Overarching Themes

 

Science Concepts

Science Goals

Early Earth-Moon System

Terrestrial Planet Differentiation and Evolution

Solar System Impact Record

Lunar Environment

Implications for Life

5. Lunar volcanism provides a window into the thermal and compositional evolution of the moon.

5a. Determine the origin and variability of lunar basalts.

 

X

 

 

 

5b. Determine the age of the youngest and oldest mare basalts.

 

X

X

 

 

5c. Determine the compositional range and extent of lunar pyroclastic deposits.

 

X

 

X

 

5d. Determine the flux of lunar volcanism and its evolution through space and time.

 

X

X

X

 

6. The Moon is an accessible laboratory for studying the impact process on planetary scales.

6a. Characterize the existence and extent of melt sheet differentiation.

X

X

X

 

 

6b. Determine the structure of multi-ring impact basins.

X

 

X

 

 

6c. Quantify the effects of planetary characteristics (composition, density, impact velocities) on crater formation and morphology.

 

X

X

 

X

6d. Measure the extent of lateral and vertical mixing of local and ejecta material.

 

 

X

X

 

7. The Moon is a natural laboratory for regolith processes and weathering on anhydrous airless bodies.

7a. Search for and characterize ancient regolith.

 

 

 

X

 

7b. Determine physical properties of the regolith at diverse locations of expected human activity.

 

 

 

X

 

7c. Understand regolith modification processes (including space weathering), particularly deposition of volatile materials.

 

 

 

X

 

7d. Separate and study rare materials in the lunar regolith.

 

X

X

X

X

8. Processes involved with the atmosphere and dust environment of the moon are accessible for scientific study while the environment remains in a pristine state.

8a. Determine the global density, composition, and time variability of the fragile lunar atmosphere before it is perturbed by further human activity.

 

 

 

X

 

8b. Determine the size, charge, and spatial distribution of electrostatically transported dust grains and assess their likely effects on lunar exploration and lunar-based astronomy.

 

 

 

X

 

8c. Use the time-variable release rate of atmospheric species such as 40Ar and radon to learn more about the inner workings of the lunar interior.

 

X

 

X

 

8d. Learn how water vapor and other volatiles are released from the lunar surface and migrate to the poles where they are adsorbed in polar cold traps.

 

 

 

X

 



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement