Lunar and Planetary Institute






Landing Site Studies

Descriptions of locations on the Moon where we have landed in the past or may land in the future.


Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Apollo Experiments and Training on the Scientific Aspects of the Apollo Program (1963)
The Sonett Report (final edition), 101 pages; section about possible landing sites appears on p. 51.

A Study of Lunar Landing Sites and Associated Stay Times (1965)
NASA-TN-D-2795, L. W. Enderson Jr., 37 pages.

 Lunar Landing and Site Selection Study (1965)
NASA-TN-D-2999, J.L. Lewis and C. D. Wheelwright, 23 pages.

Site Accessibility Analysis for Advanced Lunar Missions (1967)
NASA –CR-65728, TRW Note No. 67–FMT-521, volume 1, 72 pages.

Advanced Systems Traverse Research Project Report with Section on Problems for Geologic Investigations of the Orientale Region of the Moon (1968)
G.E. Ulrich and R.S. Saunders, NASA-CR-98742, 65 pages.

Geologic Characteristics of the Nine Lunar Landing Mission Sites Recommended by the Group for Lunar Exploration Training (1968)
Farouk El-Baz, NASA-TR-68-340-1 from Bellcomm, 73 pages.

A Study of Lunar Traverse Missions (1968)
NASA-CR-152714, JPL760-26, JPL Advanced Lunar Studies Team, 355 pages.

Five-day Mission Plan to Investigate the Geology of the Marius Hills Region of the Moon (1969)
D.P. Elston and C.R. Willingham, 65 pages.

Lunar Terrain and Traverse Data for Lunar Roving Vehicle Design Study (1969)
USGS Report, H.J. Moore et al., 209 pages.

Advanced Geologic Exploration Supported by a Lunar Base:  A Traverse Across the Imbrium-Procellarum Region of the Moon (1985)
in Lunar Bases, M.J. Cintala et al., 15 pages.

Unmanned Spaceflights Needed as Scientific Preparation for a Manned Lunar Base (1985)
in Lunar Bases, D.E. Wilhelms, 7 pages.

The Case for Planetary Sample Return Missions:  Origin and Evolution of the Moon and its Environment (1989)
G. Ryder, P.D. Spudis, and G.J. Taylor, Eos - Transactions, American Geophysical Union, vol. 47, pages 1495 and 1505–1509.
Spreadsheet with potential landing sites and science goals

A Site Selection Strategy for a Lunar Outpost: Science and Operational Parameters (1990)

Developing A Site Selection Strategy for a Lunar Outpost: Science Criteria for Site Selection (1990)

Results & Proceedings of the Lunar Rover/Mobility Systems Workshop(1992)

There’s Iron in Them Thar Hills:  A Geologic Look at the Aristarchus Plateau as a Potential Landing Site for Human Lunar Return (1996)
NASA-CR-202008 (vol. 1, sec. 9-1), C.R. Coombs and D.S. McKay, 19 pages.

The Lunar Surface Reference Mission: A Description of Human and Robotic Surface Activities (2003)
Duke, M., Hoffman, S., and Snook, K. NASA Technical Publication 2003-210793, NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston TX

Apollo Traverses and Summary of Science Discoveries (2006)
Brief summary of the Apollo traverses, science objectives, and science results, 39 pages.

Landing Site Study of Schrödinger Basin (2011)
K. M. O’Sullivan, T. Kohout, K. G. Thaisen, and D. A. Kring (2011) Calibrating several key lunar stratigraphic units representing 4 billion years of lunar history within Schrödinger Basin. In Recent Advances in Lunar Stratigraphy, D.A. Williams and W. Ambrose (eds.), pp. 117–128, Geological Society of America Special Paper 477, Boulder, CO.

A Global Lunar Landing Site Study to Provide the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon
D. A. Kring and D. D. Durda (editors), 688 p.

South Pole-Aitken Basin Landing Site Database

Additional landing site studies are available for download in abstract form on the publication site for the Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program.

Lunar Landing Site Chart