Objectives and requirements of unmanned rover exploration of the Moon
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The scientific value of unmanned rovers for continued lunar exploration is considered in light of Apollo findings which suggest that the Moon's surface is more heterogeneous than expected. A set of major questions and investigations involving composition, internal structure, and thermal history are presented that form a scientific rationale for use of unmanned rovers in the post-Apollo period of lunar exploration. Visual, petrologic, chemical and geophysical measurements that are essential for an unmanned rover traverse over previously unexplored lunar terrain are discussed. Unmanned rovers are well-suited for low-cost, low-risk preliminary reconnaissance where measurement of a few definitive parameters over a wide area is more important than obtaining a wide array of detailed results at a given site.
KeywordsInternal Structure Wide Area Thermal History Detailed Result Major Question
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