Moon Rocks

Moon Rocks

It has been a long held view that the moon rock samples returned to earth by the Apollo missions were gathered on earth, retreated and displayed as rocks from the Moon.

[]Hoax supporters claim that all the moon rocks were fake. "Some are just meteorites collected from Antarctica" others say "They were created in a Nuclear Laboratory." or even "Did you know only NASA people are allowed to study the moon rocks?" This is about all they say on the matter. Every meteorite has a 'fusion crust' around it that developed on its fiery journey through the Earth's atmosphere. None of the moon rock samples have a fusion crust. They therefore cannot be meteorites. If they were then why can't anybody produce a meteorite rock today that is chemically & structurally identical to a Apollo Moon Rock sample? The samples have been examined by thousands of geologists and chemists around the globe. Not one has cried "Fake" ever! []

The above is just not correct. The 'moon' rocks that NASA has on display have never been sent to any other scientist anywhere on Earth. NASA sends tiny fragments and crushed powdered material. Any sample can be chemically designed to show some sort of difference between Earth rocks and Moon rocks. Samples of the regolith have been returned to Earth by the Russians. Therefore it is highly likely that non manned moon probes from the USA also returned with regolith samples. Because the Apollo program was an intrinsic part of the Cold War, scientist would have been employed on a military bases (as they were on the Manhattan project) and secrecy would have encapsulated the entire program.

Today no-one wants to be seen as a fraud. Also most of the scientist employed in the top secret moon rocks project are now deceased. suggest we all ask a real expert and not listen to people who make things up'. However, he/she has not shown the truth. So who is really making things up?

Just as we CAN find meteorites on Earth that originate from the surface of the Moon, we should also be able to find meteorites on the Moon that have originated from the surface of Earth. There is no logical scientific reason to doubt this.

[]Basalts are rocks solidified from molten lava. On Earth, basalts are a common type of volcanic rock and are found in places such as Hawai'i. Basalts are generally dark gray in color; when one looks at the Moon in the night sky, the dark areas are basalt. The basalts found at the Apollo 11 landing site are generally similar to basalts on Earth [colour inserted by MoonHoax] and are composed primarily of the minerals pyroxene and plagioclase. One difference is that the Apollo 11 basalts contain much more of the element titanium than is usually found in basalts on Earth. The basalts found at the Apollo 11 landing site range in age from 3.6 to 3.9 billion years and were formed from at least two chemically different magma sources [].

From the above quote we can see that moon basalt and earth basalt are similar. A difference of the amount of titanium has been found in moon basalt samples. It would be very easy to manufacture basalt samples with any level of titanium. After all, basalt can be melted, have additives included and poured into a mould to create a 'Moon' rock. Moon meteorites are not required to make these samples, only to investigate their composition.

Image: Ipi

[]Breccias are rocks that are composed of fragments of older rocks. Over its long history, the Moon has been bombarded by countless meteorites. These impacts have broken many rocks up into small fragments. The heat and pressure of such impacts sometimes fuses small rock fragments into new rocks, called breccias. Many fragments can be seen in the breccia photograph shown above. The rock fragments in a breccia can include both mare basalts as well as material from the lunar highlands. The lunar highlands are primarily a light-colored rock known as anorthosite, which consists primarily of the mineral plagioclase. It is very rare to find rocks on Earth that are virtually pure plagioclase. On the Moon, it is believed that the anorthosite layer in the highland crust formed very early in the Moon's history when much of the Moon's outer layers were molten. This stage in lunar history is known as the magma ocean. The plagioclase-rich anorthosite floated on the magma ocean like icebergs in the Earth's oceans [].

Breccias are common on Earth in much the way that they would be common through the universe. The mineral plagioclase is also fairly common on Earth. See the next  article from Wikipedia.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[wikipeadia_1]Not to be confused with Anorthite.

Anorthosite ( /ænˈɔːrθəsaɪt/) is a phaneritic, intrusive igneous rock characterized by a predominance of plagioclase feldspar (90–100%), and a minimal mafic component (0–10%). Pyroxene, ilmenite, magnetite, and olivine are the mafic minerals most commonly present.

Anorthosite on Earth can be divided into two types: Proterozoic anorthosite (also known as massif or massif-type anorthosite) and Archean anorthosite. These two types of anorthosite have different modes of occurrence, appear to be restricted to different periods in Earth's history, and are thought to have had different origins.

Lunar anorthosites constitute the light-coloured areas of the Moon's surface and have been the subject of much research.[1]

Proterozoic anorthosite


Proterozoic anorthosites were emplaced during the Proterozoic Eon (ca. 2,500–542 Ma).

