6 Apollo Landings on the Moon
On each mission two astronauts
went down to the Moon’s surface.
The third astronaut had to stay
in the Command-Service Module
that was orbiting the Moon
The launch in 1972 of Apollo 16
One View seen by Apollo 17
astronauts orbiting the Moon
The maria are smooth, lower,
and darker than the highlands
The arrow is pointing to one
crater that has a diameter of
Apollo 17 astronauts repaired a
broken fender with a map and duct tape.
One key task for the people
who will live and work at a
lunar base is field geology.
The real work of geology is
mapping rock distributions
and observing the different
features in the field on both
large and small scales.
A common feature in basaltic lava flows on Earth is the lava tube.
In the illustration, astronauts are examining a lava tube on the Moon.
This astronaut collected many
walnut-sized rocks with a rake
These samples proved to be
extremely valuable because
they provided a very broad
sampling of the rock types
present at the landing site.
Returned by the Apollo 15 Mission
The holes are frozen gas bubbles called “vesicles”,
a common feature of terrestrial volcanic rocks
Returned by the Apollo 15 mission
Anorthosites are 98%
This kind of mineral
rock is formed by
either floating or
sinking in a magma
Returned by the Apollo 16 mission
are called are called
With so many craters of all sizes in the lunar highlands, it is no
wonder that the rocks have been modified by meteorite impact
The Moon has no running water or air to breathe,
but its soil contains enormous amounts of oxygen
This is a key This is a key
element for element for
life support rocket propellants
can be extracted can be extracted
from the surface from the surface
materials by materials by
reaction with reaction with
It might be exported for use in Earth
orbit or to fuel spacecraft on trips to
Mars and elsewhere in the Solar System
Returned by the Apollo 17 mission
Orange drops of lava cooled
very quickly and did not have
time crystallize so most of the
droplets are composed of glass
The dark drops did have time
to partially crystallize, and so
formed the opaque mineral
ilmenite, which appears black.
This view Is 2.5 millimeters across
NASA JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, HOUSTON, TEXAS
Samples remain in glass and
steel cabinets, bathed in an
atmosphere of pure nitrogen,
to protect the samples from
altering by reaction with air.
Technicians who curate lunar
samples don’t really touch them.
They can pick them up using
Teflon - covered gloves that are
mounted on the sealed cabinets
Traditional ideas for the lunar
origin had flaws so scientists
devised an idea that the Moon
formed as a result of an impact
of a projectile the size of Mars.
The impact melted our planet
and some of the material spun
off ending up in orbit around
Earth forming our Moon.
Painting by William Hartmann
The far-side of the Moon was never
seen until the time of the Apollo era.
The dark areas are called maria and
they are barely visible from Earth
The lighter areas are on average just
a few kilometers higher than most of
the maria and are intensely cratered.
Use your own
This is what the Earthrise imagination to
looks like from lunar orbit envision YOU
on the MOON
Here you are, our Earth’s first
Space Generation, explaining
to a member of the next space
generation just exactly where
our ancestors came from.
to explore all
to all of our
In your lifetime