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Exploration of the Moon with Remote Sensing, Ground-Penetrating Radar, and the Regolith-Evolved Gas Analyzer (REGA)There are two important reasons to explore the Moon. First, we would like to know more about the Moon itself: its history, its geology, its chemistry, and its diversity. Second, we would like to apply this knowledge to a useful purpose. namely finding and using lunar resources. As a result of the recent Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions, we now have global data on the regional surface mineralogy of the Moon, and we have good reason to believe that water exists in the lunar polar regions. However, there is still very little information about the subsurface. If we wish to go to the lunar polar regions to extract water, or if we wish to go anywhere else on the Moon and extract (or learn) anything at all, we need information in three dimensions an understanding of what lies below the surface, both shallow and deep. The terrestrial mining industry provides an example of the logical steps that lead to an understanding of where resources are located and their economic significance. Surface maps are examined to determine likely locations for detailed study. Geochemical soil sample surveys, using broad or narrow grid patterns, are then used to gather additional data. Next, a detailed surface map is developed for a selected area, along with an interpretation of the subsurface structure that would give rise to the observed features. After that, further sampling and geophysical exploration are used to validate and refine the original interpretation, as well as to make further exploration/ mining decisions. Integrating remotely sensed, geophysical, and sample datasets gives the maximum likelihood of a correct interpretation of the subsurface geology and surface morphology. Apollo-era geophysical and automated sampling experiments sought to look beyond the upper few microns of the lunar surface. These experiments, including ground-penetrating radar and spectrometry, proved the usefulness of these methods for determining the best sites for lunar bases and lunar mining operations.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Cooper, B. L. (Oceaneering Space Systems Houston, TX United States)
Hoffman, J. H. (Texas Univ. at Dallas Richardson, TX United States)
Allen, Carlton C. (Lockheed Martin Engineering and Science Services Houston, TX United States)
McKay, David S. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: Workshop on New Views of the Moon: Integrated Remotely Sensed, Geophysical, and Sample Datasets
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19990046115Analytic PrimaryWorkshop on New Views of the Moon: Integrated Remotely Sensed, Geophysical, and Sample Datasets