Characterizing the Diversity of Pristine Lunar Highlands Indigenous Materials (LASER)

Project: Research project

Project Details


We will complete a focused petrologic investigation that includes optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, electron probe microanalysis, and laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry [LA-ICPMS]) of the mineral fragments in carefully selected Apollo 16 crystalline impact melt rocks as part of an initiative to more fully assess the compositional diversity of pristine lunar highlands igneous materials. By collecting an extensive and integrated dataset of trace element concentrations, we expect to identify and characterize rock types that are underrepresented in the Apollo collection. These new data will facilitate a better understanding of lunar crustal components and their compositions and the dynamics of lunar basin-forming processes. This work is fundamental to providing a firm foundation for the study of lunar remote sensing data and returned lunar samples during the next generation of lunar exploration.
Effective start/end date7/15/099/30/13


  • NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: $165,259.00


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