Apollo 17

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Lunar Petrographic Thin Section Set Study Guide

Apollo 17

The last mission to the Moon (Apollo 17) serves as a good starting point for a student interested in acquiring more information on the relationship of field geology and sample collection (fig. 7). Several samples in this set of petrographic thin sections are from the Apollo 17 collection. One sample is a pristine norite (78235), one sample comes from a landslide off the highlands (72275), two samples are of the dark mantle (74220 and 70181), and another sample is of the mare surface (70017). The U.S. Geological Survey study of the Taurus-Littrow Valley (Wolf et al. 1981) is a good model of a professional report for students interested in planetary science.

apollo 17 taurus - littrowFigure 7 - Sketch map of the Apollo 17 Taurus-Littrow landing site showing locations of some of the samples used for thin sections in this study set. The valley floor was covered with mare basalts and a dark mantle. The landslide off the South Massif is a light mantle on top of the valley material. Boulders that rolled down from the North Massif were sampled at stations 6 and 7 (see figure 44). A geologist and his commander spent 22 hr exploring 31 km of this valley, representing one of the most outstanding human accomplishments ever. And you are looking at the samples collected!