The Apollo 15 Lunar Samples: A Preliminary Description

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Science  28 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4020, pp. 363-375
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4020.363


Samples returned from the Apollo 15 site consist of mare basalts and breccias with a variety of premare igneous rocks. The mare basalts are from at least two different lava flows. The bulk chemical compositions and textures of these rocks confirm the previous conclusion that the lunar maria consist of a series of extrusive volcanic rocks that are rich in iron and poor in sodium. The breccias contain abundant clasts of anorthositic fragments along with clasts of basaltic rocks much richer in plagioclase than the mare basalts. These two rock types also occur as common components in soil samples from this site. The rocks and soils from both the front and mare region exhibit a variety of shock characteristics that can best be ascribed to ray material from the craters Aristillus or Autolycus.