Trond Krovel's blog

Astrobotic Technology publishes call for lunar payloads

Astrobotic Technology logo. Credits: Astrobotic Technology

[Astrobotic Press Release - 15.03.2010]
Astrobotic Technology Inc. is soliciting expressions of interest and associated information regarding prospective payloads for AstroboticTM missions to the surface of the moon. The call is open to companies, universities, governments and individuals. Responses are sought in four contexts:

1. Confirm and Characterize Water
Payloads and investigations are sought to detect and characterize a measureable amount of water, methane, ammonia or other volatile. Early destinations are outside permanent shadow regions.

Student Teams Ready to Battle Lunar Terrain at NASA's 17th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

NASA Great Moonbuggy Race logo. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 05.03.2010]
More than 100 student teams from around the globe will drive their specially crafted lunar rovers through a challenging course of rugged, moon-like terrain at NASA's 17th annual Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, Ala., April 9-10.

NASA's LCROSS Impacts Confirm Water in Lunar Crater

LCROSS before impact. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 13.11.2009]
Preliminary data from NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater.
The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon.

The LCROSS spacecraft and a companion rocket stage made twin impacts in the Cabeus crater Oct. 9 that created a plume of material from the bottom of a crater that has not seen sunlight in billions of years.

NASA Briefs Preliminary Plume Findings from Moon Mission

Cabeus A crater. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 10.11.2009]
NASA will hold a news conference Friday to talk about early science results from its successful moon impacting mission, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS. The satellite gained worldwide attention when it plunged into a crater near the moon's south pole on Oct. 9.

The briefing from NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., will begin at 9 a.m. PST, on Nov. 13. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency's Web site. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

NASA Live Digital Network Brings Apollo 11 Experts into Classrooms

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

[NASA Press Release - 10.11.2009]
Forty years after humans first walked on the moon, NASA is offering the next generation of explorers a chance to learn how the challenges of the Apollo 11 mission were met. Through a series of interactive educational videoconferences, students will hear firsthand accounts of the people who made the lunar landing possible.

During a week of programs beginning Nov. 16, NASA's Digital Learning Network will host videoconferences between classrooms around the country and NASA employees who had a special connection with the Apollo 11 moon mission.

BCIT Return to the Moon symposium posts presentations online

The BCIT Return to the Moon symposium held as far back as in April 2008 at the University of British Columbia, has posted videos of three presentations made at the event. The presentations are made by Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, founder and CEO of Odyssey Moon Robert D. Richards, and Astronaut Tome Jones.

Harrison H. Schmitt hold a very interesiting talk about challenges we have on earth and how resources from the moon can help us solve these problems, Tome Jones talks about his personal experience in space, including being on the space shuttle and the role of space fligh in todays society, and Robert D. Richards wraps up with an excellent and very motivating talk about the role of private industry and participatory exploration.

Development of the ESMO student Moon satellite gets under way

ESA Logo. Credits: ESA

[ESA Press Release - 06.11.2009]
ESA's Education Office has awarded a contract to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd of the UK to manage the development and testing of the first European student mission to the Moon. Launch is expected in 2013-2014.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected as the prime contractor for the European Student Moon Orbiter (ESMO) project. The final signature of the contract took place on 4 November 2009. The mission involves delivering a spacecraft to lunar orbit, followed by 6 months of operations that include mapping of the lunar surface and studying our nearest neighbour.

NASA and X Prize Announce Winners of Lunar Lander Challenge

Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Logo. Credits: X Prize

[NASA Press Release - 03.11.2009]
NASA will award $1.65 million in prize money Thursday to a pair of innovative aerospace companies that successfully simulated landing a spacecraft on the moon and lifting off again.

NASA's Centennial Challenges program will give a $1 million first prize to Masten Space Systems of Mojave, Calif., and a $500,000 second prize to Armadillo Aerospace of Rockwall, Tex., for their Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge flights. The competition was managed by the X PRIZE Foundation. The Northrop Grumman Corporation is a commercial sponsor that provided operating funds for the contest to the X PRIZE Foundation.

NASA Mission to Study the Moon's Fragile Atmosphere

LADEE model. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Article - 23.10.2009]
Right now, the Moon is a ghost town. Nothing stirs. Here and there, an abandoned Apollo rover — or the dusty base of a lunar lander — linger as silent testimony to past human activity. But these days, only occasional asteroid impacts disrupt the decades-long spell of profound stillness.

And this stillness presents scientists with an important opportunity.

Teams Win at NASA National Lunar Robotics Competition

Artist impression of a regolith exavator. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 19.10.2009]
Nineteen teams pushed their robot competitors to the limit, and three teams claimed a total of $750,000 in NASA prizes at this year's Regolith Excavation Challenge on Oct. 18. This is the first time in the competition's three-year history that any team qualified for a cash prize, the largest NASA has awarded to date.

After two days of intense competition hosted at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., organizers conferred first place prize of $500,000 to Paul's Robotics of Worcester, Mass. Terra Engineering of Gardena, Calif., was a three-time returning competitor and was awarded second place prize of $150,000, and Team Braundo of Rancho Palos Verde, Calif., took the third place of $100,000 as a first-time competitor.

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