Mode of occurrence

Anorthosite plutons occur in a wide range of sizes. Some smaller plutons, exemplified by many anorthosite bodies in the U.S. and Harris in Scotland, cover only a few dozen square kilometres. Larger plutons, like the Mt. Lister Anorthosite, in northern Labrador, Canada, cover several thousands of square kilometres.

Many Proterozoic anorthosites occur in spatial association with other highly distinctive, contemporaneous rock types (the so-called 'anorthosite suite' or 'anorthosite-mangerite-charnockite complex'). These rock types include iron-rich diorite, gabbro, and norite; leucocratic mafic rocks such as leucotroctolite and leuconorite; and iron-rich felsic rocks, including monzonite and rapakivi granite. Importantly, large volumes of ultramafic rocks are not found in association with Proterozoic anorthosites.

Occurrences of Proterozoic anorthosites are commonly referred to as 'massifs'. However, there is some question as to what name would best describe any occurrence of anorthosite together with the rock types mentioned above. Early works used the term 'complex' The term 'plutonic suite' has been applied to some large occurrences in northern Labrador, Canada; however, it has been suggested (in 2004–2005) that 'batholith' would be a better term. 'Batholith' is used to describe such occurrences for the remainder of this article.

The areal extent of anorthosite batholiths ranges from relatively small (dozens or hundreds of square kilometres) to nearly 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi), in the instance of the Nain Plutonic Suite in northern Labrador, Canada.

Major occurrences of Proterozoic anorthosite are found in the southwest U.S., the Appalachian Mountains, eastern Canada, across southern Scandinavia and eastern Europe. Mapped onto the Pangaeancontinental configuration of that eon, these occurrences are all contained in a single straight belt, and must all have been emplaced intracratonally. The conditions and constraints of this pattern of origin and distribution are not clear. However, see the Origins section below.

Anorthosites are also common in layered intrusions. Anorthosite in these layered intrusions can form as cumulate layers in the upper parts of the intrusive complex[2] or as later-stage intrusions into the layered intrusion complex.[3]

Physical characteristics

Nain Anorthosite, a mid-Mesoproterozoic intrusion (1.29 to 1.35 billion years), Labrador. Polished slab; blue color is labradorescence.

Since they are primarily composed of plagioclase feldspar, most of Proterozoic anorthosites appear, in outcrop, to be grey or bluish. Individual plagioclase crystals may be black, white, blue, or grey, and may exhibit an iridescence known as labradorescence on fresh surfaces. The feldspar variety labradorite is commonly present in anorthosites. Mineralogically, labradorite is a compositional term for any calcium-rich plagioclase feldspar containing 50–70 molecular percent anorthite (An 50–70), regardless of whether it shows labradorescence. The mafic mineral in Proterozoic anorthosite may be clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, olivine, or, more rarely, amphibole. Oxides, such as magnetite or ilmenite, are also common.

Most anorthosite plutons are very coarse grained; that is, the individual plagioclase crystals and the accompanying mafic mineral are more than a few centimetres long. Less commonly, plagioclase crystals are megacrystic, or larger than one metre long. However, most Proterozoic anorthosites are deformed, and such large plagioclase crystals have recrystallized to form smaller crystals, leaving only the outline of the larger crystals behind.

While many Proterozoic anorthosite plutons appear to have no large-scale relict igneous structures (having instead post-emplacement deformational structures), some do have igneous layering, which may be defined by crystal size, mafic content, or chemical characteristics. Such layering clearly has origins with a rheologically liquid-state magma.

Chemical and isotopic characteristics

The composition of plagioclase feldspar in Proterozoic anorthosites is most commonly between An40 and An60 (40–60% anorthite). This compositional range is intermediate, and is one of the characteristics which distinguish Proterozoic anorthosites from Archean anorthosites. Mafic minerals in Proterozoic anorthosites have a wide range of composition, but are not generally highly magnesian.

The trace-element chemistry of Proterozoic anorthosites, and the associated rock types, has been examined in some detail by researchers with the aim of arriving at a plausible genetic theory. However, there is still little agreement on just what the results mean for anorthosite genesis; see the 'Origins' section below. A very short list of results, including results for rocks thought to be related to Proterozoic anorthosites,[4][clarification needed]

Some research has focused on neodymium (Nd) and strontium (Sr) isotopic determinations for anorthosites, particularly for anorthosites of the Nain Plutonic Suite (NPS). Such isotopic determinations are of use in gauging the viability of prospective sources for magmas that gave rise to anorthosites. Some results are detailed below in the 'Origins' section.

