Primordial Radioelements and Cosmogenic Radionuclides in Lunar Samples from Apollo 15

Science  28 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4020, pp. 440-443
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4020.440


Two basalts, two breccias, and two soils from Apollo 15 were analyzed by nondestructive gamma-ray spectrometry. The concentrations of potassium, thorium, and uranium in the basalts were similar to those in the Apollo 12 basalts, but the potassium: uranium ratios were somewhat higher. Primordial radioelements were enriched in the soils and breccia, consistent with a two-component mixture of mare basalt and up to 20 percent foreign component (KREEP). The abundance patterns for cosmogenic radionuclides implied surface sampling for all specimens. The galactic cosmic-ray production rate of vanadium-48 was determined as 57 ± 11 disintegrations per minute per kilogram of iron. Cobalt-56 concentrations were used to estimate the intensity of the solar flare of 25 January 1971.