Dr. Paul Spudis Announced as Chief Scientist of Odyssey Moon

Oddyssey Moon logo. Credits: Odyssey Moon

[Odyssey Moon Press Release - 23.07.2008]
Dr. Paul D. Spudis has been named Chief Scientist of Odyssey Moon Limited, the first official contender for the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE. Dr. Spudis is a prominent scientist in the international lunar community and served as deputy science team leader for the highly successful Clementine lunar mission and is the Principal Investigator of the Mini-SAR imaging radar experiment on the forthcoming Chandrayaan-1 mission to the Moon. Dr. Spudis is an outspoken advocate of the Moon as a focus of scientific exploration and human settlement and has served on numerous advisory committees, including the US Presidential Commission on the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. The announcement was made during a NASA Lunar Science Institute conference at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

Robotic Moon Excavation Teams Compete for NASA Technology Prize

Artist impression of a regolith exavator. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 25.08.2008]
NASA's Regolith Excavation Challenge is scheduled for Aug. 2-3, 2008, on the campus of the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. The competition requires teams to build a roving excavator that can autonomously navigate, excavate, and transfer approximately 330 pounds of simulated lunar regolith, or lunar soil, into a collector bin within 30 minutes. The total prize purse is $750,000 with a first prize of $500,000.

ILO Dual Function Instrument Bound for the Moon Aboard Odyssey Moon Mission

Oddyssey Moon logo. Credits: Odyssey Moon

[Odyssey Moon Press Release - 22.08.2008]

Call for abstracts for the International Lunar Conference 2008 (LEAG/ILEWG/SRR)

ILEWG Logo. Credits: ILEWG

[ILEWG Press Release - 13.07.2008]
Here is the 2nd call for abstracts for the International Lunar Conference 2008 (annual meeting of Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), the ICEUM ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon, and the Space Resources Roundtable (SRR X)), please note that the abstract deadline is July 31st. This conference is probably the most important conference dedicated to the exploration and utilization of the moon worldwide, and it is a great opportunity for students, young professionals and seasoned lunar experts alike to present their work. Students receive a discount on the registration fee, and there will also be a special session called "Young Lunar Explorers and Outreach Events" for all interested parties at Florida Institute of Technology the days before the conference. Last year (at ICEUM9 in Sorrento, Italy) this event was a great success. Below follows some information about the conference.

The "halo" area around Apollo 15 landing site observed by Terrain Camera on Kaguya

Kaguya HD footage of the Moon. Credits: JAXA/NHK

[JAXA Press Release - 20.05.2008]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reported on the "halo" generated by the Apollo 15* lunar module engine exhaust plume that was detected in the data from Terrain Camera (TC) image.

This was an image processed by the SELENE mission instrument team from the observation data of the Apollo 15 landing site on the moon (the foot of the Apennine Mountains encircling the Mare Imbrium close to Hadley Rille). This is the world's first report on the detection of the "halo" through observations after the end of the Apollo program.

Space Agencies Continue Talks on Global Exploration Strategy


[NASA Press Release - 16.07.2008]
Representatives of 11 space agencies from around the world gathered in Montreal July 10 - 12 to continue the coordination of programs to extend human and robotic presence throughout the solar system.

In May 2007, multilateral space agency discussions resulted in the release of "The Global Exploration Strategy - The Framework for Coordination." The document is a product of a shared vision of space exploration focused on solar system destinations where humans may someday live and work. It represents an important first step in coordinating space exploration efforts toward common goals. The framework envisions a coordination mechanism to facilitate international planning, leading to the establishment of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, or ISECG.

NASA Ames to Celebrate 'Moon Week' With Science Conference, Event

NASA Lunar Science Institute. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 11.07.2008]
Opportunities for conducting studies of the moon, on the moon and from the moon will be explored and lunar research findings discussed during a three-day Lunar Science Conference at NASA Ames Research Center, July 21-23, 2008.

The conference is co-sponsored by the NASA Lunar Science Institute, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, and NASA Ames Research Center. Approximately 400 scientists are expected to attend.

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.

A Telescope Made of Moondust

Artist impression of a moon telescope. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 09.07.2008]
A gigantic telescope on the Moon has been a dream of astronomers since the dawn of the space age. A lunar telescope the same size as Hubble (2.4 meters across) would be a major astronomical research tool. One as big as the largest telescope on Earth—10.4 meters across—would see far more than any Earth-based telescope because the Moon has no atmosphere. But why stop there? In the Moon's weak gravity, it might be possible to build a telescope with a mirror as large as 50 meters across, half the length of a football field—big enough to analyze the chemistry on planets around other stars for signs of life.

NASA and ESA complete comparative exploration architecture study

Artist impression of Moonbase. Credits: ESA

[ESA Press Release - 09.07.2008]
Over the last 6 months, representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have been engaged in detailed assessment of potential programs and technologies that when conducted cooperatively could one day support a human outpost on the Moon.

NASA and ESA experts jointly briefed the results of the NASA/ESA Comparative Architecture Assessment on 7 and 8 July during an ESA sponsored Integrated Architecture Review held at ESA’s ESTEC facility in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The study, which commenced in January 2008, was intended to assess the degree to which NASA and ESA’s lunar exploration architecture concepts could complement, augment, or enhance the exploration plans of one another. Technical teams from each agency engaged in a series of joint, qualitative assessments of the potential scientific and exploration benefits that arise from collaboration between the ESA capabilities under study and NASA’s Ares I and V space transportation systems and lunar surface exploration architecture concepts.

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