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LRO

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International Lunar Exploration Awards 2008: Who are the winners?

ILEWG Logo. Credits: ILEWG

[ILEWG Press Release - 07.11.2008]
What are the lunar highlights of the year? The winners of "International Lunar Exploration Awards 2008" have just been announced by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) at a Lunar Explorers Conference in Cape Canaveral.

The ILEWG Awards celebrate the top lunar achievements in science, technology, international cooperation, community service, commerce and outreach, says Bernard Foing, ILEWG Executive Director.

NASA Tests Moon Imaging Spacecraft at Goddard

LRO in orbit around the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 31.07.2008]
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, also known as LRO, has completed the first round of environmental testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. These tests ensure the spacecraft is prepared for its mission to collect the highest resolution images and most comprehensive geological data set ever returned from the moon. The objective of the mission is to map the lunar surface in preparation for human missions to the moon, which are planned to occur by 2020.

Brown-Led Team Finds Evidence of Water in Moon’s Interior

Lunar volcanic glasses containing water. Credits: NASA

[Brown University Press Release - 09.07.2008]
A Brown University-led research team has for the first time discovered evidence of water that came from deep within the Moon, a revelation that strongly suggests water has been a part of the Moon since its early existence – and perhaps ever since it was created by a cataclysmic collision between the early Earth and a Mars-sized object about 4.5 billion years ago.

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.

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 Ames Scientist Selected for Return to Moon Team

LRO in orbit around the Moon. Credits: NASA

A scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center is one of 24 researchers selected to join the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission to explore and measure geological features on the moon's surface. Scheduled for launch later this year, the mission represents NASA's first step toward returning humans to the moon.

Ross Beyer, a SETI Institute employee who works at Ames, will join the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team to help develop high-resolution imaging and topography to explore the lunar terrain for future landing sites. Beyer will help plan stereo observations and build topographic models in order to study the geologic history of the moon.

NASA Selects Scientists and Investigations for Robotic Moon Mission

LRO in orbit around the Moon. Credits: NASA

NASA has selected 24 scientists to initiate new investigations and assist with planned measurements to be conducted by the agency's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Scheduled for launch later this year, LRO represents NASA's first step toward returning humans to the moon.

The orbiter will conduct a one-year primary mission exploring the moon, taking measurements to identify future robotic and human landing sites. In addition, it will study lunar resources and how the moon's environment will affect humans. The mission also will involve a spacecraft called the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), which will impact the lunar south pole to search for evidence of polar water frost.

New Radar Maps of the Moon

Radar image of the Lunar south pole. Credits: Cornell University

NASA has obtained new high-resolution radar maps of the Moon's south pole--a region the space agency is considering as a landing site when astronauts return to the Moon in the years ahead.

"We now know the south pole has peaks as high as Mt. McKinley and crater floors four times deeper than the Grand Canyon," says Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. "These data will be an invaluable tool for advance planning of lunar missions."

Who's Orbiting the Moon?

Earth-rise seen from Kaguya. Credits: JAXA/NHK

[NASA Press Release - 22.02.2008]
The space around Earth is a busy place, as teeming with traffic as a roundabout. More than 500 active satellites are bustling about up there right now. Some are transmitting radio, television, and telephone signals; others are gathering information about Earth's atmosphere and weather; still others are helping people navigate down here; and the rest are conducting space research.

NASA's Next Moon Mission Spacecraft Undergoing Critical Tests

LRO in orbit around the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 14.01.2008]
NASA's next mission to Earth's closest astronomical body is in the midst of integration and testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, known as LRO, will spend at least a year mapping the surface of the moon. Data from the orbiter will help NASA select safe landing sites for astronauts, identify lunar resources and study how the moon's environment will affect humans.

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