NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Plots of Lunar Atmosphere Density Versus Time (Microfilm)


Availability: At NSSDC, Ready for Offline Distribution (or Staging if Digital)

Time span: 1971-02-09 to 1973-12-31


These experimenter-generated, 35-mm microfilm reels contain plots of lunar atmosphere density measurements and instrument temperature as a function of time. Each frame consists of two plots with a common abscissa. The abscissa gives the time of the measurement in the form DDD/HH/MM where DDD is day of year, HH is hour, and MM is minute. All times are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The lower plot gives measurements of the equivalent density for a nitrogen lunar atmosphere in particles per cubic centimeter on a logarithmic scale that ranges from 10 E4 to 10 E10 [10 E4 = 10 x (10 to the 4th power) = 100 000.] The upper plot gives the instrument temperature on a linear scale from 0 to 400 Kelvin. Each frame holds 15 hours of data.

In the normal operational mode the basic cycle repeated five measurements (separated by 2.4 s), three measurements (separated by 40 s), and 16 seconds of calibration and auto-zeroing every 2.5 min. Each of the measurements is represented by one point on the graph. In a ground commanded special mode, one measurement was obtained every 2.4 s, with no other measurements being performed. There is no note on the plots indicating which mode the instrument is in.

The actual raw signal returned by the instrument was the current measured by the sensors. The sensors were calibrated in pre-flight tests using a pure nitrogen (N2) atmosphere. The values shown on the plots have been converted from the sensor-measured current reading to the equivalent nitrogen atmosphere density using the calibration curves of the appropriate gage and temperature sensor. The results are expressed in terms of the nitrogen concentration which would produce the observed current after correcting for temperature. The response of the instrument depends to a rather modest degree on the composition of the gas, which is not known, but it is assumed the true value will vary from this nitrogen concentration by a factor smaller than 2.

A sample plot from the Apollo 15 microfilm is shown above. The contents of this microfilm collection were scanned as part of the Lunar Data Project (LDP). The digital images (scans) are available as data collection PSPA-00415.

Alternate Names

  • Lunar ATM Press Meas Plots on Flm


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres


  • 71-008C-07A

Additional Information



Questions and comments about this data collection can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. J. M. CarrollData ProviderUniversity of Texas, Dallas
Mr. J. M. CarrollGeneral ContactUniversity of Texas, Dallas

CCIG Data/Information at NSSDCA

CCIG Data On-line (TIFF scans)

CCIG Data Collections

Apollo 14 CCIG Data (Digitized)
Apollo 14 CCIG Data (Microfilm)
Apollo 15 CCIG Data (Digitized)
Apollo 15 CCIG Data (Microfilm)

Related Information at NSSDCA

Apollo landing sites and ALSEP and LRRR locations - and information on the modified DMA/603 control network

Lunar Data Project
Apollo Home Page

[] NASA Logo -