of greater interest as the project continued. Within an environmentally-controlled acrylic glove box was placed a large parallel plate capacitor at high-voltage (HV) power supply with reversible polarity. Spherical 1-mm and 0.5-mm glass beads, singly, were placed between the plates, and their behaviors recorded on video and quantified. Nearly a hundred trials at various humidities were performed. The analysis of the results indicated a non-linear relationship between humidity and particle charge exchange time (CET), for both sizes of beads. Further, a difference in CET for top-resting beads and bottom-resting beads hinted at a different charging mechanism than that of simple induction. Results from the I-mm bead trials were presented at several space science and physics conferences in 2008 and 2009, and were published as a Master's thesis in August 2009. Tangential work stemming from this project resulted in presentations at other international conferences in 2010, and selection to attend workshop on granular matter flow 2011.

  16. Opportunity Mars Rover mission: Overview and selected results from Purgatory ripple to traverses to Endeavour crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, James W.; Bell, J.F.; Chojnacki, M.; Cohen, J.; Economou, T.E.; Farrand, W. H.; Fergason, R.; Fleischer, I.; Geissler, P.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.P.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Haberle, R.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J.A.; Iagnemma, K.D.; Jolliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Knoll, A.H.; Knudson, A.T.; Li, R.; McLennan, S.M.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rice, M.S.; Schroder, C.; Soderblom, L.A.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R.J.; Wolff, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the Meridiani plains since 25 January 2004 (sol 1), acquiring numerous observations of the atmosphere, soils, and rocks. This paper provides an overview of key discoveries between sols 511 and 2300, complementing earlier papers covering results from the initial phases of the mission. Key new results include (1) atmospheric argon measurements that demonstrate the importance of atmospheric transport to and from the winter carbon dioxide polar ice caps; (2) observations showing that aeolian ripples covering the plains were generated by easterly winds during an epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation; (3) the discovery and characterization of cobbles and boulders that include iron and stony-iron meteorites and Martian impact ejecta; (4) measurements of wall rock strata within Erebus and Victoria craters that provide compelling evidence of formation by aeolian sand deposition, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes; (5) determination that the stratigraphy exposed in the walls of Victoria and Endurance craters show an enrichment of chlorine and depletion of magnesium and sulfur with increasing depth. This result implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Most recently, Opportunity has been traversing toward the ancient Endeavour crater. Orbital data show that clay minerals are exposed on its rim. Hydrated sulfate minerals are exposed in plains rocks adjacent to the rim, unlike the surfaces of plains outcrops observed thus far by Opportunity. With continued mechanical health, Opportunity will reach terrains on and around Endeavour's rim that will be markedly different from anything examined to date. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  17. Determining long-term regional erosion rates using impact craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hergarten, Stefan; Kenkmann, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    More than 300,000 impact craters have been found on Mars, while the surface of Moon's highlands is even saturated with craters. In contrast, only 184 impact craters have been confirmed on Earth so far with only 125 of them exposed at the surface. The spatial distribution of these impact craters is highly inhomogeneous. Beside the large variation in the age of the crust, consumption of craters by erosion and burial by sediments are the main actors being responsible for the quite small and inhomogeneous crater record. In this study we present a novel approach to infer long-term average erosion rates at regional scales from the terrestrial crater inventory. The basic idea behind this approach is a dynamic equilibrium between the production of new craters and their consumption by erosion. It is assumed that each crater remains detectable until the total erosion after the impact exceeds a characteristic depth depending on the crater's diameter. Combining this model with the terrestrial crater production rate, i.e., the number of craters per unit area and time as a function of their diameter, allows for a prediction of the expected number of craters in a given region as a function of the erosion rate. Using the real crater inventory, this relationship can be inverted to determine the regional long-term erosion rate and its statistical uncertainty. A limitation by the finite age of the crust can also be taken into account. Applying the method to the Colorado Plateau and the Deccan Traps, both being regions with a distinct geological history, yields erosion rates in excellent agreement with those obtained by other, more laborious methods. However, these rates are formally exposed to large statistical uncertainties due to the small number of impact craters. As higher crater densities are related to lower erosion rates, smaller statistical errors can be expected when large regions in old parts of the crust are considered. Very low long-term erosion rates of less than 4

  18. Surface age of venus: use of the terrestrial cratering record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaber, G.G.; Shoemaker, E.M.; Kozak, R.C.

    1987-01-01

    The average crater age of Venus' northern hemisphere may be less than 250 m.y. assuming equivalence between the recent terrestrial cratering rate and that on Venus for craters ≥ 20 km in diameter. For craters larger than this threshold size, below which crater production is significantly affected by the Venusian atmosphere, there are fairly strong observational grounds for concluding that such an equivalence in cratering rates on Venus and Earth may exist. However, given the uncertainties in the role of both active and inactive comet nuclei in the cratering history of Earth, we conclude that the age of the observed surface in the northern hemisphere of Venus could be as great as the 450-m.y. mean age of the Earth's crust. The observed surface of Venus might be even older, but no evidence from the crater observations supports an age as great as 1 b.y. If the age of the observed Venusian surface were 1 b.y., it probably should bear the impact scars of a half dozen or more large comet nuclei that penetrated the atmosphere and formed craters well over 100 km in diameter. Venera 15/16 mapped only about 25% of Venus; the remaining 75% may tell us a completely different story

  19. Characteristics of ejecta and alluvial deposits at Meteor Crater, Arizona and Odessa Craters, Texas: Results from ground penetrating radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, J. A.; Schultz, P. H.

    1991-01-01

    Previous ground penetrating radar (GRP) studies around 50,000 year old Meteor Crater revealed the potential for rapid, inexpensive, and non-destructive sub-surface investigations for deep reflectors (generally greater than 10 m). New GRP results are summarized focusing the shallow sub-surfaces (1-2 m) around Meteor Crater and the main crater at Odessa. The following subject areas are covered: (1) the thickness, distribution, and nature of the contact between surrounding alluvial deposits and distal ejecta; and (2) stratigraphic relationships between both the ejecta and alluvium derived from both pre and post crater drainages. These results support previous conclusions indicating limited vertical lowering (less than 1 m) of the distal ejecta at Meteor Crater and allow initial assessment of the gradational state if the Odessa craters.

