Trond Krovel's blog

LPI Announces New Public Moon Website

MyMoon Logo. Credits: LPI

[LPI Press Release - 21.07.2009]
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is pleased to announce the release of an expanding lunar education new-media portal, MyMoon. MyMoon leverages our new scientific exploration of the Moon and innovative social networking opportunities to engage a fresh new audience in lunar science and exploration - the Net Generation. LPI is collaborating with lunar scientists, educators, artists - and the public - to populate it with science content, diverse media exhibits, events, and opportunities for involvement. Through MyMoon, the public can interact with lunar content that will inform them about NASA's lunar science research and missions, and engage them in future plans for lunar exploration and eventual habitation.

Explore the Moon in Google Earth

Google Moon Logo. Credits: Google

[Google Press Release - 20.07.2009]
Forty years ago today, on July 20, 1969, the world watched as the crew of Apollo 11 took the first human steps on the surface of the Moon. In celebration of this historic occasion, Google is launching Moon in Google Earth, an interactive 3D atlas of the Moon, viewable with Google Earth 5.0. Moon in Google Earth was announced today at the Newseum, in Washington, DC, where Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Google Senior VP of Engineering Alan Eustace, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, A Man on the Moon author Andrew Chaikin, and space tourist Anousheh Ansari delivered remarks.

“Moonbots” Challenges Parent-Child Teams to Conduct Google Lunar X Prize Missions With Lego Robots

Google Lunar Xprize logo. Credits: Xprize

[Moonbots Press Release - 05.08.2009]
The X PRIZE Foundation, Google Inc., LEGO Systems, National Instruments, and Wired’s GeekDad will announce “MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge” today at National Instruments NIWeek 2009. The new contest will challenge small teams comprised of children and adults to design, program, and construct robots that perform simulated lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the Moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space while engaging the global public. To further this purpose, the X PRIZE Foundation and Google have now joined forces with three other well known technology companies to offer a competition that will stimulate learning of robotics and team building while exciting students and their families about their potential roles in the new Moon race.

Study Aims to Maximize Scientific Return from Moon Rovers

South Pole-Aitken Basin. Credits: LPI

[PSI Press Release - 24.07.2009]
NASA and other national space agencies are again focused on lunar exploration, which raises the question of how to best use semi-autonomous rovers to explore the Moon’s surface.

R. Aileen Yingst, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, is leading a group of Mars-rover veterans who are conducting field studies to answer that question.

ESA's Director General on Apollo 11 anniversary

[ESA Press Release - 20.07.2009]
ESA's Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain discusses the significance of the Apollo anniversary and of continuing lunar exploration.

Forty years ago, man first set foot on the Moon. What did that signify?

Back then, it meant that US technology was stronger than Soviet technology, because it was the US flag that was planted on the Moon. But today, I think we can see this in a totally different light. The fact that it was a US flag is no longer what matters most.

Exploring the Moon, Discovering Earth

Earth-rise seen from Apollo 8. Credits: NASA.

[NASA Science Article - 17.07.2009]
Forty years ago, Apollo astronauts set out on a daring adventure to explore the Moon. They ended up discovering their own planet.

How do you discover Earth … by leaving it? It all started with a single photograph:

Apollo 8 was the first crewed Saturn V launch and the first time humans were placed in lunar orbit. Mission plans called for the astronauts to photograph possible landing sites for future missions. Before this, only robotic probes had taken images of the Moon's far side.

NASA's LRO Spacecraft Gets Its First Look at Apollo Landing Sites

Apollo 11 landing site from LRO. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 17.07.2009]
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites. The pictures show the Apollo missions' lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon's surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules' locations evident.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, was able to image five of the six Apollo sites, with the remaining Apollo 12 site expected to be photographed in the coming weeks.

NASA Releases Restored Apollo 11 Moonwalk Video

Apollo 11 and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 16.07.2009]
NASA released Thursday newly restored video from the July 20, 1969, live television broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. The release commemorates the 40th anniversary of the first mission to
land astronauts on the moon.

The initial video release, part of a larger Apollo 11 moonwalk restoration project, features 15 key moments from the historic lunar excursion of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Statement from Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins

[NASA Press Release - 16.07.2009]
The following is a series of questions and answers prepared by Michael Collins, command module pilot for Apollo 11. Collins issued the following statement in lieu of media interviews:

These are questions I am most frequently asked, plus a few others I have added. For more information, please consult my book, the 40th anniversary edition of CARRYING THE FIRE, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. All of the following sections in quotation marks are from that reference.

Wide Awake in the Sea of Tranquillity

Neil Armstrong in the Eagle, returning to Earth. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Article - 15.07.2009]
Neil Armstrong was supposed to be asleep. The moonwalking was done. The moon rocks were stowed away. His ship was ready for departure. In just a few hours, the Eagle's ascent module would blast off the Moon, something no ship had ever attempted before, and Neil needed his wits about him. He curled up on the Eagle's engine cover and closed his eyes.

But he could not sleep.

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