Robotic surface missions to the Moon should be capable of measuring mineral as well as chemical abundances in regolith samples. Although much is already known about the lunar regolith, our data are far from comprehensive. Most of the regolith samples returned to Earth for analysis had lost the upper surface, or it was intermixed with deeper regolith. This upper surface is the part of the regolith most recently exposed to the solar wind; as such it will be important to resource assessment. In addition, it may be far easier to mine and process the uppermost few centimeters of regolith over a broad area than to engage in deep excavation of a smaller area. The most direct means of analyzing the regolith surface will be by studies in situ. In addition, the analysis of the impact-origin regolith surfaces, the Fe-rich glasses of mare pyroclastic deposits, are of resource interest, but are inadequately known; none of the extensive surface-exposed pyroclastic deposits of the Moon have been systematically sampled, although we know something about such deposits from the Apollo 17 site. Because of the potential importance of pyroclastic deposits, methods to quantify glass as well as mineral abundances will be important to resource evaluation. Combined x ray diffraction (XRD) and x ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis will address many resource characterization problems on the Moon. XRF methods are valuable for obtaining full major-element abundances with high precision. Such data, collected in parallel with quantitative mineralogy, permit unambiguous determination of both mineral and chemical abundances where concentrations are high enough to be of resource grade. Collection of both XRD and XRF data from a single sample provides simultaneous chemical and mineralogic information. These data can be used to correlate quantitative chemistry and mineralogy as a set of simultaneous linear equations, the solution of which can lead to full characterization of the sample. The use of Rietveld methods for XRD data analysis can provide a powerful tool for quantitative mineralogy and for obtaining crystallographic data on complex minerals.
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Lunar and Planetary Inst., Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Lunar Resource Assessment; p 50-51