  20. The origin of lunar mascons - Analysis of the Bouguer gravity associated with Grimaldi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, R. J.; Dvorak, J.

    1981-01-01

    Grimaldi is a relatively small multi-ringed basin located on the western limb of the moon. Spacecraft free-air gravity data reveal a mascon associated with the inner ring of this structure, and the topographic correction to the local lunar gravity field indicates a maximum Bouguer anomaly of +90 milligals at an altitude of 70 kilometers. Approximately 20% of this positive Bouguer anomaly can be attributed to the mare material lying within the inner ring of this basin. From a consideration of the Bouguer gravity and structure of large lunar craters comparable in size to the central basin of Grimaldi, it is suggested that the remaining positive Bouguer anomaly is due to a centrally uplifted plug of lunar mantle material. The uplift was caused by inward crustal collapse which also resulted in the formation of the concentric outer scarp of Grimaldi. In addition, an annulus of low density material, probably a combination of ejecta and in situ breccia, is required to fully reproduce the Bouguer gravity signature across this basin. It is proposed that Grimaldi supplies a critical test in the theory of mascon formation: crustal collapse by ring faulting and central uplift to depths of the crust-mantle boundary are requisites

  1. Sensitivity to lunar cycles prior to the 2007 eruption of Ruapehu volcano.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girona, Társilo; Huber, Christian; Caudron, Corentin

    2018-01-24

    A long-standing question in Earth Science is the extent to which seismic and volcanic activity can be regulated by tidal stresses, a repeatable and predictable external excitation induced by the Moon-Sun gravitational force. Fortnightly tides, a ~14-day amplitude modulation of the daily tidal stresses that is associated to lunar cycles, have been suggested to affect volcano dynamics. However, previous studies found contradictory results and remain mostly inconclusive. Here we study how fortnightly tides have affected Ruapehu volcano (New Zealand) from 2004 to 2016 by analysing the rolling correlation between lunar cycles and seismic amplitude recorded close to the crater. The long-term (~1-year) correlation is found to increase significantly (up to confidence level of 5-sigma) during the ~3 months preceding the 2007 phreatic eruption of Ruapehu, thus revealing that the volcano is sensitive to fortnightly tides when it is prone to explode. We show through a mechanistic model that the real-time monitoring of seismic sensitivity to lunar cycles may help to detect the clogging of active volcanic vents, and thus to better forecast phreatic volcanic eruptions.

  2. Lunar domes properties and formation processes

    CERN Document Server

    Lena, Raffaello; Phillips, Jim; Chiocchetta, Maria Teresa

    2013-01-01

    Lunar domes are structures of volcanic origin which are usually difficult to observe due to their low heights. The Lunar Domes Handbook is a reference work on these elusive features. It provides a collection of images for a large number of lunar domes, including telescopic images acquired with advanced but still moderately intricate amateur equipment as well as recent orbital spacecraft images. Different methods for determining the morphometric properties of lunar domes (diameter, height, flank slope, edifice volume) from image data or orbital topographic data are discussed. Additionally, multispectral and hyperspectral image data are examined, providing insights into the composition of the dome material. Several classification schemes for lunar domes are described, including an approach based on the determined morphometric quantities and spectral analyses. Furthermore, the book provides a description of geophysical models of lunar domes, which yield information about the properties of the lava from which the...

  3. Ionic polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahan, G.D.

    1992-01-01

    Ferroelectricity occurs in many different kinds of materials. Many of the technologically important solids, which are ferroelectric, can be classified as ionic. Any microscopic theory of ferroelectricity must contain a description of local polarization forces. We have collaborated in the development of a theory of ionic polarization which is quite successful. Its basic assumption is that the polarization is derived from the properties of the individual ions. We have applied this theory successfully to diverse subjects as linear and nonlinear optical response, phonon dispersion, and piezoelectricity. We have developed numerical methods using the local Density approximation to calculate the multipole polarizabilities of ions when subject to various fields. We have also developed methods of calculating the nonlinear hyperpolarizability, and showed that it can be used to explain light scattering experiments. This paper elaborates on this polarization theory

  4. Global Lunar Gravity Field Determination Using Historical and Recent Tracking Data in Preparation for SELENE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossens, S.; Matsumoto, K.; Namiki, N.; Hanada, H.; Iwata, T.; Tsuruta, S.; Kawano, N.; Sasaki, S.

    2006-12-01

    different inclinations, this helps to break several correlations and assures better orbit predictions for those inclinations included, although the current models are still tuned heavily towards the polar orbit. Covariance analysis using the covariance of current solutions as well as the covariance from SELENE simulations also shows further improvement to be expected from the combination of the data sets. The expected improvement in the determination of the lower degrees also leads to an expectation of deriving stricter limits on the lunar k_2 Love number.

  5. Possible crater-based pingos, paleolakes and periglacial landscapes at the high latitudes of Utopia Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soare, R. J.; Conway, S. J.; Pearce, G. D.; Dohm, J. M.; Grindrod, P. M.

