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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon The Scientific Context for EXPLORATION of the MOON Committee on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study is based on work supported by the Contract NASW-010001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-10919-2 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-10919-1 Cover: Design by Penny E. Margolskee. All images courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon OTHER REPORTS OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (2007) Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System (SSB with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, 2007) A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Astrophysics Program (SSB with the Board on Physics and Astronomy, 2007) An Assessment of Balance in NASA’s Science Programs (2006) Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007-2016 (2006) Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Venus Missions: Letter Report (2006) Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments for Solar-Terrestrial Research: Report of a Workshop (2006) Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report (SSB with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2006) Review of NASA’s 2006 Draft Science Plan: Letter Report (2006) The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon: Interim Report (2006) Space Radiation Hazards and the Vision for Space Exploration (2006) The Astrophysical Context of Life (SSB with the Board on Life Sciences, 2005) Earth Science and Applications from Space: Urgent Needs and Opportunities to Serve the Nation (2005) Extending the Effective Lifetimes of Earth Observing Research Missions (2005) Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars (2005) Principal-Investigator-Led Missions in the Space Sciences (2005) Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion (SSB with ASEB, 2005) Review of Goals and Plans for NASA’s Space and Earth Sciences (2005) Review of NASA Plans for the International Space Station (2005) Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration (2005) Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report (SSB with ASEB, 2004) Exploration of the Outer Heliosphere and the Local Interstellar Medium: A Workshop Report (2004) Issues and Opportunities Regarding the U.S. Space Program: A Summary Report of a Workshop on National Space Policy (SSB with ASEB, 2004) Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos (2004) Review of Science Requirements for the Terrestrial Planet Finder: Letter Report (2004) Understanding the Sun and Solar System Plasmas: Future Directions in Solar and Space Physics (2004) Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond (SSB with ASEB and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, 2004) Limited copies of these reports are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) firstname.lastname@example.org www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html NOTE: Listed according to year of approval for release, which in some cases precedes the year of publication.
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon COMMITTEE ON THE SCIENTIFIC CONTEXT FOR EXPLORATION OF THE MOON GEORGE A. PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired), Chair CARLÉ M. PIETERS, Brown University, Vice Chair WILLIAM B. BANERDT, Jet Propulsion Laboratory JAMES L. BURCH, Southwest Research Institute ANDREW CHAIKIN, Science Journalist, Arlington, Vermont BARBARA A. COHEN, University of New Mexico MICHAEL DUKE,1 Colorado School of Mines ANTHONY W. ENGLAND,2 University of Michigan HARALD HIESINGER, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster NOEL W. HINNERS, University of Colorado AYANNA M. HOWARD, Georgia Institute of Technology DAVID J. LAWRENCE, Los Alamos National Laboratory DANIEL F. LESTER, McDonald Observatory PAUL G. LUCEY, University of Hawaii S. ALAN STERN,3 Southwest Research Institute STEFANIE TOMPKINS, Science Applications International Corporation FRANCISCO P.J. VALERO, Scripps Institution of Oceanography JOHN W. VALLEY, University of Wisconsin-Madison CHARLES D. WALKER, Independent Consultant, Annandale, Virginia NEVILLE J. WOOLF, University of Arizona Staff ROBERT L. RIEMER, Study Director DAVID H. SMITH, Senior Staff Officer RODNEY N. HOWARD, Senior Project Assistant CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Assistant Editor STEPHANIE BEDNAREK, Research Assistant 1 During committee deliberations, Dr. Duke recused himself from discussion of the finding and recommendation related to the South Pole-Aitken Basin. 2 Dr. England resigned from the committee on August 11, 2006, because of other commitments. 3 Dr. Stern resigned from the committee on September 24, 2006, to join the NASA Advisory Committee Science Subcommittee (and on April 2, 2007, became Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate).
