November 21, 2012
Apollo for Free
illustrations from the Lunar Sourebook from LPI
The Lunar Sourcebook has now reached the age of majority. It was published 21 years ago as a summary of what was learned from Apollo with the idea of giving the next generation of lunar scientists a starting point for new discoveries. Unfortunately, the next generation didn't really arrive until the last few years when Kaguya, Chandrayaan-1 and LRO delivered an avalanche of new data and discoveries. So rather than thinking of the Sourcebook as being 21 years out of date it really only lacks the advancements of the last 4 or 5 years. Much of its content is still valid and helpful, albeit often technical. But there are certain sections such as Chapter 4: Lunar Surface Processes, and Chapter 10: Global and Regional Data About the Moon that include information of interest to observers. Chapter 4 contains useful details of crater morphology as exhibited above, and Chapter 10 has good descriptions of the geologic setting and findings of the Apollo and Luna landers. The Lunar Sourcebook has not been freely available but now the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston has released the entire book and individual chapters as free PDFs. Download this classic to your iPod or iPhone and carry the wisdom of Apollo with you.
See LPOD's earlier celebration of the Sourcebook
Yesterday's LPOD: 11-11-11
Tomorrow's LPOD: Watching Time Fly