LunarScience

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During the first decades of the Moon's exploration, the Moon race, the largest part of scientific payloads and instruments were used to assess if the lunar environment could support humans and under which conditions. Most instruments were cameras, video of photographic, mapping the surface of the Moon from distance to find suitable landing sites, taking close-up imagery just before crashing on the Moon, or landers taking photographs of the lunar dust. Sample returns were also the most efficient way of studying the lunar regolith. In the past two decades, real science was conducted on the moon or around it, and this page lists the experiments that have taken place since 1950.

Soon, the first Google Lunax X-Prize (GLXP) teams shall land on the Moon and will probably increase this list a lot. One of the teams, Part-time Scientists from Germany, has made a call for payloads, cubesat-sized science packages that will land on the moon and return data to earth. The first goal of this page is to have a rough idea of what can be done with minor monetary investment, while still being useful, and possibly answer the call for payload.

Science with direct measurements taken of or from the surface of the Moon

From lunar orbit or intersecting trajectory

This section is incomplete

Micrometeroid characterisation and detection by first orbiters.

From the surface, of the surface

This section is incomplete

From the surface, of the rest of the universe

This section is incomplete

In 2013, the Chinese lander Chang'e 3 had a 150mm telescope onboard and looked at the universe in near ultraviolet wavelengths. It allows for long term monitoring of a target, because the moon has a low rotation rate, and with no UV filtering from Earth atmosphere.

In 2013, the Chinese lander Chang'e 3 had an extreme ultraviolet camera whose purpose was to study the plasmasphere of the Earth and its variation with solar activity.

What we know about the lunar environment

This section is incomplete

Topography of the Moon

Atmosphere

Regolith

Radiation

Magnetic field

Main article

Gravity map