Characterizing the Mineralogy of Potential Lunar Landing Sites
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- Many processes active on the early Moon are common to most terrestrial planets, including the record of early and late impact bombardment. The Moon's surface provides a record of the earliest era of terrestrial planet evolution, and the type and composition of minerals that comprise a planetary surface are a direct result of the initial composition and subsequent thermal and physical processing. Lunar mineralogy seen today is thus a direct record of the early evolution of the lunar crust and subsequent geologic processes. Specifically, the distribution and concentration of specific minerals is closely tied to magma ocean products, lenses of intruded or remelted plutons, basaltic volcanism and fire-fountaining, and any process (e.g. cratering) that might redistribute or transform primary and secondary lunar crustal materials. The association of several lunar minerals with key geologic processes is illustrated in Figure 1. The geologic history of potential landing sites on the Moon can be read from the character and context of local mineralogy.
- Document ID: 20060048270.
ICEUM8: International Conference on Exploration and Utilizationo of the Moon; 23-27 Jul. 2006; Beijing; China.
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