NASA wants to uncover the secrets of the Gruithuisen Domes granite hills on the moon

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When it comes to researching our natural satellite, NASA’s priorities are clear: first and foremost, we should try to uncover the secrets of the geological formations known as the Gruithuisen Domes.

These are two hills of granite rock that scientists believe were formed by magma rich in silica.

However, this type of magma is usually formed on Earth only in the presence of water and due to volcanic activity caused by the displacement of tectonic plates that are not on the moon.

Two new missions on the horizon

NASA already plans to send two separate sets of scientific instruments to the surface of the Moon, one of which – located on the Lunar Volcano Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer (Lunar-VISE) – should target the Gruithuisen Domes after landing.

Lunar-VISE will have ten Earth days to reach the top of one of the hills, analyze its chemical composition, and try to unravel the mystery of its origins.

For the sake of completeness, the Lunar Explorer Instrument for Space Biology Applications (LEIA) will “study the effects of a low-gravity, low-radiation lunar environment on yeast, a model organism used to understand the response to DNA damage and its repair.”

Photo: James Stuby based on NASA image, CC0



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