The U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center

Fact Sheet 2017-3038
By: , and 



In 1960, Eugene Shoemaker and a small team of other scientists founded the field of astrogeology to develop tools and methods for astronauts studying the geology of the Moon and other planetary bodies. Subsequently, in 1962, the U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Astrogeology was established in Menlo Park, California. In 1963, the Branch moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, to be closer to the young lava flows of the San Francisco Volcanic Field and Meteor Crater, the best preserved impact crater in the world. These geologic features of northern Arizona were considered good analogs for the Moon and other planetary bodies and valuable for geologic studies and astronaut field training. From its Flagstaff campus, the USGS has supported the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space program with scientific and cartographic expertise for more than 50 years.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2017-3038
DOI 10.3133/fs20173038
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 2 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
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