Origins of Proterozoic anorthosites

The origins of Proterozoic anorthosites have been a subject of theoretical debate for many decades. A brief synopsis of this problem is as follows. The problem begins with the generation of magma, the necessary precursor of any igneous rock.

Magma generated by small amounts of partial melting of the mantle is generally of basaltic composition. Under normal conditions, the composition of basaltic magma requires it to crystallize between 50 and 70% plagioclase, with the bulk of the remainder of the magma crystallizing as mafic minerals. However, anorthosites are defined by a high plagioclase content (90–100% plagioclase), and are not found in association with contemporaneous ultramafic rocks. This is now known as 'the anorthosite problem'. Proposed solutions to the anorthosite problem have been diverse, with many of the proposals drawing on different geological subdisciplines.

It was suggested early in the history of anorthosite debate that a special type of magma, anorthositic magma, had been generated at depth, and emplaced into the crust. However, the solidus of an anorthositic magma is too high for it to exist as a liquid for very long at normal ambient crustal temperatures, so this appears to be unlikely. The presence of water vapour has been shown to lower the solidus temperature of anorthositic magma to more reasonable values, but most anorthosites are relatively dry. It may be postulated, then, that water vapour be driven off by subsequent metamorphism of the anorthosite, but some anorthosites are undeformed, thereby invalidating the suggestion.

The discovery, in the late 1970s, of anorthositic dykes in the Nain Plutonic Suite, suggested that the possibility of anorthositic magmas existing at crustal temperatures needed to be reexamined.[5] However, the dykes were later shown to be more complex than was originally thought. In summary, though liquid-state processes clearly operate in some anorthosite plutons, the plutons are probably not derived from anorthositic magmas.

Many researchers have argued that anorthosites are the products of basaltic magma, and that mechanical removal of mafic minerals has occurred. Since the mafic minerals are not found with the anorthosites, these minerals must have been left at either a deeper level or the base of the crust. A typical theory is as follows: partial melting of the mantle generates a basaltic magma, which does not immediately ascend into the crust. Instead, the basaltic magma forms a large magma chamber at the base of the crust and fractionates large amounts of mafic minerals, which sink to the bottom of the chamber. The cocrystallizing plagioclase crystals float, and eventually are emplaced into the crust as anorthosite plutons. Most of the sinking mafic minerals form ultramafic cumulates which stay at the base of the crust.

This theory has many appealing features, of which one is the capacity to explain the chemical composition of high-alumina orthopyroxene megacrysts (HAOM). This is detailed below in the section devoted to the HAOM. However, on its own, this hypothesis cannot coherently explain the origins of anorthosites, because it does not fit with, among other things, some important isotopic measurements made on anorthositic rocks in the Nain Plutonic Suite. The Nd and Sr isotopic data show the magma which produced the anorthosites cannot have been derived only from the mantle. Instead, the magma that gave rise to the Nain Plutonic Suite anorthosites must have had a significant crustal component. This discovery led to a slightly more complicated version of the previous hypothesis: Large amounts of basaltic magma form a magma chamber at the base of the crust, and, while crystallizing, assimilating large amounts of crust.[6]

This small addendum explains both the isotopic characteristics and certain other chemical niceties of Proterozoic anorthosite. However, at least one researcher has cogently argued, on the basis of geochemical data, that the mantle's role in production of anorthosites must actually be very limited: the mantle provides only the impetus (heat) for crustal melting, and a small amount of partial melt in the form of basaltic magma. Thus anorthosites are, in this view, derived almost entirely from lower crustal melts.[7]

High-alumina orthopyroxene megacrysts

The high-alumina orthopyroxene megacrysts (HAOM) have, like Proterozoic anorthosites, been the subject of great debate, although a tentative consensus about their origin appears to have emerged. The peculiar characteristic worthy of such debate is reflected in their name. Normal orthopyroxene has chemical composition (Fe,Mg)2Si2O6, whereas the HAOM have anomalously large amounts of aluminium (up to about 9%) in their atomic structure.

Because the solubility of aluminium in orthopyroxene increases with increasing pressure, many researchers,[8] have suggested that the HAOM crystallized at depth, near the base of the Earth's crust. The maximum amounts of aluminium correspond to a 30–35 km (19–22 mi) depth.

