The first batch of the moon rocks collected in the lunar highlands by the Apollo 16 astronauts were examined in a special laboratory at Houston's Manned Spacecraft Centre recently.
The first batch of the moon rocks collected in the lunar highlands by the Apollo 16 astronauts were examined in a special laboratory at Houston's Manned Spacecraft Centre recently. the rocks were part of a 212-pound (96 Kilos) haul brought back by astronauts John Young, Charles Duke and Ken Mattingly.
Bags containing the rocks were opened by technicians at the centre when the first examinations were made, as shown in this film released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The rocks had been kept under sterile conditions and close guard at the Space Centre's Lunar Receiving Centre before being prepared for close examination.
Scientists were surprised when most of the rocks gathered by Young and Duka showed all appearance of being br???, the geologists' term for composite rocks containing vaclous fragments.
They had been expecting lava -- evidence that would confirm the theory that the Cayley Plaine material on which the spaceship Orion landed use formed by a local volcanic eruption.
While the breccias might indeed to be of volcanic origin, the trend of thought now is that they're the results of a huge impact on the lunar surface, such as those that might have formed the dry seat.
This material, called ash-flow, erupted higher than other material, skipping over a wider area and sweeping up many other types of material in its path. Because of this, the rocks could be quite similar to those found at Fra Mauro on the Apollo 14 mission.
On Sunday (7 May), an accident with the Apollo 16 spacecraft itself put 46 people in hospital in California. they were hurt when pumping equipment exploded as it was removing poisonous fuel from the spacecraft. The craft was the first to return to earth with surplus fuel aboard. In the past, excess fuel was dumped, but the failure of one of Apollo 15's parachutes during spla???hdown last August forced a change in the procedure.