Showing posts with label moon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moon. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drink up!

It's Official: Water Found on the Moon

Since man first touched the moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists have thought that the lunar surface was bone dry. But new observations from three different spacecraft have put this notion to rest with what has been called "unambiguous evidence" of water across the surface of the moon.

The new findings, detailed in the Sept. 25 issue of the journal Science, come in the wake of further evidence of lunar polar water ice by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and just weeks before the planned lunar impact of NASA's LCROSS satellite, which will hit one of the permanently shadowed craters at the moon's south pole in hope of churning up evidence of water ice deposits in the debris field.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good news for lunar colonists

New Device Extracts Oxygen from Moon Rocks

To heat the reactor on the Moon would need just a small amount of power, Fray said, and the reactor itself can be thermally insulated to lock heat in. The three reactors would need about 4.5 kilowatts of power, which could be supplied by solar panels or even a small nuclear reactor placed on the Moon.

NASA steps closer to nuclear power for moon base

Three recent tests at different NASA centers and a national lab have successfully demonstrated key technologies required for compact fission-based nuclear power plants for human settlements on other worlds.

"This recent string of technology development successes confirms that the fission surface power project is on the right path," said Don Palac, NASA's fission surface power project manager at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in a statement.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Link-dump #9 (Moon edition)

Aim for Mars, says combative moonman Aldrin

New Rover is a Hi-Def TV Studio, Internet Node

Armstrong's face as he walks on the moon

Forty years since Armstrong’s one small step -- where next?

You Knew This Was Coming: ABC "View"'s Whoopi Goldberg is Moon Landing/Apollo 11 Truther

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Friday, July 17, 2009

In case you missed it . . .

LRO Sees Apollo Landing Sites

The spacecraft's current elliptical orbit resulted in image resolutions that were slightly different for each site but were all around four feet per pixel. Because the deck of the descent stage is about 12 feet in diameter, the Apollo relics themselves fill an area of about nine pixels. However, because the sun was low to the horizon when the images were made, even subtle variations in topography create long shadows. Standing slightly more than ten feet above the surface, each Apollo descent stage creates a distinct shadow that fills roughly 20 pixels.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Moon people aren't going to like this at all.

NASA to fire a big exploding rocket at the moon

Now this sounds fun: NASA has plans to fire a rocket into the moon to create a six-mile high explosion. Why? To see if there's any water there that we might be able to use if we ever colonize our largest satellite.

Seriously, how awesome will this be?

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Stunning Japanese Moon imagery

Low-altitude video of lunar surface (in HD) (Pink Tentacle)

In its final days before crashing into the surface of the moon on June 11, Japan's KAGUYA explorer has been shooting high-definition footage of the lunar terrain from low altitude.

[. . .]

The KAGUYA probe will end its scientific exploration of the moon with a controlled impact on the lunar surface. The crash, scheduled for 3:30 AM (Japan standard time) on June 11, 2009 (6:30 PM GMT on June 10, 2009), will occur in the shadow on the near side of the moon, at 63 degrees south latitude and 80 degrees east longitude.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lunar swarmbots

Italy Aims to Send Spider-Bot Swarm to Moon

The idea to compete for the Google Lunar X Prize crystallized around the vision of Alberto Rovetta, a professor of robot mechanics at Politecnico di Milano. Rovetta's designs for lunar robots resemble skittering spiders or crabs that could deploy as a swarm of mobile cameras and sensors on both legs and wheels.

Such unorthodox designs may help the team seize the Google Lunar X Prize, which requires teams to land a robot on the moon, move at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and beam high definition views back to Earth.

(Via The Keyhoe Report.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We're going to Mars in *this*?

U.S. unveils Orion spacecraft to take crew to Mars

"We're just very proud to build this, do some testing and demonstrate to America that we're moving beyond the space shuttle onto another generation of spacecraft," said Don Pearson, project manager for the Post-Landing Orion Recovery Test or PORT.

NASA plans to use Orion to carry astronauts to the International Space Station by 2015. The capsule will rotate the crew at the station every six months "to work out the kinks" before heading to the moon and Mars, Pearson said.

