In June 2019, 10 years from the moment on the lunar orbit for the first time joined Russian neutron telescope LEND, developed in space research Institute. It was created to explore the prevalence of water in the upper layer of the lunar regolith.Over the past decade of observations, the instrument made more than 12 400 orbits around the moon and transmitted to Earth more than 110 gigabytes of data of scientific measurement. Based on them was constructed global maps of neutron emission of the surface of the natural satellite. On average, each square kilometer of the lunar surface has about 3 kilobytes of scientific information about it.On the basis of processing the data of the LEND was the maps of the mass fraction of water in the lunar material. It is shown that in the area North and South lunar poles are areas of permafrost with relatively high content of water ice, from fractions of a percent to several percent by weight.This experimental fact has significantly influenced the formation of the strategy of lunar studies in the twenty-first century. Of particular interest was to cause the South pole. It will be held here next detailed studies of lunar natural environment for future lunar automatic place of a lab and, in the longer term, the moon visited the station.In particular, the moon Russian automatic interplanetary station “Luna-25” in 2021 will be forwarded to the circumpolar region of the moon at a latitude of approximately 70 degrees Yu.sh. Here, according to the measurement device LAND, mass fraction of water in regolith is several tenths percent.In addition, LEND helped better understand the radiation environment near the moon and on its surface. These data have also become an important contribution to the preparation for future lunar expeditions. They reaffirmed the need to provide radiation shielding for long missions, for which, in particular, it is possible to use lunar regolith (for domestic and residential sections of the lunar stations).
Map of the southern polar region of the moon according to the LAND instrument from 2009 to 2018 The color shows variations in the mass fraction of water (WEH), which corresponds to the observed amount of hydrogen in the soil. The LAND experiment in the lunar orbit will continue. Based on practical experience gained during this space experiment, a similar instrument was created for the Russian-European project ExoMars – the FREND neutron detector, which now successfully solves the problem of mapping the mass fraction of water in the Mars surface. IKI RAS on the basis of a contract with the Federal Space Agency (today the Roscosmos State Corporation). It is installed on the American Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (Russian – “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter”). Collaboration on this experiment with NASA is based on the inter-agency agreement. Supervises the LEND experiment, Dr. Sci. I.G. Mitrofanov, Head of Nuclear Planetology, IKI RAN. On the basis of the conducted lunar studies, 18 articles were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and 3 dissertations were defended. For the development of the LEND space scientific device, the staff of the IKI RAS M.I. Mokrousov and A.B. Sanin was awarded the Prize of the President of the Russian Federation in the field of science and innovations for young scientists for 2010.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a translation from English Language to English.