Visiting the Lunar Exploration Museum
The LROC Science Operations Center Visitor Gallery is located on Arizona State University Tempe Campus in the Interdisciplinary A-Wing. Unguided interpretative exhibits are open to the general public 9:30 am—4:30 pm Monday – Friday (excluding holidays). Guided tours can be arranged in advance.
At the LROC Visitor's Gallery, you can:
- Discover the excitement of exploration
- Learn about America's incredible space program
- See dedicated scientists charting the amazing lunar frontier
- Explore the Moon
- See a real Moon rock! (More below)
See the Moon Rock
15555 is a piece of basalt, a kind of volcanic rock, which erupted and crystallized almost 3.3 billion years ago. The sample on display in the LROC Visitor Gallery at ASU is a small piece of the much larger rock, which is the largest and most intensively studied of the basalt samples collected at the Apollo 15 landing site. 15555 was collected by Col. Scott about 12 meters north of the rim of Hadley Rille. This rock is predominantly composed of silicate minerals such as olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase, along with some opaque minerals such as ilmenite, an iron-titanium oxide. All of the basalts collected at the Apollo 15 site were found to be the same age, and it is likely that they are related geologically. The bulk composition of 15555 is thought to represent that of a primitive volcanic melt and has been used for experimental studies related to the geologic origin of lunar basalts. Planetary scientists use information gleaned from such analyses to gain key insights into how terrestrial planets like the Moon and Earth form and evolve. Sample 15555 has also been used for critical tests designed to perfect and calibrate methods of radiometric age dating employed by different laboratories around the U.S. and the world.
ASU thanks the NASA Johnson Space Center for the generous loan of the sample.
The Visitor's Gallery is located on the Arizona State University, Tempe Campus in the Interdisciplinary A Building. Unguided interpretive exhibits are open to the general public 9:30 AM-4:30 PM Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). Interested educators, school, and community groups must arrange guided tours in advance.