    2013-08-01

    Closed-system pingos (CSPs) are perennial ice-cored mounds that evolve in relatively deep and continuous permafrost. They occur where thermokarst lakes either have lost or are losing their water by drainage or evaporation and by means of freeze-thaw cycling, permafrost aggradation and pore-water migration. The presence of CSPs on Mars, particularly on late-Amazonian Epoch terrain at near-polar latitudes, would indicate: (1) the antecedent occurrence of ponded water at the mound-formation sites; (2) freeze-thaw cycling of this water; and (3) boundary-conditions of pressure and temperature at or above the triple point of water much more recently and further to the north than has been thought possible. In 2005 we studied two crater-floor landscapes in northern Utopia Planitia and used MOC narrow-angle images to describe mounds within these landscapes that shared a suite of geological characteristics with CSPs on Earth. Here, we show the results of a circum-global search for similar crater-floor landscapes at latitudes >˜55°N. The search incorporates all relevant MOC and HiRISE images released since 2005. In addition to the two periglacially suggestive crater-floor landscapes observed by us earlier, we have identified three other crater floors with similar landscapes. Interestingly, each of the five mound-bearing craters occur within a tight latitudinal-band (˜64-69°N); this could be a marker of periglacial landscape-modification on a regional scale. Just to the north of the crater-based pingo-like mounds Conway et al. have identified large (km-scale) crater-based perennial ice-domes. They propose that the ice domes develop when regional polar-winds transport and precipitate icy material onto the floor of their host craters. Under a slightly different obliquity-solution ice domes could have accumulated at the lower latitudes where the putative CSPs have been observed. Subsequently, were temperatures to have migrated close to or at 0 °C the ice domes could have

  6. Polarization experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halzen, F.

    1977-02-01

    In a theoretical review of polarization experiments two important points are emphasized: (a) their versatility and their relevance to a large variety of aspects of hadron physics (tests of basic symmetries; a probe of strong interaction dynamics; a tool for hadron spectroscopy); (b) the wealth of experimental data on polarization parameters in pp and np scattering in the Regge language and in the diffraction language. (author)

  7. Infrared Lunar Laser Ranging at Calern : Impact on Lunar Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viswanathan, Vishnu; Fienga, Agnes; Manche, Herve; Gastineau, Mickael; Courde, Clement; Torre, Jean Marie; Exertier, Pierre; Laskar, Jacques

    2017-04-01

    Introduction: Since 2015, in addition to the traditional green (532nm), infrared (1064nm) has been the preferred wavelength for lunar laser ranging at the Calern lunar laser ranging (LLR) site in France. Due to the better atmospheric transmission of IR with respect to Green, nearly 3 times the number of normal points have been obtained in IR than in Green [1]. Dataset: In our study, in addition to the historical data obtained from various other LLR sites, we include the recent IR normal points obtained from Calern over the 1 year time span (2015-2016), constituting about 4.2% of data spread over 46 years of LLR. Near even distribution of data provided by IR on both the spatial and temporal domain, helps us to improve constraints on the internal structure of the Moon modeled within the planetary ephemeris : INPOP [2]. Data reduction: IERS recommended models have been used in the data reduction software GINS (GRGS,CNES) [3]. Constraints provided by GRAIL [4], on the Lunar gravitational potential and Love numbers have been taken into account in the least-square fit procedure. Earth orientation parameters from KEOF series have been used as per a recent study [5]. Results: New estimates on the dynamical parameters of the lunar core will be presented. Acknowledgements: We thank the lunar laser ranging observers at Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France, McDonald Observatory, Texas, Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii, and Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico for providing LLR observations that made this study possible. The research described in this abstract was carried out at Geoazur-CNRS, France, as a part of a PhD thesis funded by Observatoire de Paris and French Ministry of Education and Research. References: [1] Clement C. et al. (2016) submitted to A&A [2] Fienga A. et al. (2015) Celest Mech Dyn Astr, 123: 325. doi:10.1007/s10569-015-9639-y [3] Viswanathan V. et al. (2015) EGU, Abstract 18, 13995 [4] Konopliv A. S. et al. (2013) J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 1415

  8. Energy for lunar resource exploitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Peter E.

    1992-02-01

    Humanity stands at the threshold of exploiting the known lunar resources that have opened up with the access to space. America's role in the future exploitation of space, and specifically of lunar resources, may well determine the level of achievement in technology development and global economic competition. Space activities during the coming decades will significantly influence the events on Earth. The 'shifting of history's tectonic plates' is a process that will be hastened by the increasingly insistent demands for higher living standards of the exponentially growing global population. Key to the achievement of a peaceful world in the 21st century, will be the development of a mix of energy resources at a societally acceptable and affordable cost within a realistic planning horizon. This must be the theme for the globally applicable energy sources that are compatible with the Earth's ecology. It is in this context that lunar resources development should be a primary goal for science missions to the Moon, and for establishing an expanding human presence. The economic viability and commercial business potential of mining, extracting, manufacturing, and transporting lunar resource based materials to Earth, Earth orbits, and to undertake macroengineering projects on the Moon remains to be demonstrated. These extensive activities will be supportive of the realization of the potential of space energy sources for use on Earth. These may include generating electricity for use on Earth based on beaming power from Earth orbits and from the Moon to the Earth, and for the production of helium 3 as a fuel for advanced fusion reactors.

  9. Production of Synthetic Lunar Simulants, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Zybek Advanced Products has proven the ability to produce industrial quantities of lunar simulant materials, including glass, agglutinate and melt breccias. These...

  10. Polarization measurement for internal polarized gaseous targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye Zhenyu; Ye Yunxiu; Lv Haijiang; Mao Yajun

    2004-01-01

    The authors present an introduction to internal polarized gaseous targets, polarization method, polarization measurement method and procedure. To get the total nuclear polarization of hydrogen atoms (including the polarization of the recombined hydrogen molecules) in the target cell, authors have measured the parameters relating to atomic polarization and polarized hydrogen atoms and molecules. The total polarization of the target during our measurement is P T =0.853 ± 0.036. (authors)

  11. Development of a lunar infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, J. D.

    If humans are to reside continuously and productively on the Moon, they must be surrounded and supported there by an infrastructure having some attributes of the support systems that have made advanced civilization possible on Earth. Building this lunar infrastructure will, in a sense, be an investment. Creating it will require large resources from Earth, but once it exists it can do much to limit the further demands of a lunar base for Earthside support. What is needed for a viable lunar infrastructure? This question can be approached from two directions. The first is to examine history, which is essentially a record of growing information structures among humans on Earth (tribes, agriculture, specialization of work, education, ethics, arts and sciences, cities and states, technology). The second approach is much less secure but may provide useful insights: it is to examine the minimal needs of a small human community - not just for physical survival but for a stable existence with a net product output. This paper presents a summary, based on present knowledge of the Moon and of the likely functions of a human community there, of some of these infrastructure requirements, and also discusses possible ways to proceed toward meeting early infrastructure needs.

