Conduct of Geologic Field Work During Planetary Exploration: Why Geology Matters

Discipline: Environmental Control/Life Support

The science of field geology is the investigative process of determining the distribution of rock units and structures on a planet’s surface, and it is the first‐order data set that informs all subsequent studies of a planet, such as geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, or remote sensing. For future missions to the Moon and Mars, the surface systems deployed must support the conduct of field geology if these endeavors are to be scientifically useful. This lecture discussed what field geology is all about—why it is important, how it is done, how conducting field geology informs many other sciences, and how it affects the design of surface systems and the implementation of operations in the future.

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