Lunar and Planetary Institute






Lunar Surface

Robotic and human exploration of the Moon, particularly during the Apollo era, provided our first views of an alien planetary surface. The insights gleaned were often as surprising as they were spell-binding. There are several ways to access the results of past studies:


One can access results that were presented at the Lunar Science Conference (1971–1977) and subsequent Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (1978–present). An immense amount of high-quality data exists in the three- and two-page abstracts written for those conferences. The titles, authors, and PDF files of the full abstracts presented from 1997 through today are available and can be searched using LPI's Abstract Search tool. Abstracts from earlier conferences will be added to the LPI's searchable abstract collection in the near future.

Full peer-reviewed papers published in the Proceedings of the Apollo 11 Lunar Science Conference (1970), Proceedings of the Lunar Science Conference (1971–1977), Proceedings of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (1978–1990), and subsequent Proceedings of Lunar and Planetary Science (1991–1992) are currently available through the Smithsonion/NASA ADS Proceedings Query Page.

The LPI Library also has a large collection of additional lunar surface documents. A search of documents in the library can be run using the on-line LPI Library Catalog.

Another important source of information is the Lunar Sourcebook, which provides an excellent set of post-Apollo summaries of lunar surface research.

Finally, information can be obtained using LUNAR SEARCH (upper left), which accesses information at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and elsewhere.

Lunar Minerals

A good summary of previous results is "Lunar Minerals," which is Chapter 5 of the Lunar Sourcebook (1991). More recent results can be found using LPI's Abstract Search engine.

Lunar Rocks

A good summary of previous results is "Lunar Rocks," which is Chapter 6 of the Lunar Sourcebook (1991). More recent results can be found using LPI's Abstract Search engine.

Introduction to the Apollo Collections: Part I - Igneous Rocks (1977)
P.E. McGee et al., LPI Contribution No. 269, 101 pages.

Introduction to the Apollo Collections:  Part II – Lunar Breccias (1979)
P.E. McGee et al., 221 pages.

Lunar Regolith

A good summary of previous results is "The Lunar Regolith," which is Chapter 7 of the Lunar Sourcebook (1991). More recent results can be found using LPI's Abstract Search engine.

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

Lunar Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (1976)
John F. Lindsay

Handbook of Lunar Soils (1983)
R. V. Morris et al., JSC Planetary Materials Branch Publication 67 (JSC 19069).

Lunar Soils Grain Size Catalog (1993)
J.C. Graf, NASA Reference Publication 1265
Front Matter
Apollo 11 soils
Apollo 12 soils
Apollo 14 soils
Apollo 15 soils
Luna 24 soils
Apollo 16 soils
Apollo 17 soils
Bibliography
To download complete volume (117 MB), click here.

Geotechnical Properties of Lunar Soil (2005)
W. David Carrier III, 24 pages.

Lunar Soil Simulation and Trafficability Parameters (2006)
W. David Carrier III, 17 pages.

Crater Slopes and Regolith Surface Roughness (2006)
Brief summary of slopes and surface roughness that characterize the lunar regolith, 32 pages.

Parameters of Lunar Soils (2006)
Brief summary of the physical properties of lunar soils, 29 pages.

X-ray ultra micrographs of soil agglutinates and impact melt spherules in Apollo sample 10084
C.J. Kiely and C. Kiely, Lehigh University

Chemical Compositions

A good summary of previous results is "Chemistry," which is Chapter 8 of the Lunar Sourcebook (1991). More recent results can be found using LPI's Abstract Search engine.

Impact Craters

Ballistics of the Copernican Ray System (1960)
A classic (and hard to find) paper about secondary cratering, E.M. Shoemaker, 16 pages.

Mare Exemplum (1960s)
A film showing the impact cratered evolution of the lunar surface.  Film A-125, NASA Ames Research Center.

A good summary of previous results is "Lunar Surface Processes," which is Chapter 4 of the Lunar Sourcebook (1991). More recent results can be found using LPI's Abstract Search engine. Another excellent source of information is Don Wilhelm's The Geologic History of the Moon, USGS Professional Paper 1348.

Apollo Over the Moon: A View From Orbit (1978)
NASA-SP-362, H. Masursky, G.W. Colton, and F. El-Baz (eds.), 266 pages.

