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Comparison of actual versus predicted lunar surface erosion caused by Apollo 11 descent engine

Curtis C. Mason
Comparison of actual versus predicted lunar surface erosion caused by Apollo 11 descent engine
Geological Society of America Bulletin (1970) 81 (6): 1807-1812

Abstract

The Apollo 11 lunar module landed with an estimated 2 ft/sec lateral motion. Photographic evidence and astronaut observations indicate that only a fraction of an inch of material was eroded from the surface during the descent. These indications agree with a computed maximum depth of eroded material using an empirically derived erosion law. The onset of erosion was determined from descent motion pictures and astronaut comments during the landing approach. The first noticeable erosion occurred when the lunar module was at 65 ft, followed by thin steady erosion at 55 ft and strong steady erosion at 45 ft. These observations compare with a predicted onset of erosion at greater than 40 ft and fully developed erosion between 20 and 40 ft.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 81
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Comparison of actual versus predicted lunar surface erosion caused by Apollo 11 descent engine
Author(s): Mason, Curtis C.
Pages: 1807-1812
Published: 1970
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Accession Number: 1970-021591
Categories: Extraterrestrial geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1970
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