  12. Lunar feldspathic meteorites: Constraints on the geology of the lunar highlands, and the origin of the lunar crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Juliane; Treiman, Allan H.; Mercer, Celestine N.

    2014-02-01

    The composition of the lunar crust provides clues about the processes that formed it and hence contains information on the origin and evolution of the Moon. Current understanding of lunar evolution is built on the Lunar Magma Ocean hypothesis that early in its history, the Moon was wholly or mostly molten. This hypothesis is based on analyses of Apollo samples of ferroan anorthosites (>90% plagioclase; molar Mg/(Mg+Fe)=Mg#Moon's surface, and remote sensing data, show that ferroan anorthosites are not globally distributed and that the Apollo highland samples, used as a basis for the model, are influenced by ejecta from the Imbrium basin. In this study we evaluate anorthosites from all currently available adequately described lunar highland meteorites, representing a more widespread sampling of the lunar highlands than Apollo samples alone, and find that ∼80% of them are significantly more magnesian than Apollo ferroan anorthosites. Interestingly, Luna mission anorthosites, collected outside the continuous Imbrium ejecta, are also highly magnesian. If the lunar highland crust consists dominantly of magnesian anorthosites, as suggested by their abundance in samples sourced outside Imbrium ejecta, a reevaluation of the Lunar Magma Ocean model is a sensible step forward in the endeavor to understand lunar evolution. Our results demonstrate that lunar anorthosites are more similar in their chemical trends and mineral abundance to terrestrial massif anorthosites than to anorthosites predicted in a Lunar Magma Ocean. This analysis does not invalidate the idea of a Lunar Magma Ocean, which seems a necessity under the giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the moon. However, it does indicate that most rocks now seen at the Moon's surface are not primary products of a magma ocean alone, but are products of more complex crustal processes.

  13. Cratering record in the inner solar system: Implications for earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barlow, N.G.

    1988-01-01

    Internal and external processes have reworked the Earth's surface throughout its history. In particular, the effect of meteorite impacts on the early history of the earth is lost due to fluvial, aeolian, volcanic and plate tectonic action. The cratering record on other inner solar system bodies often provides the only clue to the relative cratering rates and intensities that the earth has experienced throughout its history. Of the five major bodies within the inner solar system, Mercury, Mars, and the Moon retain scars of an early episode of high impact rates. The heavily cratered regions on Mercury, Mars, and the Moon show crater size-frequency distribution curves similar in shape and crater density, whereas the lightly cratered plains on the Moon and Mars show distribution curves which, although similar to each other, are statistically different in shape and density from the more heavily cratered units. The similarities among crater size-frequency distribution curves for the Moon, Mercury, and Mars suggest that the entire inner solar system was subjected to the two populations of impacting objects but Earth and Venus have lost their record of heavy bombardment impactors. Thus, based on the cratering record on the Moon, Mercury, and Mars, it can be inferred that the Earth experienced a period of high crater rates and basin formation prior to about 3.8 BY ago. Recent studies have linked mass extinctions to large terrestrial impacts, so life forms were unable to establish themselves until impact rates decreased substantially and terrestrial conditions became more benign. The possible periodicity of mass extinctions has led to the theory of fluctuating impact rates due to comet showers in the post heavy bombardment period. The active erosional environment on the Earth complicates attempts to verify these showers by erasing geological evidence of older impact craters

  14. Using Lunar Impact Basin Relaxation to Test Impact Flux Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, F.; Conrad, J. W.; Neumann, G. A.; Kamata, S.; Fassett, C.

    2017-12-01

    Gravity data obtained by the GRAIL mission [1] has constrained the number and distribution of lunar impact basins [2]. We analyzed crater densities for newly-proposed basins to assign relative ages. The extent to which a basin is relaxed is calculated using GRAIL-derived crustal thickness models [3] by comparing the mantle uplift under basins to the surrounding region. With our catalog we can investigate the distribution of basin properties through relative time. We identify a relaxation state transition (RT) around the pre-Nectarian 4 relative age group for basins with diameters > 450 km, similar to previous results using a pre-GRAIL basin catalog [4]. This RT likely signals a change in the global thermal state of the crust, representing the time at which the lunar moho temperature fell below 1400 K [4]. This transition happens 50-100 million years (Myr) after the lunar magma ocean (LMO) solidifies [4]. Based on models and inferences of LMO solidification [5, 6] the RT is expected to occur at 4.25-4.50 Ga, depending on the rate of cooling once a crustal lid has formed [5] and the amount of tidal heating in the early crust [6]. Monotonically declining impact flux models, such as [7] and [8] predict a younger RT; 4.07-4.08 and 4.24-4.27 Ga respectively. A scaled-down version of [8] can fit the RT but fails to match the observed number of younger, unrelaxed basins. Models that invoke a later transient increase in impact flux can reproduce the inferred RT time; for instance, the model of [9] gives a RT age of 4.43-4.46 Ga. This model matches the number of younger basins and implies that basin preservation started at 4.49 Ga, likely before the LMO completely solidified. [1] Zuber M.T. et al. (2013) Science, 339, 668-671. [2] Neumann G.A. et al. (2015) Science Advances, 1, e1500852. [3] Wieczorek M.A. (2013) Science, 339, 671-675. [4] Kamata S. et al. (2015) Icarus, 250, 492-504. [5] Elkins-Tanton L.T. et al. (2011) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 304, 326-336. [6] Meyer, J

  15. Sources of polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.

    1983-01-01

    Various sources of polarized neutrons are reviewed. Monoenergetic source produced with unpolarized or polarized beams, white sources of polarized neutrons, production by transmissions through polarized hydrogen targets and polarized thermal neutronsare discussed, with appropriate applications included. (U.K.)

