Spacecraft Exploration of the Moon
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Spacecraft Exploration of the Moon (Almost) 50 Years of Data Dave Williams, National Space Science Data Center. Luna 1. Launched 2 January 1959 - Two days after the end of IGY USSR First Lunar Flyby - Passed within 6000 km of the Moon on 4 January

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Luna 1

Spacecraft Exploration of the Moon(Almost) 50 Years of DataDave Williams, National Space Science Data Center


Luna 1

Luna 1

Launched 2 January 1959 - Two days after the end of IGY

USSR

First Lunar Flyby - Passed within 6000 km of the Moon on 4 January

Carried Magnetometers, Scintillation and Geiger Counters


Luna 2

Luna 2

Launched 12 September 1959

USSR

First Lunar Impact

Impacted Moon on 14 September


Luna 3

Luna 3

Launched 4 October 1959

USSR

First images of the far side of the Moon

Took 29 television images on 7 October


Ranger missions

Ranger Missions

Ranger 1 - 23 August 1961

Failed to leave Earth orbit

Ranger 2 - 18 November 1961

Failed to leave Earth orbit

Ranger 3 - 26 January 1962

Contact lost, missed Moon

Ranger 4 - 23 April 1962

Sequencer failed, impacted Moon

Ranger 5 - 18 October 1962

Contact lost, missed Moon

Ranger 6 - 30 January 1964

Cameras failed, impacted Moon


Rangers 7 8 and 9

Rangers 7, 8, and 9

Launched between mid-1964 and early 1965

All three missions were successful and returned close-up images of the lunar surface.


Surveyor 1

Surveyor 1

Launched 30 May 1966

USA

First US soft landing on the Moon - on 2 June, four months after Luna 9


7 out of 9 surveyors were successful

7 out of 9 Surveyors were successful


Lunar orbiter 1

Lunar Orbiter 1

Launched 10 August 1966

USA

First US spacecraft to orbit the Moon

Imaged lunar surface for future landing sites


Five lunar orbiters returned images covering 99 of the moon

Five Lunar Orbiters returned images covering 99% of the Moon


Apollo 11

Apollo 11

July 1969

USA

First astronauts to land and set foot on the Moon


Luna 1

Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP)


Apollo 17

Apollo 17

December 1972

USA

Final Apollo mission to the Moon


Post apollo

Post-Apollo

Soviet landers, rovers, and robotic sample returns until 1976.

Two Lunokhod rover missions and three sample returns followed the Apollo 11 landing.


Later missions

Later Missions

  • Hiten - Japan

    1994 Clementine - U.S.

  • Lunar Prospector - U.S.

    2003 SMART-1 - E.S.A.


What we ve learned about the moon

What we've learned about the Moon

Mostly highlands - anorthosite rich heavily cratered (older) regions

Mare - dark basalt lava flows, younger than highlands, most on near side of Moon

Center of mass offset 2 km towards Earth

Very small metallic core, few volatiles

Hydrogen (probably water ice) at the poles

Oxygen isotopes match Earth


A brief history of the moon

A Brief History of the Moon

Large Mars-size body impacts nearly formed Earth, "Big Splat" ejects material into space

Some of this material goes into Earth orbit, coalesces to form the Moon

Magma ocean solidifies on Moon, anorthosite crust forms

Cratering and late heavy bombardment to 3.8 billion years ago

Mare lavas erupt, fill basins, 3.6 to 3.2 b.y.a.


Major questions

Major Questions

  • Is the large impact theory correct?

  • Why are the maria, the thin crust, and the center of mass on the Earth-facing side?

  • Is the Moon still internally active?

  • Is there water ice at the poles, and what form does it take?

  • How was the earliest highland crust formed?

  • How long did mare volcanism last?


Current missions

Current Missions

Japan

2007 Kaguya - Lunar Orbiter and Subsatellites

China

2007 Chang'e 1 - Lunar Orbiter


2008 missions

2008 Missions

India

Chandrayaan 1 -

Lunar Orbiter

U.S.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter


Lunar data project pds lunar data node

Lunar Data ProjectPDS Lunar Data Node

  • Restore Older Lunar Data Archived in Inhospitable Formats

  • Identify and Retrieve Unarchived Lunar Data

  • Make Data Generally Digitally Accessible

  • Avoid Repeating Experiments

  • Use New Data Analysis Techniques and Hardware

  • Explore Environmental Hazards

  • Help Define Safe Landing Sites


Archiving lessons learned

Archiving Lessons Learned

  • Leverage is needed to get data archived

  • Money needs to be dedicated at the instrument level

  • Calibration data must be saved with the actual data

  • Metadata is critical and must be carefully preserved

  • Document other details of operation (quirky behavior, environment changes)

  • Track versions of data


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