Lunar Suitcase Science: A Lunar Regolith Characterization Kit (LRoCK)

J. B. Johnson, G. S. Mungas, K. Zacny, D. G. Albert, B. Banerdt, M. Buehler, R. Elphic, K. Johnson, J. Lambert, M. Sturm
2010 Earth and Space 2010   unpublished
The Lunar Reg o lith Characterization Kit (LRoCK) project is a concept study to define a semi-autonomous instrument package for use by astronauts during future human lunar sortie missions. LRoCK will provide measurements of the surface topography and the near-surface compositional, physical, and structural characteristics of lunar geology and regolith ( Table 1) . The LRoCK integrated suite of surface and subsurface geophysics instrument package is intended to be emplaced by astronauts and set
more » ... o operate autonomously while astronauts undertake other tasks. This allows for flexible and rapid characterization of a sortie landing site region. Subsurface instruments are deployed by using either a reciprocating impact drill or penetrometer, or a complementary coring drill for specialized applications. The near-surface core drill will provide Earth-return rock and soil samples for analysis. LRoCK tools and instruments have previous development heritage with relatively low mass and power requirements (Table 2) . Measurement Objective and Goals: The objective of the LRoCK is to provide a science measurement package to characterize the lunar surface and the compositional, physical, and structural heterogeneity and diversity of the lunar regolith in the region of sortie landing sites. The characterization uses both in situ measurements and analysis of regolith cores returned to Earth. Specific measurement goals include: (a) Measuring the in situ mineralogy (including the presence of volatiles), the strength, thermal properties, heat flux, and density (as a function of depth) for the upper 1.5 m of regolith at several locations around a Sortie site. (b) Extending the measurements from the upper 1 to 1.5 m of regolith to 10s of m in depth using active seismic methods. (c) Obtaining core samples of regolith (rock and soil [including volatiles]) for terrestrial analysis. (d) Determining the surface topography and threedimensional location of sortie site measurements in order to link these to surface features. (e) Extended seismic and heat flux measurements that continue after the end of the sortie mission using deployed sensors.
doi:10.1061/41096(366)111 fatcat:hyxisvasljebbf3q4haflobn44