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Lunar Field Geology

NSSDCA ID: 1972-096C-02

Mission Name: Apollo 17 Lunar Module /ALSEP
Principal Investigator:Dr. Gordon A. Swann


The purpose of the lunar geology investigation experiment (S-059) was to obtain a better understanding of the Taurus-Littrow highlands and the processes that have modified the highland surface through the study of documented lunar geological features and returned lunar samples. The equipment for this experiment included a hammer, tongs, and extension handle, a large sampling scoop, a rake, a gnomon/photometric chart, a sample scale (located in the LM ascent stage), core tubes and caps with a follower tool, documented sample bags, an LRV sampler, sample collection bags, special sample containers, sample return bags, and sample return containers. The use of a power head and spindle, a core stem adapter, a treadle, a core stem rack, a core stem extractor, a core stem dispenser, an 0.82-m core stem sections open core bit, a core stem wrench, and a core stem vise mounted on the LRV aft pallet made it possible to obtain a deep core (3.3 m) sample. Hasselblad electric cameras (70 mm), with 60-mm focal length lenses, were used for photographic documentation of the experiment. About 110 kg of volcanic rocks, impact rock breccias, and soil, including the orange glasses, were returned to earth on this mission.

Alternate Names

  • Apollo17ALSEP/LunarFieldGeology
  • S059

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Applications (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Gordon A. SwannPrincipal InvestigatorUS Geological Survey

Selected References

  • Schmitt, H. H., and E. A. Cernan, A geological investigation of the Taurus-Littrow valley, in Apollo 17 Prelim. Sci. Rept., NASA SP-330, 5-1, Wash., DC, 1973.
  • Muehlberger, W. R., et al., Preliminary geologic investigation of the Apollo 17 landing site, in Apollo 17 Prelim. Sci. Rept., NASA SP-330, 6-1, Wash., DC, 1973.
  • Preliminary Examination Team, Preliminary examination of lunar samples, in Apollo 17 Prelim. Sci. Rept., NASA SP-330, Wash., DC, 1973.
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