The National Observatory of Athens, in collaboration with the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), has submitted a research proposal in response to the Hellenic Space Agency's invitation for the submission of proposals that could be used in a future NASA moon mission.
The proposal, entitled "NORMAN - First Lunar Spectral Library using NEMESIS (New Enhanced Mineral Spectral Information System) and iChem-A (integrated Chemistry Analyzer) integrated system" is submitted for the international project "NASA Exploration Campaign - Ηuman and Robotic Exploration activities on and around the Μoon".
Scientists at the NTUA and the Athens Observatory's Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing propose the development of an integrated system using two ultra-light and cutting-edge measuring arrays to be included in the scientific instruments taken on NASA's next robotic moon mission. The resulting spectral library of materials found on the Moon's surface will be open access for the entire scientific community.
The aim of the system is to carry out measurements on site that will allow the study of the real mineral and physical chemical spectra of the Moon, comparing them with equivalent samples from the Earth and Lunar meteorites, the differences in the composition of meteor dust and original rock, as well as other inforamtion. This could have significant ramifications for the study of the geological development of the Moon in comparison with that of Earth. The proposed system can also provide important information for locating sites of interest for possible exploitation of Lunar mineral resources.