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon SPACE STUDIES BOARD LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan, Chair A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Vice Chair SPIRO K. ANTIOCHOS, Naval Research Laboratory DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado STEVEN J. BATTEL, Battel Engineering CHARLES L. BENNETT, Johns Hopkins University JUDITH A. CURRY, Georgia Institute of Technology JACK D. FARMER, Arizona State University JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research JACQUELINE N. HEWITT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology TAMARA E. JERNIGAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory KLAUS KEIL, University of Hawaii BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire KENNETH H. NEALSON, University of Southern California NORMAN P. NEUREITER, American Association for the Advancement of Science SUZANNE OPARIL, University of Alabama, Birmingham JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University RONALD F. PROBSTEIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology HARVEY D. TANANBAUM, Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory RICHARD H. TRULY, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (retired) JOSEPH F. VEVERKA, Cornell University WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research GARY P. ZANK, University of California, Riverside MARCIA S. SMITH, Director
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon Preface As an initial part of the nation’s newly established Vision for Space Exploration,1 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)is planning missions to the Moon through the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). The first of these NASA missions, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, is already in implementation and scheduled for a 2008 launch. Looking beyond the several lunar robotic missions to be flown by 2008 (by the international community), science goals need to be articulated for early decisions about system design and operations planning for later robotic and human activities on the Moon. For a longer-range human presence on the Moon, the scope of science is potentially broader, including extensive field studies and sampling, plus the emplacement or assembly and the maintenance and operation of major equipment on the lunar surface. After a substantial hiatus in lunar science and exploration activities, the next two decades will be marked by a major resurgence in lunar missions and high potential for scientific return. In order to realize this benefit from the initial series of missions, NASA needs a comprehensive, well-validated, and prioritized set of scientific research objectives for a program of exploration of the Moon. The purpose of this report is to provide scientific input to NASA’s planning process. This study was initiated at the request of Mary Cleave, NASA’s associate administrator for science, in a letter dated March 13, 2006, to Lennard Fisk, chair of the Space Studies Board (SSB), asking the National Research Council (NRC)to provide guidance on the scientific challenges and opportunities enabled by a sustained program of robotic and human exploration of the Moon during the period 2008-2023 and beyond. In response to this request and to meet the ambitious schedule requested by NASA, the NRC established the Committee on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (biographies of the committee members appear in Appendix F) in May 2006. The committee met at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C., on June 20-22, 2006, and at the Beckman Center, Irvine, California, on August 2-4, 2006. An interim report, requested by NASA, was delivered to NASA in mid-September 2006.2 Subsequently, the committee met in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 25-27, 2006, and in Boulder, Colorado, on February 13-15, 2007. The agendas of these meetings are presented in Appendix C. In addition, committee members consulted related reports issued by the National Research Council (listed in the Bibliography). 1 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The Vision for Space Exploration, NP-2004-01-334-HQ, NASA, Washington, D.C., 2004. 2 National Research Council, The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon: Interim Report, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2006.
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon The committee held several teleconference calls, communicated extensively via e-mail, and solicited input from colleagues with expertise relevant to the study of the Moon and/or the development and operation of spaceflight instrumentation and robotic spacecraft. The committee, encouraged by NASA to reach out to the broad scientific community, also presented the results of the interim report and its plans for this final report at several venues in the United States and abroad. A summary of the locations and audiences for the outreach presentations is given in Appendix E. The work of the committee was made easier thanks to the important help, advice, and comments provided by numerous individuals from a variety of public and private organizations. The committee heard presentations from the following NASA staff, university researchers, and other experts: Rob Ambrose, NASA JSC; Joseph Borovsky, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Jack O. Burns, University of Colorado, Boulder; Gordon Chin, NASA GSFC; Robert Fogel, NASA SMD; James Head III, Brown University; Paul Hertz, NASA Science Mission Directorate; Butler P. Hine III, NASA Ames Research Center; Brad Jolliff, Washington University at St. Louis; David Lavery, NASA SMD; Mario Livio, Space Telescope Science Institute; Gary Lofgren, NASA Johnson Space Center; Clive R. Neal, University of Notre Dame; Charles Shearer, University of New Mexico; Norman Sleep, Stanford University; Paul Spudis, Johns Hopkins University; Timothy Stubbs, University of Maryland; G. Jeffrey Taylor, University of Hawaii; S. Ross Taylor, Australian National University; Richard R. Vondrak, NASA GSFC; Michael