70017 - High-titanium basalt
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.

Fact sheet

70017 - High-titanium basalt

Sample 70017 of high-titanium Mare basalt was collected from the area near the Lunar Lander during the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon, and was erupted on the lunar surface 3.7 billion years ago. The relatively coarse grain size indicates that this basalt cooled relatively slowly.

This sample was one of the last samples collected from the Moon by Apollo astronauts. They made a speech as they collected the rock, referring to ‘the children of the world’. For this reason it has been called The Children of the Word Rock. Subsequently, small pieces of the sample have been given to many countries for educational purposes.

In thin section, the rock is medium-grained vesicular basalt containing large poikilitic pyroxene and plagioclase feldspar crystals and common ilmenite. Cristobalite, the high temperature form of quartz is present in interstices between pyroxene, plagioclase and ilmenite. Olivine, troilite and chromite are also present.

Further details of this and other Apollo samples are here: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/

Additional images
  • Panorama of sample location 70017
About this collection

Apollo 17, the final manned landing mission, had two objectives: to obtain samples of ancient rocks from the lunar highlands and to look for evidence of younger volcanic activity on the valley floor.

This small Collection contains material deriving from both periods, including igneous rocks around 4.3 billion years old from the lunar highlands as well as younger volcanic samples dating from about 3.6 billion years ago.

Apollo 17 was launched on 7 December 1972.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 17
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: