South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin, the biggest and most ancient lunar basin. Arrow identifies the location of interesting wrinkled ridges within Aitken crater. Image width is 250 km. – NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Moon

NASA Scientists Develop Lunar South Pole Landing Site Database

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The NASA Lunar Science Institute’s (NLSI) Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) Team, the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE) led by David Kring, has developed a new South Pole-Aitken Basin Landing Site Database. The database website provides a web-based ArcGIS tool for evaluating landing sites within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin.

The development of this tool was prompted by several reports. The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (NRC 2007) found that it was imperative to anchor the early Earth-Moon impact flux curve by determining the age of the oldest and largest basin on the Moon, the SPA basin. Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 (NRC 2012) drew a similar conclusion and recommended a sample return mission to the SPA basin in the near future. Several formal and informal recommendations by others in the community have also pointed to the SPA basin as a high-priority science and exploration target.

Read more: NASA Scientists Develop Lunar South Pole Landing Site Database | Moonandback.

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