Engineer Special Study of the Surface of the Moon
Washington, DC: U.S. Geological Survey, 1961. Four sheets: three large maps of the nearside of the moon and one (very) large table, folding into manila envelope. Maps folded as issued; very good. Original printed manila envelope is tattered around the edges with some loss. Item #3750
The space race between the U.S. and Russia began in the late 1950s as an outgrowth of the Cold War. One result of the 1957 launch of Sputnik I by the Soviet Union was the sparking on an interest in lunar geology by Arnold Mason of the Military Geology Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey. Using earth-based telescopic imagery, Arnold and colleagues would devote two years to producing the three landmark maps of the moon included in the Engineer Special Study of the Surface of the Moon.
The three maps are:
* Generalized Photogeologic Map (Sheet 1) – “the first major lunar map to show stratigraphic relationships: that is, it attempted to display the chronological order of the formation of the moon's surface features.”
* Lunar Rays (Sheet 2) – which “plotted the source craters and extent of the moon's most prominent ray systems “ (ejecta from asteroid crashes on the moon’s surface).
* "Physiographic Divisions of the Moon (Sheet 3) – which “applied photogeologic principles pioneered on Earth to identify more than 70 different lunar terrain units.”
Sheet 4 of the Study was Mason’s narrative assessment of “the landing, travel, and construction conditions in each of the physiographic regions on Sheet 3,” in anticipation of travel to the moon.
The Study was an early attempt to deal with the challenges of a moon landing. The Study was initially published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1960; with minor revisions it was published by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1961 (as offered here).
(Source of quoted material: USGS Astrogeologic Science Center, 1961: USGS Astrogeology's First Published Map. https://astrogeology.usgs.gov/rpif/exhibits/astros-first-lunar-map)