  16. Impact cratering on porous targets in the strength regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Akiko M.

    2017-12-01

    Cratering on small bodies is crucial for the collision cascade and also contributes to the ejection of dust particles into interplanetary space. A crater cavity forms against the mechanical strength of the surface, gravitational acceleration, or both. The formation of moderately sized craters that are sufficiently larger than the thickness of the regolith on small bodies, in which mechanical strength plays the dominant role rather than gravitational acceleration, is in the strength regime. The formation of microcraters on blocks on the surface is also within the strength regime. On the other hand, the formation of a crater of a size comparable to the thickness of the regolith is affected by both gravitational acceleration and cohesion between regolith particles. In this short review, we compile data from the literature pertaining to impact cratering experiments on porous targets, and summarize the ratio of spall diameter to pit diameter, the depth, diameter, and volume of the crater cavity, and the ratio of depth to diameter. Among targets with various porosities studied in the laboratory to date, based on conventional scaling laws (Holsapple and Schmidt, J. Geophys. Res., 87, 1849-1870, 1982) the cratering efficiency obtained for porous sedimentary rocks (Suzuki et al., J. Geophys. Res. 117, E08012, 2012) is intermediate. A comparison with microcraters formed on a glass target with impact velocities up to 14 km s-1 indicates a different dependence of cratering efficiency and depth-to-diameter ratio on impact velocity.

  17. Evolution of Occator Crater on (1) Ceres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nathues, A.; Platz, T.; Thangjam, G.; Hoffmann, M.; Corre, L. Le; Reddy, V.; Kallisch, J. [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Goettingen (Germany); Mengel, K. [IELF, TU Clausthal, Adolph-Roemer-Straße 2A, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Germany); Cloutis, E. A. [University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E (Canada); Crown, D. A., E-mail: nathues@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: platz@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: thangjam@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: hoffmann@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: kallisch@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: gkmengel@t-online.de, E-mail: e.cloutis@uwinnipeg.ca, E-mail: lecorre@psi.edu, E-mail: reddy@psi.edu, E-mail: crown@psi.edu [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell Rd, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States)

    2017-03-01

    The dwarf planet Ceres (diameter 939 km) is the largest object in the main asteroid belt. Recent investigations suggest that Ceres is a thermally evolved, volatile-rich body with potential geological activity, a body which was never completely molten but possibly differentiated into a rocky core, an ice-rich mantle, and which may contain remnant internal liquid water. Thermal alteration and exogenic material infall contribute to producing a (dark) carbonaceous chondritic-like surface containing ammoniated phyllosilicates. Here we report imaging and spectroscopic analyses of Occator crater derived from the Framing Camera and the Visible and Infrared Spectrometer onboard Dawn. We found that the central bright spot (Cerealia Facula) of Occator is ∼30 Myr younger than the crater itself. The central spot is located in a central pit which contains a dome that is spectrally homogenous, exhibiting absorption features that are consistent with carbonates. Multiple radial fractures across the dome indicate an extrusive formation process. Our results lead us to conclude that the floor region was subject to past endogenic activity. Dome and bright material in its vicinity formed likely due to a long-lasting, periodic, or episodic ascent of bright material from a subsurface reservoir rich in carbonates. Originally triggered by an impact event, gases, possibly dissolved from a subsurface water/brine layer, enabled material rich in carbonates to ascend through fractures and be deposited onto the surface.

  18. Theory and experiments on centrifuge cratering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidt, R.M.; Holsapple, K.A.

    1980-01-01

    Centrifuge experimental techniques provide possibilities for laboratory simulation of ground motion and cratering effects due to explosive loadings. The results of a similarity analysis for the thermomechanical response of a continuun show that increased gravity is a necessary condition for subscale testing when identical materials for both model and prototype are being used. The general similarity requirements for this type of subscale testing are examined both theoretically and experimentally. The similarity analysis is used to derive the necessary and sufficient requirements due to the general balance and jump equations and gives relations among all the scale factors for size, density, stress, body forces, internal energy, heat supply, heat conduction, heat of detonation, and time. Additional constraints due to specific choices of material constitutive equations are evaluated separately. The class of consitutive equations that add no further requirements is identified. For this class of materials, direct simulation of large-scale cratering events at small scale on the centrifuge is possible and independent of the actual constitutive equations. For a rare-independent soil it is shown that a small experiment at gravity g and energy E is similar to a large event at 1 G but with energy equal to g 3 E. Consequently, experiments at 500 G with 8 grams of explosives can be used to

  19. Echo simulation of lunar penetrating radar: based on a model of inhomogeneous multilayer lunar regolith structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dai Shun; Su Yan; Xiao Yuan; Feng Jian-Qing; Xing Shu-Guo; Ding Chun-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) based on the time domain Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technique onboard China's Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover, has the goal of investigating the lunar subsurface structure and detecting the depth of lunar regolith. An inhomogeneous multi-layer microwave transfer inverse-model is established. The dielectric constant of the lunar regolith, the velocity of propagation, the reflection, refraction and transmission at interfaces, and the resolution are discussed. The model is further used to numerically simulate and analyze temporal variations in the echo obtained from the LPR attached on CE-3's rover, to reveal the location and structure of lunar regolith. The thickness of the lunar regolith is calculated by a comparison between the simulated radar B-scan images based on the model and the detected result taken from the CE-3 lunar mission. The potential scientific return from LPR echoes taken from the landing region is also discussed

  20. Echo simulation of lunar penetrating radar: based on a model of inhomogeneous multilayer lunar regolith structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Shun; Su, Yan; Xiao, Yuan; Feng, Jian-Qing; Xing, Shu-Guo; Ding, Chun-Yu

    2014-12-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) based on the time domain Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technique onboard China's Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover, has the goal of investigating the lunar subsurface structure and detecting the depth of lunar regolith. An inhomogeneous multi-layer microwave transfer inverse-model is established. The dielectric constant of the lunar regolith, the velocity of propagation, the reflection, refraction and transmission at interfaces, and the resolution are discussed. The model is further used to numerically simulate and analyze temporal variations in the echo obtained from the LPR attached on CE-3's rover, to reveal the location and structure of lunar regolith. The thickness of the lunar regolith is calculated by a comparison between the simulated radar B-scan images based on the model and the detected result taken from the CE-3 lunar mission. The potential scientific return from LPR echoes taken from the landing region is also discussed.

