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

Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)

NSSDC ID: 2008-052A-04
Mission Name: Chandrayaan 1 Lunar Orbiter
Principal Investigator: Dr. Carle M. Pieters


The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3 or "M-cubed") is an imaging spectrometer designed to map the mineral content of the Moon's surface. The primary scientific objectives are to characterize and map the lunar surface composition in the context of its geologic evolution and to assess the Moon's mineral resources at high resolution with the goals of studying the origin and evolution of the lunar crust and mantle, identifying and assessing deposits containing volatile species, and identifying and evaluating concentrations of unusual or unexpected minerals. The M3 is an Offner spectrometer with a single detector covering the range from 430 to 3000 nm (visible to near-infrared) in 260 bands at a resolution of 10 nm. The detector operates in a pushbroom mode with a resolution of 600 pixels across track. Spatial resolution at nominal 100 km altitude is 70 m/pixel at full resolution. It has 640 spatial elements, all-aluminum optics and a single dual-blaze electron-beam grating. M3 is nadir-looking. M3 has two modes of operation, targeted (full resolution) mode which uses the full 70 m/pixel and 10 nm per band capabilities for chosen areas, and a low resolution mode which will have a spatial resolution of 140 m/pixel and will use 86 bands for a spectral resolution of 30 nm. There will be four observing periods of three months each through the nominal mission. The first period will be in low resolution mode to provide global coverage, subsequent periods will use targeted mode. Targeted sites include the Apollo 16 landing site for calibration purposes and eight international calibration targets.

Alternate Names

  • M3


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Carle M. PietersPrincipal InvestigatorBrown
[] NASA Logo -