Saturday, December 27, 2008

Indian Lunar Mission Making Me Laugh

I guess everything old is new again. The recent "news" about India's unmanned Chandrayaan moon mission it that it found - hold your breath - iron on the moon. That would be important news if only this hadn't already been discovered nearly 40 years ago by US lunar missions. First, the "news" today, from Commodity Online: NEW DELHI: What have minerals to do with India's maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-1? Initial experiments that Chandrayaan have carried out suggest iron-bearing minerals in abundance on the lunar surface. (Source) Next, consider the thousands of articles written about NASA's Apollo 15 mission (photo) in the summer of 1971, which brought back a lot of data about lunar minerals and confirmed an abundance of iron on the moon back then. So, what's the "news" about the Indian mission? What did I miss? RELATED: Apollo 15 Experiments -Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Experiment - "This experiment found high iron abundances over all mare regions and lower abundances elsewhere. Thorium and titanium abundances were also highest over mare regions..." Apollo Expeditions to the Moon: Chapter 14 - "The Apollo 15 astronauts placed instruments on the Moon which, ... There are also many reasons now to believe that the Moon has an iron-rich core from about ..." MINERALOGICAL ANALYSIS OF LUNAR ROCK PARTICLES (PDF) (Or view as HTML) Lunar mineralogy - "More ferrous olivines (with less than 30% forsterite) are rarer, although crystals of an almost pure fayalite were found in the most recent basalts of the lunar mare which are also richer in iron..." Lunar Materials - Minerals - "Free iron averages about half of one percent of average lunar soil. The grain sizes are generally less than a few tenths of a millimeter..." One giant leap for lunar minerals