  1. A Scalable Superconductor Bearing System For Lunar Telescopes And Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Peter C.; Rabin, D.; Van Steenberg, M. E.

    2010-01-01

    We report on a new concept for a telescope mount on the Moon based on high temperature superconductors (HTS). Lunar nights are long (15 days), and temperatures range from 100 K to 30 K inside shadowed craters. Telescopes on the Moon therefore require bearing systems that can position and track precisely under cryogenic conditions, over long time periods, preferably with no maintenance, and preferably do not fail with loss of power. HTS bearings, consisting of permanent magnets levitated over bulk superconductors, are well suited to the task. The components do not make physical contact, hence there is no wear. The levitation is passive and stable; no power is required to maintain position. We report on the design and laboratory demonstration of a prototype two-axis pointing system. Unlike previous designs, this new configuration is simple and easy to implement. Most importantly, it can be scaled to accommodate instruments ranging in size from decimeters (laser communication systems) to meters (solar panels, communication dishes, optical telescopes, optical interferometers) to decameters and beyond (VLA-type radio interferometer elements).

  2. Postshot distribution and movement of radionuclides in nuclear crater ejecta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koranda, John J; Martin, John R; Wikkerink, Robert; Stuart, Marshall [Bio-Medical Division, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, University of California, Livermore, CA (United States)

    1970-05-01

    The distribution and postshot movement of radionuclides in nuclear crater ejecta are discussed in this report. Continuing studies of tritium movement in ejecta at SEDAN crater demonstrate that variations in tritium concentration are correlated with seasonal rainfall and soil water movements. Losses of 27 mCi H{sup 3}/ft{sup 2} are evident on SEDAN crater lip at the end of a three year period of measurements in -which an unusually large flux of rain was received. The distribution of gamma emitting radionuclides and tritium is described in the recently created SCHOONER crater ejecta field. The specific activity of radionuclides in the SCHOONER ejecta continuum is shown for ejecta collected from the crater lip to 17 miles from GZ. The movement of W{sup 181} and tritium into the sub-ejecta preshot soil is described at a site 3000 feet from GZ. (author)

  3. Acoustic fluidization and the scale dependence of impact crater morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melosh, H. J.; Gaffney, E. S.

    1983-01-01

    A phenomenological Bingham plastic model has previously been shown to provide an adequate description of the collapse of impact craters. This paper demonstrates that the Bingham parameters may be derived from a model in which acoustic energy generated during excavation fluidizes the rock debris surrounding the crater. Experimental support for the theoretical flow law is presented. Although the Bingham yield stress cannot be computed without detailed knowledge of the initial acoustic field, the Bingham viscosity is derived from a simple argument which shows that it increases as the 3/2 power of crater diameter, consistent with observation. Crater collapse may occur in material with internal dissipation Q as low as 100, comparable to laboratory observations of dissipation in granular materials. Crater collapse thus does not require that the acoustic field be regenerated during flow.

  4. Man-Made Debris In and From Lunar Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Nicholas L.; McKay, Gordon A. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    During 1966-1976, as part of the first phase of lunar exploration, 29 manned and robotic missions placed more than 40 objects into lunar orbit. Whereas several vehicles later successfully landed on the Moon and/or returned to Earth, others were either abandoned in orbit or intentionally sent to their destruction on the lunar surface. The former now constitute a small population of lunar orbital debris; the latter, including four Lunar Orbiters and four Lunar Module ascent stages, have contributed to nearly 50 lunar sites of man's refuse. Other lunar satellites are known or suspected of having fallen from orbit. Unlike Earth satellite orbital decays and deorbits, lunar satellites impact the lunar surface unscathed by atmospheric burning or melting. Fragmentations of lunar satellites, which would produce clouds of numerous orbital debris, have not yet been detected. The return to lunar orbit in the 1990's by the Hagoromo, Hiten, Clementine, and Lunar Prospector spacecraft and plans for increased lunar exploration early in the 21st century, raise questions of how best to minimize and to dispose of lunar orbital debris. Some of the lessons learned from more than 40 years of Earth orbit exploitation can be applied to the lunar orbital environment. For the near-term, perhaps the most important of these is postmission passivation. Unique solutions, e.g., lunar equatorial dumps, may also prove attractive. However, as with Earth satellites, debris mitigation measures are most effectively adopted early in the concept and design phase, and prevention is less costly than remediation.

  5. Simple Impact Crater Shapes From Shadows - The Sequel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappelow, J. E.

    2008-12-01

    At the last LPSC meeting I presented the outline of a method for determining simple impact crater shapes from shadows. In theory the shadow cast within a simple crater provides enough information to derive its cross-sectional shape from shadow measurements, at least to the maximum depth to which the shadow extends. Under certain simple assumptions, this can be done analytically. If the crater is conic-section - shaped, then it can be shown that the down-sun bound of any shadow cast within it is elliptical, with one axis along the direction of illumination and the other (perpendicular to it) of semi-length D/2 (where D is diameter). The properties of this shadow-ellipse can be related to the parameters of the crater shape conic-section, thus measurements of the shadow-ellipse yield not only crater depth and diameter but also the approximate crater shape, in terms of conic sections. The method also does not depend upon the shadow crossing near the crater center, which avoids a pitfall of older shadow measurement methods. The technique is also amenable to computer implementation, which has already been largely completed. Once computerized, crater measurements can be made rapidly and repeatably. The program reads in an image, its resolution, and the solar elevation and azimuth. The user then defines the crater rim by 'clicking' on three points, and the shadow ellipse by clicking on two more. The program calculates and outputs the diameter, the depth, and parameters describing the crater's approximating conic-section. It is highly applicable to situations where only single-image photography is available, for example MESSENGER flybys of Mercury. At the meeting I will present the finished math for this method and give some examples of its use.

