71559 and companion samples 71536, 71539 and 71568 are coarse-grained ilmenite basalts with salt and pepper texture. They are unusual in that they have only moderate Ti contents. They are rake samples. 71559 has a subophitic-granular texture with blocky ilmenite and little or no olivine. Grain size is 1–2 mm. Pyroxene has extreme iron enrichment. Rotation 1 shows cristobalite associated with ilmenite. Rotation 2 shows plagioclase feldspar with bent twin lamellae. The dendritic crystal in this rotation is a sample preparation artifact.
The sample weighed 82.1 grams before analysis and has not been dated.
Further details of this and other Apollo samples are here: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar
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.