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Introduction to LunaSOX

Welcome to the focus group web site for Lunar Solar Origins Exploration (LunaSOX) as an affiliated service of the Virtual Heliospheric Observatory (VHO). We support discovery, access, and correlative analysis for heliophysics and planetary mission science data products relating to interactions of the interplanetary solar wind, magnetic field, and energetic particles with the Moon's surface and atmospheric environment. Our data browsing services, e.g. for time history plots, frequency distributions, correlative scatter plots, and statistical summaries, have been implemented from those developed for interplanetary field and plasma data by NASA's Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF), also including earlier support for Apollo ALSEP solar wind monitor data by SPDF's Coordinated Analysis Web (CDAWeb).

As our LunaSOX banner above illustrates, the relation of the Sun as the source of solar wind plasma to the Moon as a depository of plasma ions from the Sun has an analogy to the relation of pitcher and catcher in the fabled game of baseball. As with the progression from Apollo to the multiple recent international lunar orbiter missions, baseball began as a uniquely American game but now has global international appeal. There is also a similar timeline between the 1969-1977 operational era of the Apollo ALSEP surface stations and the progression in baseball history from the 1969 World Series victory of the New York Mets, partly enabled by the strong pitching of Tom Seaver (NY Mets retired #41), to the later 1977-1978 World Series wins by the New York Yankees as ably coached by the oft-quoted former catcher Yogi Berra (NY Yankees retired #8). As we turn our attention to the emerging possibilities of ongoing and future lunar exploration, we can recall the famous yogism "it's déjà  vu all over again", reminding us in the context of lunar exploration that a rich archive of plasma and field interaction data exists from the Apollo era to inform us on the lunar environment as investigations continue in support of ongoing and future missions.

The primary initial focus of the LunaSOX project, as jointly supported by the NASA Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research and the Heliophysics Virtual Observatory programs, is therefore on enabling enhanced access and analysis of the Apollo-era solar wind interaction data for application to advanced computational modeling of these interactions with the Moon. The LunaSOX team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is working towards complete integration of these data into VHO along with the requisite metadata describing in standard SPASE (Space Physics Archive Search and Extract) . We invite the U.S. and international lunar data provider communities to participate in the continuing evolution of LunaSOX-VHO capabilities through expansion of the covered data products to later mission sources such as Lunar Prospector, Selene/Kaguya, and Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1.

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Lunar Solar Origins Exploration (LunaSOX)

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      source:NSSDC/GSFC