Other researchers consider the chemical compositions of the HAOM to be the product of rapid crystallization at moderate or low pressures.[9]

Archaean anorthosite

Smaller amounts of anorthosite were emplaced during the Archaean eon (ca 3,800-2,400 Ma), although most have been dated between 3,200 and 2,800 Ma. They are distinct texturally and mineralogically from Proterozoic anorthosite bodies. Their most characteristic feature is the presence of equant megacrysts of plagioclase surrounded by a fine-grained mafic groundmass.

Economic value of anorthosite

The primary economic value of anorthosite bodies is the titanium-bearing oxide ilmenite. However, some Proterozoic anorthosite bodies have large amounts of labradorite, which is quarried for its value as both a gemstone and a building material. Archean anorthosites, because they are aluminium-rich, have large amounts of aluminium substituting for silicon; a few of these bodies are mined as ores of aluminium.

Anorthosite was prominently represented in rock samples brought back from the Moon, and is important in investigations of Mars, Venus, and meteorites.

Soil development on anorthosite

In the Adirondack Mountains, soils on anorthositic rock tend to be stony loamy sand with classic podzol profile development usually evident.[10] In the San Gabriel Mountains, soils on anorthosite have a dominance of 1:1 clay minerals (kaolinite and halloysite) in contrast to more mafic rock over which 2:1 clays develop.[11]

  • Anorthosite from southern Finland
  • Anorthosite from Poland
  • Anorthosite from the Moon, Apollo 15 "Genesis Rock" [wikipedia_1]

The official story of Moon Rocks


Moon rock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Olivine basalt collected by the crew of Apollo 15.

Moon rock or lunar rock is rock that is found on the Earth's moon, or lunar material collected during the course of human exploration of the Moon.

Moon rocks on Earth come from three sources: those collected by the US Apollo manned lunar landings from 1969 to 1972; samples returned by three Soviet Luna unmanned probes in the 1970s; and rocks that were ejected naturally from the lunar surface by cratering events and subsequently fell to Earth as lunar meteorites. During the six Apollo landing missions, 2,415 samples weighing 380.96 kilograms (839.87 lb) were collected. Three Luna spacecraft returned with 326 grams (11.5 oz) of samples. More than 300 lunar meteorites[1] representing more than 30 different meteorite fall events (none witnessed) have been collected on Earth, with a total mass of over 190 kilograms (420 lb).[2]Some were discovered by scientific teams searching for Antarctic meteorites (e.g. ANSMET), with most of the remainder having been discovered by collectors in the desert regions of northern Africa and Oman.

Rocks from the Moon have been measured by radiometric dating techniques. They range in age from about 3.16 billion years old for the basaltic samples derived from the lunar maria, up to about 4.44 billion years old for rocks derived from the highlands.[3] Based on the age dating technique of "crater counting," the youngest basaltic eruptions are believed to have occurred about 1.2 billion years ago,[4] but scientists do not possess samples of these lavas. In contrast, the oldest ages of rocks from the Earth are between 3.8 and 4.28 billion years old.

Almost all lunar rocks are depleted in volatiles and are completely lacking in hydrated minerals common in Earth rocks. In some regards, lunar rocks are closely related to Earth's rocks in their isotopic composition of the element oxygen. The Apollo moon rocks were collected using a variety of tools, including hammers, rakes, scoops, tongs, and core tubes. Most were photographed prior to collection to record the condition in which they were found. They were placed inside sample bags and then a Special Environmental Sample Container for return to the Earth to protect them from contamination. In contrast to the Earth, large portions of the lunar crust appear to be composed of rocks with high concentrations of the mineral anorthite. The mare basalts have relatively high iron values. Furthermore, some of the mare basalts have very high levels of titanium (in the form of ilmenite).[5]

Curation and availability

Genesis Rock returned by the Apollo 15 mission.

Mission Sample mass
Apollo 11 21.55 kg (47.51 lb) 1969
Apollo 12 34.30 kg (75.62 lb) 1969
Apollo 14 42.80 kg (94.35 lb) 1971
Apollo 15 76.70 kg (169.10 lb) 1971
Apollo 16 95.20 kg (209.89 lb) 1972
Apollo 17 110.40 kg (243.40 lb) 1972

The main repository for the Apollo Moon rocks is the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. For safe keeping, there is also a smaller collection stored at White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Most of the rocks are stored in nitrogen to keep them free of moisture. They are only handled indirectly, using special tools.

Moon rocks collected during the course of lunar exploration are currently considered priceless. In 2002, a safe, containing minute samples of lunar and Martian material, was stolen from the Lunar Sample Building. The samples were recovered; in 2003, during the court case, NASA estimated the value of these samples at about $1 million for 285 g (10 oz) of material.