  6. NASA Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foxworth, Suzanne

    2017-01-01

    The Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program is designed for K-12 classroom educators who work in K-12 schools, museums, libraries, or planetariums. Educators have to be certified to borrow the Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disks by attending a NASA Certification Workshop provided by a NASA Authorized Sample Disk Certifier.

  7. Low temperature thermophysical properties of lunar soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremers, C. J.

    1973-01-01

    The thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of lunar fines samples from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions, determined at low temperatures as a function of temperature and various densities, are reviewed. It is shown that the thermal conductivity of lunar soil is nearly the same as that of terrestrial basaltic rock under the same temperature and pressure conditions.

  8. Lunar landing and launch facilities and operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-01-01

    A preliminary design of a lunar landing and launch facility for a Phase 3 lunar base is formulated. A single multipurpose vehicle for the lunar module is assumed. Three traffic levels are envisioned: 6, 12, and 24 landings/launches per year. The facility is broken down into nine major design items. A conceptual description of each of these items is included. Preliminary sizes, capacities, and/or other relevant design data for some of these items are obtained. A quonset hut tent-like structure constructed of aluminum rods and aluminized mylar panels is proposed. This structure is used to provide a constant thermal environment for the lunar modules. A structural design and thermal analysis is presented. Two independent designs for a bridge crane to unload/load heavy cargo from the lunar module are included. Preliminary investigations into cryogenic propellant storage and handling, landing/launch guidance and control, and lunar module maintenance requirements are performed. Also, an initial study into advanced concepts for application to Phase 4 or 5 lunar bases has been completed in a report on capturing, condensing, and recycling the exhaust plume from a lunar launch.

  9. Krypton and xenon in lunar fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basford, J. R.; Dragon, J. C.; Pepin, R. O.; Coscio, M. R., Jr.; Murthy, V. R.

    1973-01-01

    Data from grain-size separates, stepwise-heated fractions, and bulk analyses of 20 samples of fines and breccias from five lunar sites are used to define three-isotope and ordinate intercept correlations in an attempt to resolve the lunar heavy rare gas system in a statistically valid approach. Tables of concentrations and isotope compositions are given.

  10. Armstrong practices in Lunar Module simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    1969-01-01

    Neil A. Armstrong, Commander for the Apollo 11 Moon-landing mission, practices for the historic event in a Lunar Module simulator in the Flight Crew Training building at KSC. Accompanying Armstrong on the Moon flight will be Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.

  11. Snow-avalanche impact craters in southern Norway: Their morphology and dynamics compared with small terrestrial meteorite craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, John A.; Owen, Geraint; McEwen, Lindsey J.; Shakesby, Richard A.; Hill, Jennifer L.; Vater, Amber E.; Ratcliffe, Anna C.

    2017-11-01

    This regional inventory and study of a globally uncommon landform type reveals similarities in form and process between craters produced by snow-avalanche and meteorite impacts. Fifty-two snow-avalanche impact craters (mean diameter 85 m, range 10-185 m) were investigated through field research, aerial photographic interpretation and analysis of topographic maps. The craters are sited on valley bottoms or lake margins at the foot of steep avalanche paths (α = 28-59°), generally with an easterly aspect, where the slope of the final 200 m of the avalanche path (β) typically exceeds 15°. Crater diameter correlates with the area of the avalanche start zone, which points to snow-avalanche volume as the main control on crater size. Proximal erosional scars ('blast zones') up to 40 m high indicate up-range ejection of material from the crater, assisted by air-launch of the avalanches and impulse waves generated by their impact into water-filled craters. Formation of distal mounds up to 12 m high of variable shape is favoured by more dispersed down-range deposition of ejecta. Key to the development of snow-avalanche impact craters is the repeated occurrence of topographically-focused snow avalanches that impact with a steep angle on unconsolidated sediment. Secondary craters or pits, a few metres in diameter, are attributed to the impact of individual boulders or smaller bodies of snow ejected from the main avalanche. The process of crater formation by low-density, low-velocity, large-volume snow flows occurring as multiple events is broadly comparable with cratering by single-event, high-density, high-velocity, small-volume projectiles such as small meteorites. Simple comparative modelling of snow-avalanche events associated with a crater of average size (diameter 85 m) indicates that the kinetic energy of a single snow-avalanche impact event is two orders of magnitude less than that of a single meteorite-impact event capable of producing a crater of similar size

  12. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to these seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought fro earth should be less than 1000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  13. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to those seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought from earth should be less than 1,000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  14. Lunar nitrogen: Secular variation or mixing?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norris, S.J.; Wright, I.P.; Pillinger, C.T.

    1986-01-01

    The two current models to explain the nearly 40% variation of the lunar nitrogen isotopic composition are: (1) secular variation of solar wind nitrogen; and (2) a two component mixing model having a constant, heavy solar wind admixed with varying amounts of indigenous light lunar N (LLN). Both models are needed to explain the step pyrolysis extraction profile. The secular variation model proposes that the low temperature release is modern day solar wind implanted into grain surfaces, the 900 C to 1100 C release is from grain surfaces which were once exposed to the ancient solar wind but which are now trapped inside agglutinates, and the >1100 C release as spallogenic N produced by cosmic rays. The mixing model ascribes the components to solar wind, indigenous lunar N and spallogenic N respectively. An extension of either interpretation is that the light N seen in lunar breccias or deep drill cores represent conditions when more N-14 was available to the lunar surface

  15. APOLLO 10 ASTRONAUT ENTERS LUNAR MODULE SIMULATOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    1969-01-01

    Apollo 10 lunar module pilot Eugene A. Cernan prepares to enter the lunar module simulator at the Flight Crew Training Building at the NASA Spaceport. Cernan, Apollo 10 commander Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young, command module pilot, are to be launched May 18 on the Apollo 10 mission, a dress rehearsal for a lunar landing later this summer. Cernan and Stafford are to detach the lunar module and drop to within 10 miles of the moon's surface before rejoining Young in the command/service module. Looking on as Cernan puts on his soft helmet is Snoopy, the lovable cartoon mutt whose name will be the lunar module code name during the Apollo 10 flight. The command/service module is to bear the code name Charlie Brown.

