Skip to Main Content
Several spectrometers carried in the Service Module of the Apollo 15 and Apollo 16 spacecraft were employed for the compositional mapping of the lunar surface. The observations involved the measurements of secondary (fluorescent) X-rays, gamma-rays and alpha particle emissions. A large scale compositional map of over 20 percent of the lunar surface was obtained for the first time. It was possible to demonstrate interesting chemical differences between the mare and the highlands, to find specific areas of high radioactivity and to learn something about the composition of the moon's hidden side.