Naturally transported Moon rocks (in the form of lunar meteorites), although expensive, are widely sold and traded among private collectors.

Goodwill Moon rocks

Main article: Lunar sample displays

Honduras plaque

In 1970, US president Richard Nixon gave presentation samples of Moon rock brought back by Apollo 11 as gifts to 135 countries and 50 US states.

Near the end of their third and final moonwalk, and what would be the last moonwalk of the Apollo program, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernanand Harrison Schmitt "picked up a very significant rock, typical of what we have here in the valley of Taurus-Littrow... composed of many fragments, of many sizes, and many shapes, probably from all parts of the Moon, perhaps billions of years old" and made a special dedication to the young people of Earth. This rock was later labeled sample 70017.[7] President Nixon ordered the distribution of fragments of the rock to 135 foreign heads of state and the 50 U.S. states. These gifts were distributed in 1973. The fragments were presented encased in an acrylic sphere, mounted on a wood plaque which included the recipients' flag which had also flown aboard Apollo 17.[8]

Many of the presentation Moon rocks are now unaccounted for, having been stolen or lost.

Unmanned sample returns

Mission Sample mass
returned[citation needed]
Luna 16 101 g (3.6 oz) 1970
Luna 20 55 g (1.9 oz) 1972
Luna 24 170 g (6.0 oz) 1976

The Soviet Union attempted, but failed to make manned lunar landings in the 1970s, due to failure to develop their N1 rocket, but they succeeded in landing three robotic Luna spacecraft with the capability to collect and return small samples to Earth. A combined total of less than one kilogram of material was returned.

In 1993, three small fragments from Luna 16, weighing 200 mg, were sold for US$ 442,500.[citation needed]


Main article: Geology of the Moon

Moon rocks fall into two main categories: those found in the lunar highlands (terrae), and those in the maria. The terrae consist dominantly of mafic plutonic rocks. Regolith breccias with similar protoliths are also common. Mare basalts come in three distinct series in direct relation to their titanium content: high-Ti basalts, low-Ti basalts, and Very Low-Ti (VLT) basalts.

Highlands lithologies[edit]

Processing facility in Lunar Sample Building at JSC

Slice of moon rock at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC

Mineral composition of Highland rocks[9]
Plagioclase Pyroxene Olivine Ilmenite
Anorthosite 90% 5% 5% 0%
Norite 60% 35% 5% 0%
Troctolite 60% 5% 35% 0%
Mineral composition of mare basalts[9]
Plagioclase Pyroxene Olivine Ilmenite
High titanium content 30% 54% 3% 18%
Low titanium content 30% 60% 5% 5%
Very low titanium content 35% 55% 8% 2%
Common lunar minerals[9]
Mineral Elements Lunar rock appearance
Plagioclasefeldspar Calcium (Ca)
Aluminium (Al)
Silicon (Si)
Oxygen (O)
White to transparentgray; usually as elongated grains.
Pyroxene Iron (Fe),
Magnesium (Mg)
Calcium (Ca)
Silicon (Si)
Oxygen (O)
Maroon to black; the grains appear more elongated in the maria and more square in the highlands.
Olivine Iron (Fe)
Magnesium (Mg)
Silicon (Si)
Oxygen (O)
Greenish color; generally, it appears in a rounded shape.
Ilmenite Iron (Fe),
Titanium (Ti)
Oxygen (O)
Black, elongated square crystals.

Primary igneous rocks in the lunar highlands compose three distinct groups: the ferroan anorthosite suite, the magnesian suite, and the alkali suite.

Lunar breccias, formed largely by the immense basin-forming impacts, are dominantly composed of highland lithologies because most mare basalts post-date basin formation (and largely fill these impact basins).

The ferroan anorthosite suite consists almost exclusively of the rock anorthosite (>90% calcic plagioclase) with less common anorthositic gabbro (70-80% calcic plagioclase, with minor pyroxene). The ferroan anorthosite suite is the most common group in the highlands, and is inferred to represent plagioclase flotation cumulates of the lunar magma ocean, with interstitial mafic phases formed from trapped interstitial melt or rafted upwards with the more abundant plagioclase framework. The plagioclase is extremely calcic by terrestrial standards, with molar anorthite contents of 94-96% (An94-96). This reflects the extreme depletion of the bulk moon in alkalis (Na, K) as well as water and other volatile elements. In contrast, the mafic minerals in this suite have low Mg/Fe ratios that are inconsistent with calcic plagioclase compositions. Ferroan anorthosites have been dated using the internal isochron method at "circa" 4.4 Ga.