Wargo, NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate; Simon P. Worden, NASA Ames Research Center; and committee members James Burch, Southwest Research Institute; Noel Hinners, University of Colorado; Ayanna Howard, Georgia Institute of Technology; Daniel Lester, McDonald Observatory; Francisco Valero, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; John W. Valley, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Neville J. Woolf, University of Arizona. In addition to the above speakers, the following individuals and groups provided useful input to the committee: David Beaty, Paul Schenker, and Edward W. Tunstel, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Donald Bogard, Friedrich Horz, John Jones, and Sarah Noble, NASA Johnson Space Center; Jack O. Burns, University of Colorado, Boulder; Ian A. Crawford, Birkbeck College, United Kingdom; Lisa Gaddis, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff; Rick Halbach, Lockheed Martin Corporation; William Hartmann, Planetary Sciences Institute; Lon Hood, University of Arizona; Boris Ivanov, Russian Academy of Sciences; Jonathan Levine, University of Chicago; the Moon-Mars Science Linkages Science Steering Group of the Mars Exploration Program Assessment Group; Noah Petro, Brown University; Harrison H. Schmitt, NASA Advisory Council; John Stevens, Lockheed Martin Corporation; Robert Strom, University of Arizona; Timothy Swindle, University of Arizona; and Lawrence Taylor, University of Tennessee. We thank Bruce Jakosky, Ariel Anbar, Jeffrey Taylor, and Paul Lucey for their paper on astrobiology and lunar exploration; Clive R. Neal, Lon Hood, Shaopeng Huang, and Yosio Nakamura for their white paper “Scientific Rationale for Deployment of a Long Lived Geophysical Network on the Moon”; Timothy Stubbs, Richard Vondrak, and William Farrel for “A Dynamic Fountain Model for Lunar Dust”; and contributors, too numerous to list, in a Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) report on lunar science. The committee also thanks SSB research assistant Stephanie Bednarek for her valuable assistance in assembling the draft of the interim report and assisting at the committee’s meetings. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Ariel Anbar, Arizona State University, Rodney A. Brooks, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I.A. Crawford, University of London, Tamara E. Jernigan, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Ian Pryke, Center for Aerospace Policy Research, George Mason University, Richard J. Robbins, The Robbins Group LLC, Irwin Shapiro, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon Harlan E. Spence, Boston University, Lawrence A. Taylor, University of Tennessee, and Mark Wieczorek, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Bernard F. Burke, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and William G. Agnew, General Motors Corporation (retired). Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. George A. Paulikas, Chair, and Carlé M. Pieters, Vice Chair Committee on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 7 Why Lunar Science?, 7 Overarching Themes, 7 Structure of This Report, 9 2 CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF EARLY EARTH AND THE MOON 10 The Moon Since Apollo: Major Hypotheses and Enabling Factors, 10 Testing the Paradigms, 14 The Lunar Atmosphere, 18 3 SCIENCE CONCEPTS AND GOALS 20 Science Concepts and Key Science Goals Identified with Each: A Tabular Presentation, 20 Discussion of Science Concepts and Key Science Goals Identified with Each, 20 Concept 1: The bombardment history of the inner solar system is uniquely revealed on the Moon, 20 Concept 2: The structure and composition of the lunar interior provide fundamental information on the evolution of a differentiated planetary body, 25 Concept 3: Key planetary processes are manifested in the diversity of lunar crustal rocks, 28 Concept 4: The lunar poles are special environments that may bear witness to the volatile flux over the latter part of solar system history, 31 Concept 5: Lunar volcanism provides a window into the thermal and compositional evolution of the Moon, 36 Concept 6: The Moon is an accessible laboratory for studying the impact process on planetary scales, 38 Concept 7: The Moon is a natural laboratory for regolith processes and weathering on anhydrous airless bodies, 41 Concept 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, 43
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The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon 4 IMPLEMENTATION 47 Implementation Options, 47 International Context, 50 5 PRIORITIZED LUNAR SCIENCE CONCEPTS, GOALS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 52 Prioritization of Science Concepts, 58 Prioritization of Science Goals, 58 Integrated High-Priority Findings and Recommendations, 60 6 OBSERVATIONS AND SCIENCE POTENTIALLY ENABLED BY THE VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION 62 Astronomy and Astrophysics, 62 Astrobiology, 66 Earth Science From or Near the Moon, 68 Remote Sensing of Earth From or Near the Moon, 68 In Situ Observations of the Variable Sun, 69 Heliophysics Observations From or Near the Moon, 70 Imaging of Radio Emissions from Solar Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Flares, 70 Imaging of Earth’s Ionosphere and Magnetosphere, 70 7 CONCEPTS RELATED TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SCIENCE 74 Concepts Related to Optimal Implementation of Science in the Vision for Space Exploration, 74 Concept 1R: Managing Science in a Program of Human Exploration, 74 Concept 2R: Developing Lunar Mission Plans and Operations, 75 Concept 3R: Identifying and Developing Advanced Technology and Instrumentation, 77 Concept 4R: Updating Lunar Sample Collection Techniques and Curation Capabilities, 79 8 CONCLUDING REMARKS 81 BIBLIOGRAPHY 82 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 85 B Glossary, Acronyms, and Abbreviations 88 C Public Agendas for Meetings 92 D Lunar Beijing Declaration 98 E Committee Outreach Activities 100 F Biographies of Committee Members and Staff 102