Trips to the moon are scheduled for 2020, while a journey to Mars is believed possible by the mid-2030s.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's not terraforming, but it's a start.

A Greenhouse on the Moon by 2014?

"We've grown plants in space before, but this will be the first time we'll attempt to grow a plant on another world," MacCallum told Universe Today. "It's not just a great vision, but interesting science, too."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Singularity-mongers, take note.

Still waiting for your metaphorical flying car? Author and disciplined futurist Charles Stross wants a few words with you:

Assuming we avoid a systemic collapse, there'll probably be a moon base, by and by. Whether it's American, Chinese, Indian, or Indonesian is anybody's guess, and probably doesn't matter as far as the 99.999% of the human species who will never get off the planet are concerned. There'll probably be a Mars expedition too. But barring fundamental biomedical breakthroughs, or physics/engineering breakthroughs that play hell with the laws of physics as currently understood, canned monkeys aren't going to Jupiter any time soon, never mind colonizing the universe.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Robots Could Prepare Moon Outpost Site

A new type of lunar robots is being designed which could help prepare locations on the Moon for human outposts and landing pads. With supervised autonomy, small robots the size of riding mowers and weighing 300 kg or less could prepare a site in about 6 months, says a new study by Astrobotic Technology Inc. in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Armchair space exploration

I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I have have a sinking feeling this might be the closest thing NASA presently has to a viable plan for manned Mars exploration.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ice on the Moon? Debate Resumes

If water ice is actually there, it should be stable for billions of years on the moon provided that it receives no sunlight.

"If the hydrogen is present as water ice then our results imply that the top meter of the moon holds about 200 billion litres of water," Teodoro added.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Report urges timetable for human mission to Mars

While the new report stops short of endorsing the Planetary Society's plan, it does urge a rethink of where and when to send astronauts. "The Obama administration and Congress should examine the Bush vision, assess its limitations . . . [and provide] clarification of the moon/Mars strategy with a timetable for the Mars component," it says.

"Even if it means somewhat easing the 2020 deadline for lunar return, NASA must ensure that the new architecture provides a solid foundation for the next generation of human spaceflight," it adds.

Spaceport America Closer to Reality

If you're thinking about booking flight on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two, launching a payload with UP Aerospace or Armadillo Aerospace, or can't wait to watch the Rocket Racing League, you'll be happy to know New Mexico's Spaceport America is two steps closer to becoming a reality and not just a dream.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ah-ha! So it wasn't just me!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've encountered dozens (if not hundreds) of examples of supposed NASA image tampering. These, if real, are unquestionably the most arresting.

(Thanks: The Keyhoe Report.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Indian Tricolour Placed on the Moon on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's Birthday

In a historic event, the Indian space programme achieved a unique feat today (November 14, 2008) with the placing of Indian tricolour on the Moon's surface on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday. The Indian flag was painted on the sides of Moon Impact Probe (MIP), one of the 11 payloads of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, that successfully hit the lunar surface today at 20:31 hrs (8:31 pm) IST. This is the first Indian built object to reach the surface of the moon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chandrayaan-1 Now Successfully in Lunar Orbit

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first unmanned spacecraft mission to moon, successfully entered lunar orbit on November 8. The spacecraft fired its engines to reduce velocity and enable the Moon's gravity to capture it; engines were fired for 817 seconds when Chandrayaan-1 was about 500 km away from the moon. Next up for the spacecraft will be to reduce the height of its lunar orbit to about 100 km.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Moon craters may hold traces of early life

Ice deposits hidden in the Moon's darkest craters might contain traces of early life from meteorites blasted off the Earth by asteroids billions of years ago.

These remains could reveal clues about the origin and evolution of life on Earth or even contain remnants of life from other planets in the Solar System, such as Mars, said astrobiologist Joop Houtkooper, of the University of Giessen in Germany.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

India launches moon mission in Asian space race

Scientists have better maps of distant Mars than the moon where astronauts have walked. But India hopes to change that with its first lunar mission.

Chandrayaan-1 -- which means "Moon Craft" in ancient Sanskrit -- launched from the Sriharikota space center in southern India early Wednesday morning in a two-year mission aimed at laying the groundwork for further Indian space expeditions.