The magnesian suite (or "mg suite") consists of dunites (>90% olivine), troctolites (olivine-plagioclase), and gabbros(plagioclase-pyroxene) with relatively high Mg/Fe ratios in the mafic minerals and a range of plagioclase compositions that are still generally calcic (An86-93). These rocks represent later intrusions into the highlands crust (ferroan anorthosite) at round 4.3-4.1 Ga. An interesting aspect of this suite is that analysis of the trace element content of plagioclase and pyroxene require equilibrium with a KREEP-rich magma, despite the refractory major element contents.

The alkali suite is so-called because of its high alkali content—for moon rocks. The alkali suite consists of alkali anorthosites with relatively sodic plagioclase (An70-85), norites (plagioclasse-orthopyroxene), and gabbronorites (plagioclase-clinopyroxene-orthopyroxene) with similar plagioclase compositions and mafic minerals more iron-rich than the magnesian suite. The trace element contents of these minerals also indicates a KREEP-rich parent magma. The alkali suite spans an age range similar to the magnesian suite.

Lunar granites are relatively rare rocks that include diorites, monzodiorites, and granophyres. They consist of quartz, plagioclase, orthoclase or alkali feldspar, rare mafics (pyroxene), and rare zircon. The alkali feldspar may have unusual compositions unlike any terrestrial feldspar, and they are often Ba-rich. These rocks apparently form by the extreme fractional crystallization of magnesian suite or alkali suite magmas, although liquid immiscibility may also play a role. U-Pb date of zircons from these rocks and from lunar soils have ages of 4.1-4.4 Ga, more or less the same as the magnesian suite and alkali suite rocks. In the 1960s, NASA researcher John A. O'Keefe and others linked lunar granites with tektites found on Earth although many researchers refuted these claims. According to one study, a portion of lunar sample 12013 has a chemistry that closely resembles javanite tektites found on Earth.

Lunar breccias range from glassy vitrophyre melt rocks, to glass-rich breccia, to regolith breccias. The vitrophyres are dominantly glassy rocks that represent impact melt sheets that fill large impact structures. They contain few clasts of the target lithology, which is largely melted by the impact. Glassy breccias form from impact melt that exit the crater and entrain large volumes of crushed (but not melted) ejecta. It may contain abundant clasts that reflect the range of lithologies in the target region, sitting in a matrix of mineral fragments plus glass that welds it all together. Some of the clasts in these breccias are pieces of older breccias, documenting a repeated history of impact brecciation, cooling, and impact. Regolith breccias resemble the glassy breccias but have little or no glass (melt) to weld them together. As noted above, the basin-forming impacts responsible for these breccias pre-date almost all mare basalt volcanism, so clasts of mare basalt are very rare. When found, these clasts represent the earliest phase of mare basalt volcanism preserved [Wikipeadia_2] .

Luna 16

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Luna 16
Luna-16.jpgLuna 16
Mission type Lunar sample return
COSPAR ID 1970-072A
SATCAT no. 4527
Mission duration 12 days
Spacecraft properties
Bus Ye-8-5
Manufacturer GSMZ Lavochkin
Launch mass 5,600 kg (12,300 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 12 September 1970, 13:25:53 UTC
Rocket Proton-K/D
Launch site Baikonur 81/23
End of mission
Landing date 24 September 1970, 05:25 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference system Selenocentric
Semi-major axis 6,488.8 km (4,032.0 mi)
Eccentricity 0[citation needed]
Periselene 111 km (69 mi)
Aposelene 111 km (69 mi)
Inclination 70°
Period 119 minutes
Epoch 18 September 1970
Lunar orbiter
Orbital insertion 17 September 1970
Orbits ~36
Lunar lander
Landing date 20 September 1970, 05:18 UTC
Return launch 21 September 1970, 07:43 UTC
Landing site 0°41′S 56°18′E
Sample mass 101 grams (3.6 oz)
Stereo photographic imaging system
Remote arm for sample collection
Radiation detector

[ Wikipedia_3]Luna 16 was an unmanned space mission, part of the Soviet Luna program.

Luna 16 was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth after five unsuccessful similar attempts.[1] The sample was returned from Mare Fecunditatis. It represented the first lunar sample return mission by the Soviet Union and was the third lunar sample return missionoverall, following the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions.

