Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark

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Lunar Crater as seen from the overlook, July 2014

Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark is a volcanic field landmark located 70 miles (110 km) east-northeast of Tonopah in Nye County, in central Nevada.[1] It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973.

Volcanic features[edit]

A 400-acre (1.6 km2) crater that is thought to have been formed by several volcanic explosions, and is one of two maars in the Lunar Crater volcanic field of the Pancake Range.

Astronaut Training[edit]

In Sept. 1972, the crater was used by NASA to geologically train the Apollo Astronauts in recognizing volcanic features expected at the Apollo 17 landing site. Their field exercises included two rover traverses. Astronauts who would use this training on the Moon included Apollo 16's John Young and Charlie Duke, besides Apollo 17's Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt. Notable geologist instructors included William R. Muehlberger.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lunar Crater". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ Phinney, William (2015). Science Training History of the Apollo Astronauts. NASA SP -2015-626. p. 254.

Coordinates: 38°23′03″N 116°04′08″W / 38.3841237°N 116.0688927°W / 38.3841237; -116.0688927