Mapping of variables in primary crater morphology relative to crater size can be used as an initial guide to factors that will affect mining and processing of that material for lunar resources such as helium-3, hydrogen, oxygen and water. Although time did not permit the systematic mapping of craters during the Apollo 17 exploration of the Valley of Taurus Littrow, the writer was able to provide descriptions of the variety of crater morphologies present. About 3.5 b.y. ago, the Valley of Taurus-Littrow and its surroundings had been blanketed with a dark, pyroclastic mantle. Orange and black varieties of this mantle were specifically sampled at Station 4, Shorty Crater as well as being a significant component of most samples of the regolith. All of the craters investigated, observed, and described are younger than the period of pyroclastic mantling. Every later impact, however, re-mobilized the fine pyroclastic material as well as the developing regolith, partially mantling all nearby younger materials.
Impact Cratering: Bridging the Gap Between Modeling and Observations
- Pub Date:
- February 2003
- Impact Damage;
- Lunar Resources;
- Helium Isotopes;
- Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration