Rocking all over the Moon: Scientists make the first geological map of the lunar surface, showing exactly who our closest neighbor was made to help NASA plan for future missions
- On the monthly map, data from Apollo missions and recent satellite observations were used
- It shows a mix of elevation and rock type information for the entire surface
- NASA will be able to use the new map when planning future missions next month
NASA will have a new resource to assist in planning future missions to the moon – after geologists create the first map of the rocks on the lunar surface.
The lunar map, called the Unified Geologic Map of the Moon, was created by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute.
The colorful map is designed to function as a blueprint of & # 39; surface geology of & # 39; per month and will be & # 39; invaluable to the scientific community, educators, and the public & # 39 ;.
It was created with information from six regional maps of the Apollo era and updated information from more recent satellite missions to the moon.
The various colored regions display highlights of rock species and specific surface features to assist future explorers and researchers.
The high-resolution detailed map allows space agencies to plan future missions and get a better idea of where to land, where to search for resources and even where to base
The colorful map is designed to function as a blueprint of & # 39; surface geology of & # 39; a month and will be & # 39; invaluable to the scientific community, educators and the public & # 39 ;, say the USGS
The USGS digital map is available online for free and shows the & # 39; geology of the month in & # 39; incredible detail & # 39; on a scale of one to five million.
& # 39; This card is a culmination of a decade long project, & # 39; said Corey Fortezzo, USGS geologist and lead author.
& # 39; It provides important information for new scientific studies by exploring specific sites on & # 39; e month to connect to the rest of the lunar surface. & # 39;
It is the first time that the entire lunar surface has been fully mapped and uniformly classified by scientists – something needed for more adventurous missions after the Moon is planned by NASA and others.
& # 39; People have always been fascinated by the moon and if we could possibly go back, & # 39; said current USGS director and former NASA astronaut Jim Reilly.
& # 39; So, it's great to see USGS make a resource that & # 39; NASA can help with their planning for future missions. & # 39;
USGS researchers used existing maps of the month and recorded them to be in line with modern datasets from recent satellite observations.
They also developed a uniform description of & # 39; rock layers of & # 39; a month, solving previous map problems where names, descriptions and centuries were inconsistent.
Information about the lunar equator came from & # 39; the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) terrain camera observations and data on & # 39; a north and south pole came from NASA's Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter.
USGS researchers used existing maps of the month and recorded them to be in line with modern datasets from recent satellite observations. Different colors represent different heights and surface features such as craters and rock types
USGS said the goal was to explain all the different areas of the moon, including the darker and brighter spots to help scientists and NASA
Making a card like this one is not easy. & # 39; It was a tremendous effort for our team to complete and seamlessly create this new map, & # 39; said Astrogeology Director Justin Hagerty.
& # 39; A lot of & # 39; e historical mapping was carried out by different groups and on a regional scale. Slightly different methods were used, so maps of the same function mapped by different groups did not match. & # 39;
Challenges of the decade-long process included the fact that the Apollo era moon maps were only available in paper format and earlier digitized versions of & # 39; paper maps were not consistent with updated and more accurate images.
The original six maps were digitally renewed and reconciled with the newer datasets.
Despite the new digital format, boundary problems such as differences in geological units, unit names, unit descriptions, age ratios and surface features were not consistently mapped.
This meant that the geologists had to create a new uniform system to identify each rock and feature of the month and give a consistent name.
NASA will land the first wife and next husband on & # 39; month as part of & # 39; a mission Artemis
Artemis was Apollo's twin sister and goddess of & # 39; the month in & # 39; e Greek mythology.
NASA has chosen to personalize its path back to the Moon, which astronauts will return to the lunar surface by 2024 – including the first woman and the next man.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that can enable human exploration in the Moon and Mars.
Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA's deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artemis 1 will be an unmanned flight that will provide a foundation for human exploration of deep space, and our commitment and ability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spaceship will launch at & # 39; the most powerful rocket in & # 39; launch the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever fled.
It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from & # 39; Earth, thousands of miles faster per month in & # 39; over the course of about a three-week mission.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that can enable human exploration in the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the different stages of & # 39; mission
Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and will return faster and faster than ever before.
With this first reconnaissance service, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space, where & # 39; astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near & # 39; a month that does not require monthly surface missions and exploration to other destinations further from Earth, including Mars.
They will take the crew to another job and test Orion's critical systems with people on board.
The SLS rocket will, from an initial configuration, be capable of sending more than 26 metric tons per month, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons.
Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet in & # 39; deep space & # 39; most challenging crew and cargo mission needs.
Finally, in 2001, NASA seeks to create a sustainable human presence on & # 39; month as a result of & # 39; a mission Artemis.
The space agency hopes that this colony will discover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advances and lay the foundations for private companies to build a lunar economy.
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