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Restored Apollo Magnetic Field Data and Their Values in Lunar Science and Exploration

Peter Chi
Delivered As: 
Abstract Text: 

The Apollo 12, 15, and 16 missions in the early years of the space era provided significant contributions to the understanding of the magnetic field environment at the Moon. The Lunar Surface Magnetometer (LSM) of Apollo 12 marks the first magnetic field measurement on the lunar surface in human history. The Apollo 15 and 16 missions deployed both LSM’s on the surface and “subsatellites” in orbit, making first coordinated space-surface magnetic field observations that are still unique today. For many years, these Apollo magnetic field data were not used by the scientific community due to the obsolete format in which the data were stored. Aided by the LASER Program and the SSERVI ALSEP Data Recovery Focus Group, we have restored all the Apollo 15 and 16 subsatellite biaxial magnetic field data and some of the Apollo 15 and 16 LSM data that can enable new research with modern analysis methods. These digital Apollo magnetic field data are valuable for a range of research topics, including the internal structure of the Moon, crustal magnetic fields and their origins, heliophysics science, and space weather for human exploration. We will present examples of the restored Apollo magnetic field data, as well as the use of them in understanding the exospheric environment and interior electrical conductivity.

Dr. Irene Lia Schlacht ( Politecnico di Milano, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
SSERVI Identifier: 

Recognizing that science and human exploration are mutually enabling, NASA created the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) to address basic and applied scientific questions fundamental to understanding the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos, and the near space environments of these target bodies. As a virtual institute, SSERVI funds investigators at a broad range of domestic institutions, bringing them together along with international partners via virtual technology to enable new scientific efforts."