Spectral and Mineralogical Analysis of Planned CLPS Landing Sites with LRO-Lamp

Date
2023
Authors
Dolgas, Elena
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Abstract

Before NASA's Artemis program brings humans back to the Moon, perhaps as early as 2025, many robotic missions will take place under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. Planned landing destinations include multiple areas of the South Pole and three enigmatic regions of interest: the Gruithuisen Domes, Reiner Gamma, and Mare Crisium. To aid in future CLPS surface measurements, we performed a series of analyses for each planned region using both remote sensing and sample analogs. Far-ultraviolet (FUV) remote sensing analysis was done with the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) instrument on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). For the South Pole, we analyzed dayside LAMP products, as an addition to previously studied nightside maps. For the more equatorial sites, we compared LAMP data with ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared spectral observations from two previous lunar missions, Clementine and Kaguya. The Gruithuisen Domes and Reiner Gamma both exhibit high FUV albedo ratios, likely correlated to high quantities of feldspathic minerals or less space weathering, respectively. Mare Crisium, however, is more uniform in the FUV, with only some differences in albedo ratio occurring between inside the basin and outside the ring that encloses it. We compared the Gruithuisen Domes and Reiner Gamma to Apollo samples bearing mineralogical and regional similarities. The remote sensing data for Mare Crisium was compared directly to a return sample from the Luna 24 mission to this region. We identified unique spectral and mineralogical features at each CLPS site to aid in mission planning and future measurement interpretation.

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Keywords
Lunar, Moon, Spectroscopy, Nightside maps, Apollo samples, mineralogy
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Department
Physics and Astronomy