Public Release: 

EARTH: Scientists reopen a lunar cold case

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - When Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 19, 1972, it ended an era of manned spaceflight to the moon. The science, however, continues.

Armed with analytical techniques not available in the 1970s, researchers around the country have been re-examining the more than 380 kilograms of lunar rocks collected four decades ago during the Apollo missions. Using new investigations, such as petrographic and chemical composition studies and updated solar radiation and engineering measurements, these "cold case" scientists, many of them young innovators, are extracting new knowledge about our nearest celestial neighbor.

How will their new analyses help us better understand our moon? Read the full story online at

Read this story and more in the April issue of EARTH Magazine, available online now. Track the trail of a rare meteorite; study the efficiency of water use in hydraulic fracturing; and see how sand gives Titan a mighty facelift all in this month's issue of EARTH!


Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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