warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lunarexp/public_html/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Lunar Science

Search for articles related to lunar science

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.

Crafty Tricks for Finding Moon Water

LRO in orbit around the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 27.03.2008]
Bright gray, crater-pocked mountains taller than Mount McKinley. Abyssal craters that could swallow several Grand Canyons whole.

Recent radar maps of the Moon's southern pole revealed a dramatic, jagged landscape that astronauts could someday call home. But unfortunately, these radar images didn't provide any new information about something that would make living at the lunar pole much easier: frozen water.

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."

Listening to the Universe from the Far Side of the Moon

MIT prototype of a radio telescope array. Credits: MIT

[MIT Press Release - 19.02.2008]
NASA has selected a proposal by an MIT-led team to develop plans for an array of radio telescopes on the far side of the moon that would probe the earliest formation of the basic structures of the universe. The agency announced the selection and 18 others related to future observatories on Friday, Feb.15.

The new MIT telescopes would explore one of the greatest unknown realms of astronomy, the so-called "Dark Ages" near the beginning of the universe when stars, star clusters and galaxies first came into existence. This period of roughly a billion years, beginning shortly after the Big Bang, closely followed the time when cosmic background radiation, which has been mapped using satellites, filled all of space. Learning about this unobserved era is considered essential to filling in our understanding of how the earliest structures in the universe came into being.

Bill Stone: Journey to the center of the Earth ... and beyond!

Watching this video was the best 20 minutes of my day.

Bill Stone, the maverick cave explorer who invented robots and dive equipment that have allowed him to plumb Earth's deepest abysses, explains his efforts to build a robot to explore Jupiter's moon Europa. The plan is to send the machine to bore through miles of ice and swim through a liquid underworld that may harbor alien life. And if that's not enough, he's also planning to mine lunar ice by 2015.

Lighting up the Lunar Night with Fuel Cells

Illustration of a solar array and regenerative fuel cell on the moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 12.12.2007]
How do you survive in a remote, mountainous region that has no water or wind and sometimes goes without sunlight for weeks?

This is not the premise for a survivalist reality show; it's a question NASA must answer before sending humans to live and work on the moon.

Within the next twenty years, people again will explore the vast lunar terrain. This time, we're going to build a permanent outpost where we will conduct scientific research, learn to live off the land, and test new technologies for future missions to Mars and beyond.

Earth's magnetic field could help protect astronauts working on the moon

[University of Wasington Press Release - 12.12.07]
It has been 35 years since humans last walked on the moon, but there has been much recent discussion about returning, either for exploration or to stage a mission to Mars. However, there are concerns about potential radiation danger for astronauts during long missions on the lunar surface.

A significant part of that danger results from solar storms, which can shoot particles from the sun to Earth at nearly the speed of light and can heat oxygen in the Earth's ionosphere and send it in a hazardous stream toward the moon.

NASA Announces New Center Assignments for Moon Exploration

Concept of one potential design for a future lunar rover. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 30.10.2007]
NASA announced Tuesday which agency centers will take responsibility for specific work to enable astronauts to explore the moon. The new assignments cover elements of the lunar lander and lunar surface operations. The agency also announced work assignments for Ares V, a heavy-lift rocket for lunar missions.

"NASA's Constellation Program is making real progress toward sending astronauts to the moon," said Rick Gilbrech, associate administrator for Exploration Systems, NASA Headquarters, Washington. "Work on our new fleet of rockets and spacecraft, Ares I and Orion, is already well under way. With these new assignments, NASA will launch the next phase of its exploration strategy - landing crews and cargo on the surface of the moon."

NASA to Establish Nationwide Lunar Science Institute

Lunex Honorary Member Jack Schmidt on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA.

[NASA Press Release - 30.10.2007]
NASA has announced its intent to establish a new lunar science institute. This effort, with dispersed teams across the nation, will help lead the agency's research activities for future lunar science missions related to NASA's exploration goals.

Named the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), the effort will be managed from NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. Ames currently manages a similar distributed NASA Astrobiology Institute.

NASA to Announce Work Assignments to Enable Lunar Exploration

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

[NASA Press Release - 29.10.2007]
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, NASA will take another important step toward returning astronauts to the moon by assigning key future Constellation Program work to its field centers. The agency's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate will host a media roundtable at 1 p.m. EDT at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St., S.W., Washington.

Briefers will be:
Rick Gilbrech, NASA associate administrator for exploration systems Doug Cooke, NASA deputy associate administrator for exploration systems Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program manager

Syndicate content