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Book Chapter

Geologic field training of the Apollo astronauts and implications for future manned exploration

By
Gary E. Lofgren
Gary E. Lofgren
1 Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Johnson Space Center, Mail Code KT, Houston, Texas 77058, USA
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Friedrich Horz
Friedrich Horz
2 LZ Technology/Engineering Science Contract Group, 2224 Bay Area Blvd., Mail Code JE 23, Houston, Texas 77058, USA
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Dean Eppler
Dean Eppler
3 Human Exploration Science, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Johnson Space Center, Mail Code KX, Houston, Texas 77058, USA
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Published:
December 01, 2011

This paper discusses the philosophy and major aspects of the geology training of the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 astronauts. This training concentrated on monthly field trips that were intended to develop the crew's observational skills in recognizing basic geologic structures and rocks and translating observations into an interpretative framework for local geologic evolution. Individual field trips became increasingly mission-like as their training matured. The crews worked with predetermined traverses and progressively added diverse operational aspects, such as proper usage of sampling tools, photo-documentation of pertinent features and rocks, simulation of space-suit mobility, and use of a roving vehicle. These exercises also provided simulations and practice for all major science support functions that would reside in Mission Control during the actual mission. This combined training of surface explorers and ground support will be indispensable in rendering future planetary surface operations as efficient and scientifically rewarding as Apollo.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Analogs for Planetary Exploration

W. Brent Garry
W. Brent Garry
Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Jacob E. Bleacher
Jacob E. Bleacher
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Planetary Geodynamics Lab, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
483
ISBN print:
9780813724836
Publication date:
December 01, 2011

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