TABLE 5.1 Implementation Options for Highest-Priority Science Goals

Science Goals

Implementation

(a)

Information Extraction

(b)

Orbital Measurements

(c)

Sample Return

(d)

Landed Experiments,Instruments,and Rovers

(e)

Human Field work

An enabling new framework for lunar exploration will be provided by data from SMART-1, SELENE, Chang’e, Chandrayaan-1, and LRO. The assumptionis that all missions and key instruments will be successful.

Orbital measurements are not included in the complement of missions planned for launch by 2008. The assumption is that the four missions planned will return appropriate data as planned; if not, new measurements that provide similar high-priority compositional and geophysical data need to be acquired.

The types of returned samples and of science analyses required are identified.

These include science measurements for/from landed sites; category also encompasses penetrators/impactors.

Science areas that specifically benefit from human capabilities are identified.

1a. Test the cataclysmhypothesis by determining the spacing in time of the lunar basins.

Continue geochronology of impact-melt rocks in the Apollo and meteorite collections. Use remote sensing to help determine the regional geologiccontext of returned samples.

Higher-resolution images to provide targeted crater counts on selected ejecta facies.

Sample return from the SPA Basin melt sheetand from floors or ejecta of basins within the SPA Basin for detailed geochemical and isotopic analyses.

Develop instrumentsfor precise, in situ geochronology. Use landed geochemical instrumentation to identify best samples for return.

Identify and acquire samples of impact-melt rocks in the Nectaris basin.

1b. Anchor the earlyEarth-Moon impact flux curve by determining the age of the oldest lunar basin (South Pole-Aitken Basin).

Search for SPA Basin materials in existing collection. Continue study of the ancient terrestrial crater record through fieldwork and zircon evidence.

Higher-resolution images to provide targeted crater counts on ejecta of basins within the SPA Basin to bound a limit on the SP A Basin age.

Sample return from the SPA Basin melt sheet and from floors or ejecta of basins within the SPA Basin for detailed geochemical and isotopic analyses.

Develop instrumentsfor precise, in situ geochronology. Use landed geochemical instrumentation to identify best samples for return.

Human geologic fieldwork increases chances of recognizing the best samples.

1c. Establish a precise absolute chronology.

Compare new remote sensing data sets with Apollo-era data sets to detect formation of new craters.

Higher-resolution images to provide targeted crater counts of undisturbed ejecta surfaces from, e.g., Orientale, Imbrium, and Copernicus.

Sample return from key benchmark basins, craters (e.g., Copernicus, Tycho), and lava flows for precise isotopic dating.

Develop instrumentsfor precise, in situ geochronology. Use landed geochemical instrumentation to identify best samples for return.

Human geologic fieldwork increases chances of recognizing the best samples.



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