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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