Trond Krovel's blog

Germany planning 300 M€ Lunar mission

Several sources are reporting that Germany is planning its own Moon exploration project. According to the German news provider ARD (link in German), Germany is planning to launch a 300 M€ Lunar orbiter in 2013. Walter Döllinger, Director of space programs at the German aerospace agency DLR, states that the mission will be a national one and that the main objective of the four years of operation in orbit around the Moon will be to make the first complete 3D map of the Moon surface. According to Spiegel, German MP Kurt Rossmanith said the following about why Germany and DLR wants to go to the Moon with a national project: "And there we also have to - putting it very bluntly - stake our own claim".

SMART-1's bridge to the future exploration of the Moon

SMART-1 heading for the Moon. Credits: ESA

[9 March 2007 - ESA Press Release]
ESA's SMART-1 moon mission has become a bridge to the future of lunar science and exploration. "SMART-1 data are helping to choose future landing sites for robotic and possible manned missions, and its instruments are upgraded and being flown again on the next generation of lunar satellites," says Bernard Foing, ESA SMART-1 Project scientist. "Even its spectacular impact campaign is helping NASA to plan their own moon crash."

Total Lunar eclipse visible from large parts of the world

On March 3rd a total eclipse of the Moon will occur. The totallity will be visible from parts of all seven continents on Earth, and viewers in Africa and Europe will be able to follow the complete 71 min totality.

  • Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 20:18:11 UTC
  • Partial Eclipse Begins: 21:30:22 UTC
  • Total Eclipse Begins: 22:44:13 UTC
  • Greatest Eclipse: 23:20:56 UTC

First public apperance of the Lunar Explorers Society!

The Lunar Explorers Society has been present at the 11th annual ISU symposium. Out of the thirteen people that got together at IAC in Valencia and agreed to pick up the work of Lunex, three were present at ISU. This was the first public appearance of Lunex in many years, and marks the revival of the Society!

A small group of people attending the symposium have been invited to join to Lunex, to test and give feedback about the brand new internet based infrastructure. A broader recruitment approach will be done in the aftermath of the symposium, when we have confirmed the good functionality of our infrastructure.

ISU Symposium "Why the Moon" kicked off

The annual ISU symposium has started and the topic this year is Lunar exploration. Through six sessions covering programmatics, outreach and education, science, technology, business, law and policy the symposium aims to answer the question why humans should return to the Moon. Members of all the major players in the future Lunar exploration effort are present.

LCROSS passes major review

LCROSS heading towards the Moon. Credits: NASA

NASA's unmanned Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, achieved a key milestone recently when NASA officials approved critical elements of a moon impact mission scheduled to launch in October 2008. It will search for water and other materials that astronauts could use at a future lunar outpost.

NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages the mission, valued at $79 million, excluding launch costs. The mission will help NASA gain a new foothold on the moon and prepare for new journeys to Mars and beyond.

Japan scraps Lunar-A?

Lunar-A in orbit around the Moon. Credits: JAXA

Space.com reports that the JAXA has recomended to cancel the launch of the Lunar-A mission, which would have been the first Japanese Lunar lander mission.

A new resource site about the Moon has been launched

A new resource site about the Moon has been launched! Lunarpedia has been created by the Moon Society, a sister organization of Lunar Explorers Society.

NASA Unveils Global Exploration Strategy and Lunar Architecture

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

[NASA Press Release] HOUSTON – NASA on Monday unveiled the initial elements of the Global Exploration Strategy and a proposed U.S. lunar architecture, two critical tools for achieving the nation's vision of returning humans to the moon.

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale, who is guiding the long-term strategy development effort among 14 of the world's space agencies, said, "This strategy will enable interested nations to leverage their capabilities and financial and technical contributions, making optimum use of globally available knowledge and resources to help energize a coordinated effort that will propel us into this new age of discovery and exploration."

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