Distribution of Lunar Resources
Understanding the origins of craters and "seas" (maria)
on the moon is vital to developing the future of the lunar community.
The Artemis Project will have to do everything it can
to assure its first mission pays off. Among other
things, this means locating at a lunar position with the highest
mineralogical payoff for our purposes. In order to find the most promising
sites, we need to understand the underlying dynamics of lunar mineralogical
disposition. We don't want to land just anywhere, or only on the
smoothest ground. Location of lunar landing
sites is at least as important as any other profit-related decision
the Artemis Project will have to make.
Data from Clementine, Lunar Prospector, even the Galileo flyby
are helpful for finding the most superficial mineralogical features, and making
precise surface maps. Data from these probes and analysis of Apollo-era
findings help us determine the history of the moon, the nature of lunar
differentiation, and the placement of strategic resources.
To suggest early lunar bombardment was preferentially on the "leading
edge" is technically probably correct, but most writers here appear to ignore
the high probability that the early moon was not yet tidally-locked to Earth
and spun on its axis faster than it does today. There does seem to be a
preferential equatorial broad band of basin-forming impacts, with some
signs of another band at an angle to the first, indicating the moon may
have made a major change in its axis of rotation. This could have
implications for the locations of resources.
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