Apollo 15 Geochemical X-ray Fluorescence Experiment: Preliminary Report

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Science  28 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4020, pp. 436-440
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4020.436


Although only part of the information from the x-ray fluorescence geochemical experiment has been analyzed, it is clear that the experiment was highly successful. Significant compositional differences among and possibly within the maria and highlands have been detected. When viewed in the light of analyzed lunar rocks and soil samples, and the data from other lunar orbital experiments (in particular, the Apollo 15 gamma-ray spectroscopy experiment), the results indicate the existence of a differential lunar highland crust, probably feldspathic. This crust appears to be related to the plagioclase-rich materials previously found in the samples from Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, and Luna 16.