Lunar Impact Crater Database (2011)
Losiak et al, LPI Lunar Exploration Intern Program (2009). Revised by Ohman, LPI (2011).

Volcanic Terrains

A good summary of previous results is "Lunar Surface Processes," which is Chapter 4 of the Lunar Sourcebook (1991). More recent results can be found using LPI's Abstract Search engine. Another excellent source of information is Don Wilhelm's The Geologic History of the Moon, USGS Professional Paper 1348.

Apollo Over the Moon: A View From Orbit (1978)
NASA-SP-362, H. Masursky, G.W. Colton, and F. El-Baz (eds.), 266 pages.

Preliminary Science Reports (Apollo)

Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report (1969)
NASA SP-214

Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report (1970)
NASA SP-235

Apollo 14 Preliminary Science Report (1971)
NASA SP-272

Post-Apollo Lunar Science; Report of a Study by the Lunar Science Institute (1972)
Recommendations for post-Apollo lunar science activities by many of the participants that planned and executed the Apollo lunar surface science investigations.

Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report (1972)
NASA SP-289

Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report (1972)
NASA SP-315

Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report (1973)
NASA SP-330

Apollo Landing Site Geology

Geology of the Apollo 16 Area, Central Lunar Highlands (1981)
USGS Professional Paper 1048; G.E. Ulrich, C.A. Hodges, and W.R. Muehlberger (eds.)

Geological Tools

Catalog of Apollo Lunar Surface Geologic Sampling Tools and Containers (1989)
NASA-JSC document number JSC-23454, J. H. Allton, 97 pages.

Designing a Robotic Sampler to Collect Moon Rocks (1996) Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, vol. 77, no. 5, pages 33, 37, and 41

Geologic Tools for the Moon: Review of Apollo (2009)
Illustrated briefing, D. A. Kring, 76 pages.

Surface Instruments and Experiments

Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package Archive Tape Description Document (1975)
JSC-09652

Catalog of Apollo Experiment Operations (1994)
NASA Reference Publication 1317, T. A. Sullivan, 182 pages.

Catalog of Lunar and Mars Science Payloads (1994)
NASA Reference Publication 1345, N. A. Budden, ed., 255 pages.

Planetary Surface Instrument Workshop Report (1995)
LPI Technical Report No. 95-05

Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) Reports
Status reports on the operation of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package.

ALSEP Daily Science Reports 1969–1970
November 20, 1969–February 13, 1970, 94 pages

ALSEP 1 Science Reports 1970–1971
February 16, 1970–January 29, 1971, 128 pages

Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package Status Reports 1971
February 6 1971–December 23, 1971, 370 pages

Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package Status Reports 1972
January 7, 1972–December 31, 1972, 432 pages

Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package Status Reports 1973
January 2, 1973– April 5, 1973, 180 pages

ALSEP Performance Summary Reports 1973
April 13, 1973–December 21, 1973, 304 pages

ALSEP Performance Summary Reports 1974
January 4, 1974–December 20, 1974, 382 pages

ALSEP Performance Summary Reports 1975
January 3, 1975–December 19, 1975, 400 pages

ALSEP Performance Summary Reports 1976
January 9, 1976–December 22, 1976, 482 pages

ALSEP Performance Summary Reports 1977
January 5, 1977–September 30, 1977, 244 pages

Astronaut Activity

Lighting Constraints on Lunar Surface Operations (1991)
NASA Technical Memorandum 4271, Dean B. Eppler, 24 pages.

Interviews with the Apollo Lunar Surface Astronauts in Support of Planning for EVA Systems Design (1994)
NASA Technical Memorandum 108846, M. Connors, D. Eppler, and D. Morrow, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, CA

Geologic Field Work and General Implications for Planetary EVA Suit Design (1997)
Internal Memo, D. Eppler, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Additional relevant information appears in "The Lunar Environment," which is Chapter 3 of the Lunar Sourcebook (1991).

Lunar Simulants

Guide to Using Lunar Soil and Simulants for Experimentation (1985) 
In Lunar Bases, J. H. Allton et al., 10 pages.

JSC-1: A New Lunar Soil Simulant

Lunar Regolith Simulant Materials Workshop (2005)

Development of New Lunar Simulants JSC-1A and JSC-1AF (2007)


Copernicus Crater