Michael Braukus Headquarters, Washington, D.C. May 26, 1994 (Phone: 202/358-1547) Embargoed until 12:30 p.m.

EDT RELEASE: 94-84 CLEMENTINE PRODUCES first global digital MAP OF MOON The Clementine mission, sponsored by the Department of Defense Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, has completed systematic mapping of the Lunar surface to produce the first global digital map of the Moon. NASA's Clementine science team has mapped the topography and composition of major regions of the Moon in detail and produced other important science results released today at the spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Baltimore, Md. The digital data set covers 38 million square kilometers of the Moon mapped in 11 colors in the visible and near infrared parts of the spectrum during the mission's 71 days in lunar orbit, providing the first view of the global color of the Moon. "The scientific significance of the lunar data set from Clementine is immense. For the first time, multi-spectral imaging data of consistent viewing geometry, resolution, and lighting conditions have been obtained for the entire Moon," said Dr. Jurgen Rahe, NASA Program Scientist. "With Clementine data, we have begun a new era in the exploration of the geology of the planets using global multi-spectral data sets." Composition of Lunar Surface Studied The color of the Moon in the visible to near infrared part of the spectrum is sensitive to variations in both the mineral

composition of surface material and the amount of time that material has been exposed to space. Color filters for the two principal mapping cameras, the ultraviolet-visible camera and the near infrared camera, were selected to characterize the overall surface composition and to search for titanium-rich rocks. By combining information obtained through 11 filters, multi-spectral image data are used to map the distribution of rock and soil types on the Moon. Preliminary studies of areas of already known geological complexity, including the Aristarchus crater and plateau, the Copernicus crater and the crater Giodano Bruno, allow scientists to identify and map the diversity within and between geologic areas which have both impact and volcanic origins. - more -2The mission also provided tens of thousands of high resolution and mid-infrared thermal images. The topography of the Moon was mapped using a laser ranger. Knowledge of the surface gravity field of the Moon was improved through analysis of radio tracking data. A Charged Particle Telescope characterized the solar and magnetospheric energetic particle environment. Surface and Subsurface Structure In addition to compositional data from the images, Clementine has produced views of either previously unknown regions of the Moon or previously known areas from a different and unique perspective, in both cases yielding new insights into lunar evolution. Scientists measured the topography of large, ancient impact features, including the largest (1,600 miles/2,500 km in diameter) and deepest (more than seven miles/12 km) impact basin known in the Solar System. Preliminary analysis has deciphered the gravity structure of a young basin on the limb of the Moon, showing that a huge plug of the lunar mantle has been uplifted from below its surface. The Science Team completed a mosaic of the South Polar region of the Moon using over 1,500 images obtained during the first month of systematic mapping. A striking result from this mosaic, depicted by an extensive region of shadow, is the discovery of a

large depression centered very near the South Pole. Scientists believe this is almost certainly an ancient impact basin about 190 miles (300 km) in diameter. They also believe that large parts of this dark area may never receive any sunlight because the Moon's rotation axis is nearly perpendicular to the plane of its orbit around the Sun. If this region receives no sunlight, it possibly will be about minus 230 degrees Celsius. This fact is significant because water molecules from impacting comets may have found their way into such 'cold traps' and accumulated in significant amounts over billions of years. Clementine beamed radio waves into the polar areas and the scattered radio signals were received by the large antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network. This 'bistatic radar' experiment was designed to look for echoes that would indicate the presence of water ice deposits. The results of this experiment may not be known for many months as the data will require thorough analysis. Topographic and Gravity Studies Laser ranging data from Clementine allow a nearly global view of topography (or relief) of the lunar surface. A striking result from these data is the confirmation of a population of very ancient, nearly obliterated impact basins, randomly distributed across the Moon. The presence of these basins was inferred from obscure circular patterns found in photographs taken by NASA's Lunar Orbiter spacecraft in the 1960s. -more-3Clementine laser ranging has provided dramatic confirmation of their existence, including their surprising depth, typically three to four miles (five to seven km), even for the most degraded features. Another major result is the confirmation of the largest impact basin on the Moon, the 1,600 mile (2,500 km) diameter South Pole-Aitken basin. This feature is about over seven and one-half miles (12 km) deep, making it the largest and deepest impact crater known in the Solar System. Gravity data obtained from radio tracking of Clementine indicate that these great holes in the Moon's crust are

compensated by structural uplift of dense rocks from the mantle beneath each impact basin. The Clementine data, together with the lunar rock and soil samples of known geologic context which were returned to Earth from the Apollo and Luna programs, constitute unique data sets which do not exist for any other body in the Solar System, including the Earth. On the basis of the initial study of the Clementine data, new insights are likely into how the Moon has evolved over its protracted and complex history. NASA plans to sponsor a multi-year peer-reviewed program of lunar data analysis, which will include the extensive Clementine data sets. - end -