The spacecraft consisted of two attached stages, an ascent stage mounted on top of a descent stage. The descent stage was a cylindrical body with four protruding landing legs, fuel tanks, a landing radar, and a dual descent-engine complex.

A main descent engine was used to slow the craft until it reached a cutoff point, which was determined by the on-board computer based on altitude and velocity. After cutoff a bank of lower-thrust jets was used for the final landing. The descent stage also acted as a launch pad for the ascent stage.

The ascent stage was a smaller cylinder with a rounded top. It carried a cylindrical hermetically sealed soil-sample container inside a re-entry capsule.

The spacecraft descent stage was equipped with a television camera, radiation and temperature monitors, telecommunications equipment, and an extendable arm with a drilling rig for the collection of a lunar soil sample.

Mission summary

The lunar gravity was studied from this orbit. After two orbital adjustments were performed on 18 September and 19 September the perilune was decreased to 15.1 km, as well as the inclination altered in preparation for landing. At perilune at 05:12 UT on 20 September, the main braking engine was fired, initiating the descent to the lunar surface. Six minutes later, at 05:18 UT, the spacecraft safely soft-landed in its target area at 0°41' south latitude and 56°18' east longitude, in the northeast area of Mare Fecunditatis (Sea of Fertility) approximately 100 kilometers west of Webb crater and 150 km north of Langrenus crater. This was the first landing made in the lunar night side, as the Sun had set about 60 hours earlier. The main descent engine cut off at an altitude of 20 m, and the landing jets cut off at 2 m height at a velocity less than 2.4 m/s, followed by vertical free fall. The mass of the spacecraft at landing was 1,880 kilograms. Less than an hour after landing, at 06:03 UT, an automatic drill penetrated the lunar surface to collect a soil sample. After drilling for seven minutes, the drill reached a stop at 35 centimeters depth and then withdrew its sample and lifted it in an arc to the top of the spacecraft, depositing the lunar material in a small spherical capsule mounted on the main spacecraft bus. The column of regolith in the drill tube was then transferred to the soil sample container.The Luna 16 automatic station was launched toward the Moon from a preliminary Earth orbit and after one mid-course correction on 13 September it entered a circular 111 km with 70° inclination lunar orbit on 17 September 1970.

Finally, after 26 hours and 25 minutes on the lunar surface, at 07:43 UT on 21 September, the spacecraft's upper stage lifted off from the Moon. The lower stage of Luna 16 remained on the lunar surface and continued transmission of lunar temperature and radiation data. Three days later, on 24 September, after a direct ascent traverse with no mid-course corrections, the capsule, with its 101 grams of lunar soil, reentered Earth's atmosphere at a velocity of 11 kilometers per second. The capsule parachuted down 80 kilometers southeast of the town of Jezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 05:25 UT on 24 September 1970. Analysis of the dark basalt material indicated a close resemblance to soil recovered by the American Apollo 12 mission.

According to the Bochum Observatory in Germany, strong and good-quality television pictures were returned by the spacecraft. Luna 16 was a landmark success for the Soviets in their deep-space exploration program; the mission accomplished the first fully automatic recovery of soil samples from the surface of an extraterrestrial body.


Luna 16 101 g[2] 1970
Luna 20 30 g[3] 1972
Luna 24 170.1 g[4] 1976

Three tiny samples (0.2 grams) of the Luna 16 soil were sold at Sotheby's auction for $442,500 in 1993.[5]

A series of 10-kopeck stamps was issued in 1970 to commemorate the flight of Luna 16 lunar probe and depicted the main stages of the programme: soft landing on Moon, launch of the lunar soil sample return capsule, and parachute assisted landing back on Earth [ Wikipedia_3].

  • The Soviet Union 1970 CPA 3951 stamp (Luna 16 in Flight (1970.09.12)).jpg
  • The Soviet Union 1970 CPA 3952 stamp (Luna 16 Leaving Moon (1970.09.20)).jpg



ABC Australia's Doctor Karl Kruszelnicki, wrote an article condemning Moon Hoax conspiracies. One of his arguments for Man having landed on the Moon was the ' fact' that we have 382 kilograms of Moon rocks brought back from the Moon's surface by the Apollo astronauts. He argues that it would be impossible to recreate a moon rock and that the dating methodologies used today were not invented in the 1960s, therefore how could NASA get the rocks to show their correct age.

