NASA

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NASA Lunar Art Contest Winners Announced

[NASA Press Release - 30.05.2008]
A fanciful vision of a lunar traffic jam won the first annual NASA Lunar Art Contest sponsored by NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

A work by Justin Burns, a sophomore at the University of Memphis, depicts a cartoon-like motorcyclist on her air cushioned bike leading a long line of traffic in a tube stretching across the otherwise barren lunar landscape. A city under a dome stands in the background.

NASA Seeks Ideas, Hosts Meeting on Lunar Surface Systems Concepts

Astronauts and Lander on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 29.05.2008]
On June 6, NASA will release a broad agency announcement soliciting lunar surface systems concept study proposals to help the agency develop plans for a return to the moon by 2020.

NASA's Constellation Program is inviting interested institutions, including industry and academia, to attend a discussion of the announcement on June 6 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street, NW, Washington. Organizations interested in submitting proposals are encouraged to attend the information session.

NASA Invites Media to Observe Tests of Lunar Rovers and Spacesuits

NASA's new lunar truck prototype. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 28.05.2008]
News media are invited to a trek on the moon -- or at least an earthly approximation of one.

Robots, rovers and lunar planners from NASA centers across the country will gather at Moses Lake, Wash., in June to perform a series of field tests based on mission-related activities for NASA's planned return to the moon by 2020. A media day will be held June 10 to give reporters a chance to observe the demonstrations.

Exhaling for Exploration: Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System

CAMRAS volunteers. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 08.05.2008]
Imagine yourself hip-to-hip, shoulder-to-shoulder, inside a room the size of a walk-in closet for eight hours with five people you just met. Does that make you sweat? Or maybe make your breathing a little more animated?

For three weeks, 23 volunteers dedicated time to do just that -- sweat and breathe -- inside a test chamber so NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center in Houston could measure the amount of moisture and carbon dioxide absorbed by a new system being developed for future space vehicles. The system is designed to control carbon dioxide and humidity inside a crew capsule to make air breathable and living space more comfortable.

Send Your Name to the Moon With New Lunar Mission

LRO in orbit around the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 01.05.2008]
NASA invites people of all ages to join the lunar exploration journey with an opportunity to send their names to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft.

The Send Your Name to the Moon Web site enables everyone to participate in the lunar adventure and place their names in orbit around the moon for years to come. Participants can submit their information at http://www.nasa.gov/lro, print a certificate and have their name entered into a database. The database will be placed on a microchip that will be integrated onto the spacecraft. The deadline for submitting names is June 27, 2008.

The Moon and the Magnetotail

The magnetosphere and the magnetotail around Earth. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Feature - 17.04.2008]
Behold the full Moon. Ancient craters and frozen lava seas lie motionless under an airless sky of profound quiet. It's a slow-motion world where even a human footprint may last millions of years. Nothing ever seems to happen there.

Right?

Wrong. NASA-supported scientists have realized that something does happen every month when the Moon gets a lashing from Earth's magnetic tail.

New NASA Moon Mission Begins Integration of Science Instruments

LRO in orbit around the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 16.04.2008]
Several instruments that will help NASA characterize the moon's surface have been installed on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. The powerful equipment will bring the moon into sharper focus and reveal new insights about the celestial body nearest Earth.

Engineers and technicians on the LRO Integration and Test Team work almost around the clock in a clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to ready the spacecraft for testing and eventual launch later this year. "The spacecraft really is coming together now," said Cathy Peddie, LRO deputy project manager at Goddard. "We are in the space assembly homestretch and making solid progress. You can begin to see what LRO will look like in all of its glory."

NASA Lunar Science Institute Opens Today

[NASA Press Release - 11.04.2008]
Thirty-eight years ago, NASA launched the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Today, NASA launches the new Lunar Science Institute to lead the agency's research activities for future missions to the moon related to NASA's exploration goals.

Managed by NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., the NASA Lunar Science Institute is modeled after the successful NASA Astrobiology Institute, also managed by Ames, and features teams of scientists across the country collaborating in lunar science and future lunar exploration.

Moondust in the Wind

Lunex honorary board member Harrison Schmitt on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Feature- 10.04.2008]
Moondust is dry, desiccated stuff, and may seem like a dull topic to write about. Indeed, you could search a ton of moondust without finding a single molecule of water, so it could make for a pretty "dry" story. But like the dust in your mother's attic, moondust covers something interesting – the moon – and even the dust itself has curious tales to tell.

A group of NASA and University of Alabama researchers are what you might call "active listeners": Mian Abbas, James Spann, Richard Hoover and Dragana Tankosic have been shooting moondust with electrons, levitating moondust using electric fields, and scrutinizing moondust under an electron microscope. All this is happening at the National Space Science and Technology Center's "Dusty Plasma Lab" in Huntsville, Alabama.

NASA Sets Sights on Lunar Dust Exploration Mission

Concept drawing of LADEE. Credits NASA

[NASA Press Release - 09.04.2008]
NASA is preparing to send a small spacecraft to the moon in 2011 to assess the lunar atmosphere and the nature of dust lofted above the surface.

Called the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), the mission will launch before the agency's moon exploration activities accelerate during the next decade. LADEE will gather detailed information about conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these influences will help researchers understand how future exploration may shape the lunar environment and how the environment may affect future explorers.

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