  16. Lunar soil as shielding against space radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, J. [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, MS 83R0101, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)], E-mail: miller@lbl.gov; Taylor, L. [Planetary Geosciences Institute, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 (United States); Zeitlin, C. [Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Heilbronn, L. [Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 (United States); Guetersloh, S. [Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); DiGiuseppe, M. [Northrop Grumman Corporation, Bethpage, NY 11714 (United States); Iwata, Y.; Murakami, T. [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba 263-8555 (Japan)

    2009-02-15

    We have measured the radiation transport and dose reduction properties of lunar soil with respect to selected heavy ion beams with charges and energies comparable to some components of the galactic cosmic radiation (GCR), using soil samples returned by the Apollo missions and several types of synthetic soil glasses and lunar soil simulants. The suitability for shielding studies of synthetic soil and soil simulants as surrogates for lunar soil was established, and the energy deposition as a function of depth for a particular heavy ion beam passing through a new type of lunar highland simulant was measured. A fragmentation and energy loss model was used to extend the results over a range of heavy ion charges and energies, including protons at solar particle event (SPE) energies. The measurements and model calculations indicate that a modest amount of lunar soil affords substantial protection against primary GCR nuclei and SPE, with only modest residual dose from surviving charged fragments of the heavy beams.

  17. Rock Formation and Cosmic Radiation Exposure Ages in Gale Crater Mudstones from the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Farley, Ken; Malespin, Charles; Gellert, Ralph; Grotzinger, John

    2014-05-01

    The quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has been utilized to secure abundances of 3He, 21Ne, 36Ar, and 40Ar thermally evolved from the mudstone in the stratified Yellowknife Bay formation in Gale Crater. As reported by Farley et al. [1] these measurements of cosmogenic and radiogenic noble gases together with Cl and K abundances measured by MSL's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer enable a K-Ar rock formation age of 4.21+0.35 Ga to be established as well as a surface exposure age to cosmic radiation of 78+30 Ma. Understanding surface exposures to cosmic radiation is relevant to the MSL search for organic compounds since even the limited set of studies carried out, to date, indicate that even 10's to 100's of millions of years of near surface (1-3 meter) exposure may transform a significant fraction of the organic compounds exposed to this radiation [2,3,4]. Transformation of potential biosignatures and even loss of molecular structural information in compounds that could point to exogenous or endogenous sources suggests a new paradigm in the search for near surface organics that incorporates a search for the most recently exposed outcrops through erosional processes. The K-Ar rock formation age determination shows promise for more precise in situ measurements that may help calibrate the martian cratering record that currently relies on extrapolation from the lunar record with its ground truth chronology with returned samples. We will discuss the protocol for the in situ noble gas measurements secured with SAM and ongoing studies to optimize these measurements using the SAM testbed. References: [1] Farley, K.A.M Science Magazine, 342, (2013). [2] G. Kminek et al., Earth Planet Sc Lett 245, 1 (2006). [3] Dartnell, L.R., Biogeosciences 4, 545 (2007). [4] Pavlov, A. A., et al. Geophys Res Lett 39, 13202 (2012).

  18. Polarization study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nurushev, S.B.

    1989-01-01

    Brief review is presented of the high energy polarization study including experimental data and the theoretical descriptions. The mostimportant proposals at the biggest accelerators and the crucial technical developments are also listed which may become a main-line of spin physics. 35 refs.; 10 figs.; 4 tabs

  19. Polar Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    These three images were taken on three different orbits over the north polar cap in April 1999. Each shows a different part of the same ice-free trough. The left and right images are separated by a distance of more than 100 kilometers (62 miles). Note the similar layers in each image.

  20. High Resolution Digital Elevation Models of Pristine Explosion Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.; Krabill, W.; Garvin, J. B.

    2004-01-01

    In order to effectively capture a realistic terrain applicable to studies of cratering processes and landing hazards on Mars, we have obtained high resolution digital elevation models of several pristine explosion craters at the Nevada Test Site. We used the Airborne Terrain Mapper (ATM), operated by NASA's Wallops Flight Facility to obtain DEMs with 1 m spacing and 10 cm vertical errors of 4 main craters and many other craters and collapse pits. The main craters that were mapped are Sedan, Scooter, Schooner, and Danny Boy. The 370 m diameter Sedan crater, located on Yucca Flat, is the largest and freshest explosion crater on Earth that was formed under conditions similar to hypervelocity impact cratering. As such, it is effectively pristine, having been formed in 1962 as a result of a controlled detonation of a 100 kiloton thermonuclear device, buried at the appropriate equivalent depth of burst required to make a simple crater. Sedan was formed in alluvium of mixed lithology and subsequently studied using a variety of field-based methods. Nearby secondary craters were also formed at the time and were also mapped by ATM. Adjacent to Sedan and also in alluvium is Scooter, about 90 m in diameter and formed by a high-explosive event. Schooner (240 m) and Danny Boy (80 m) craters were also important targets for ATM as they were excavated in hard basalt and therefore have much rougher ejecta. This will allow study of ejecta patterns in hard rock as well as engineering tests of crater and rock avoidance and rover trafficability. In addition to the high resolution DEMs, crater geometric characteristics, RMS roughness maps, and other higher-order derived data products will be generated using these data. These will provide constraints for models of landing hazards on Mars and for rover trafficability. Other planned studies will include ejecta size-frequency distribution at the resolution of the DEM and at finer resolution through air photography and field measurements