The answers are as follows; 1. Moon samples were returned to earth by both the USSR and the USA from successful moon probe missions. Therefore, both countries had the ability to manufacture moon rock samples. Remembering that NASA only supplies a few gains to any recognised scientific agency, there have never been an independent examination of the actual ' Moon' rocks: only sample dust. 2. The dating process' used today are only going to find rock elements that were known to exists in 1969 from the examination of the Moon meteorites found in Antarctica and the regolith samples returned by probes. Again, it is imperative that we remember that NASA only give gain samples not whole rocks. Therefore the illusion that the rocks are from the Apollo program can easily be maintained. Especially when scientist like Kruszelnicki falls so badly in not using knowledge that has been assessed by logic and not admiration.


  1.  PSRD: The Oldest Moon Rocks
  2.  Geologic Map of the Duluth Complex and Related Rocks, Northeastern Minnesota (Map) (2001 ed.). Minnesota Geological Survey, University of Minnesota. § Miscellaneous Map Series: Map M-119. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  3. Topinka, Lyn (2003-01-26). "America's Volcanic Past: Minnesota". USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory. Archivedfrom the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  4.  Bédard (2001); Emslie et al. (1994); Xue and Morse (1994); Emslie and Stirling (1993); and Xue and Morse (1993).
  5. Wiebe, Robert A. (1979). "Anorthositic dikes, southern Nain complex, Labrador". American Journal of Science279: 394–410. doi:10.2475/ajs.279.4.394.
  6.  Emslie et al. (1994).
  7. Bédard (2001).
  8.  Longhi et al. (1993); Emslie (1975).
  9.  e.g. Xue and Morse, (1994).
  10. Cooperative Soil Survey U.S.A. Official Series Description Santanoni Soil
  11. R. C. Graham, B. E. Herbert and J. O. Herbert. Mineralogy and Incipient Pedogenesis of Entisols in Anorthosite Terrain of the San Gabriel Mountains, California


  • Bédard, Jean H. (2001). "Parental magmas of the Nain Plutonic Suite anorthosites and mafic cumulates: a trace element modelling approach". Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology141 (6): 747–771. Bibcode:2001CoMP..141..747B. doi:10.1007/s004100100268.
  • Emslie, R. F. (1 May 1975). "Pyroxene megacrysts from anorthositic rocks: new clues to the sources and evolution of the parent magmas". Canadian Mineralogist13 (2): 138–145. ISSN 0008-4476.
  • Emslie, R. F.; Stirling, J. A. R. (1 December 1993). "Rapakivi and related granitoids of the Nain Plutonic Suite: geochemistry, mineral assemblages and fluid equilibria". Canadian Mineralogist31 (4): 821–847. ISSN 0008-4476.
  • Emslie, R. F.; Hamilton, M. A.; Theriault, R. J. (1994). "Petrogenesis of a Mid-Proterozoic Anorthosite-Mangerite-Charnockite-Granite (AMCG) Complex: Isotopic and Chemical Evidence from the Nain Plutonic Suite". Journal of Geology102 (5): 539–558. Bibcode:1994JG....102..539E. doi:10.1086/629697.
  • Longhi, John; Fram, M. S.; Vander Auwera, J.; Montieth, J. N. (1 October 1993). "Pressure effects, kinetics, and rheology of anorthositic and related magmas". American Mineralogist78 (9–10): 1016–1030.
  • Norman, M. D.; Borg, L. E.; Nyquist, L. E.; Bogard, D. D. (2003). "Chronology, geochemistry, and petrology of a ferroan noritic anorthosite clast from Descartes breccia 67215: Clues to the age, origin, structure, and impact history of the lunar crust". Meteoritics and Planetary Science38 (4): 645–661. Bibcode:2003M&PS...38..645N. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2003.tb00031.x.
  • Wood, J. A.; Dickey, J. S. Jr.; Marvin, U. B.; Powell, B. N. (1970). "Lunar Anorthosites". Science167 (3918): 602–604. Bibcode:1970Sci...167..602W. PMID 17781512. doi:10.1126/science.167.3918.602.
  • Xue, S.; Morse, S. A. (1993). "Geochemistry of the Nain massif anorthosite, Labrador: Magma diversity in five intrusions". Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta57 (16): 3925–3948. Bibcode:1993GeCoA..57.3925X. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(93)90344-V.
  • Xue, S.; Morse, S. A. (1994). "Chemical characteristics of plagioclase and pyroxene megacrysts and their significance to the petrogenesis of the Nain Anorthosites". Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta58(20): 4317–4331. Bibcode:1994GeCoA..58.4317X. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(94)90336-0.


  1.  "Meteoritical Bulletin Database — Lunar Meteorite search results". Meteoritical Bulletin Database. The Meteoritical Society. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 17 Augu

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