Visiting the Lunar Exploration Museum
The LROC Science Operations Center Visitor Gallery is located on Arizona State University Tempe Campus in the Interdisciplinary A Building. Unguided interpretative exhibits are open to the general public 9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m., Monday—Friday (excluding holidays). Interested educators, school, and community groups must arrange guided tours at least three business days prior to the requested tour date. Under special circumstances, we may be able to accommodate a rush tour request. Please notate the need for a rush request under the Additional comments section in the form below.
Notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the LROC galleries will be closed until further notice. Stay safe and we look forward to resuming normal tours and sharing our passion for the Moon once the pandemic subsides.
— Your friends at LROC
At the LROC Visitor Gallery:
- Discover the excitement of lunar exploration
- Learn about America's incredible space program
- See dedicated scientists charting the amazing lunar frontier
- Explore the Moon through imagery, history, videos, and an interactive kiosk
- See a real Moon rock!
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 would like to thank the NASA Johnson Space Center for their generous loan of sample 15555.