INTERNATIONAL LUNAR EXPLORATION PHASE
- with low-cost transport, where would international astronauts go? -


VISITING THE YOUNG CRATERS
Young lunar craters have beautifully preserved features. Over time, craters get sandblasted out of existance by meteorites. But younger craters still have fresh features including landslide deposits, impact melt features, and jagged central peaks.

Copernicus: Copernicus is one of those craters that has bright ray patterns extending from it in every direction. Rocks thrown out from this crater were visited by Apollo 12. It has very dramatic landscape including a large mountain ridge in the center of the crater.


Byrgius A: This is a young crater on the side of a large, older crater. It is extremely young and so contains some beautifully preserved impact features.


Giordano: One of the youngest of all of the craters. It was initially thought that the flash from its creation might have been seen in the 13th century. Some monks in England were out one evening looking at the Moon when they saw a huge flash of light with stuff falling from the flash. But now we believe that the crater is too old to have been made at that time. But it is an interesting story none-the-less.


Korolev X: This is a crater on the backside of the Moon. It is a small crater but with an extremely young with flow of rock which solidified in an unusual pattern. There are mountains all along the rim of Korolev making the terrain a very dramatic place.


Lalande: This is an important crater due to the potential resources that it contains. LaLande Crater is believed to have one of the highest concentrations of the KREEP rocks. This stands for potassium (K), phosphorus (P), and rare Earth elements (REE). It also contains thorium which could be very useful for fuel for nuclear reactors on the Moon. The potassium and phosphorus are key components of fertilizer (NPK) needed for the hydroponic growth of food.


Necho: This crater was named after an Egyptian pharoah and so Egypt should probably given first dibs for visiting it. Necho sponsored an expedition to sail around the continent of Africa. It took three years. This crater has well-preserved geologic features and a series of landslides that looks sort of like a bolt of yard. Part of one of its walls is slumped.


Aristarchus & Herodotus: These two craters are some of the most visually interesting craters on the Moon. Apparently from Herodotus comes the Moon's largest rille producing a large valley. Together is has been termed the "Cobra Head". Standing on the rim of this valley would be like standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon but travelers to the Moon would first want to see it from orbit.


Tycho: This is a very dramatic site as it is a relatively young crater with rays streaming out from it. Its floor is filled with lava but with a prominent central peak. At the very top of the peak is a large boulder about a football field across.

Next: Old Craters