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Microwaving Water from Moondust

Apollo 12 astronaut Allan Bean on the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Article - 08.10.2009]
NASA is figuring out how to make water from moondust. Sounds like magic?

"No magic--" says Ed Ethridge of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center "-- just microwaves. We're showing how microwaves can extract water from moondust by heating it from the inside out."

The recent discovery of water on the Moon's surface has inspired researchers like Ethridge to rev up the development of technologies to capture it. Some of them believe the small amounts of frozen water mixed in lunar topsoil are just the tip of the iceberg.1 If so, Ethridge has figured out a way to retrieve it.

NASA Invites Reporters to Events for LCROSS Lunar Impact

LCROSS heading towards the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 06.10.2009]
NASA is inviting journalists to events this week in Washington and California to observe the twin impacts of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and its rocket's upper stage as they impact the moon. The goal of the mission is to search for water ice on the moon.

The satellite and upper stage both are scheduled to hit a permanently shadowed crater of the moon, four minutes apart, at approximately 4:30 a.m. and 4:34 a.m. PDT on Friday, Oct. 9. NASA Television coverage begins at 3:15 a.m. PDT.

A new view of the Apollo 11 landing site from SMART-1

Apollo 11 landing site from Smart-1. Credits: ESA

[ESA Press Release - 20.07.2009]
History was made at 03:56 CEST on 21 July 1969, when Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar module and placed his left foot on the surface of the Moon. During this International Year of Astronomy the world celebrates the 40th anniversary of this inspirational event. The landing site of the Apollo 11 mission is just one of the many images of our closest neighbour taken by the SMART-1 spacecraft as it orbited the Moon between 2004 and 2006.

Experience a virtual journey to the lunar Peak of Eternal Light

SMART-1 mosaic of the lunar south pole. Credits: ESA/Space-X

[ESA Press Release - 27.07.2009]
The first public showing of ‘The Peak of Eternal Light’, a new movie created using images taken by ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter, took place one a week ago at the Ars Electronica Center (AEC), Linz, Austria. This movie was shown as part of a special event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, during this International Year of Astronomy.

NASA Honors JFK with Moon Rock to be Displayed at Rice University

NASA logo. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 05.10.2009]
On the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, NASA honored President John F. Kennedy with an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his vision and leadership in landing a man on the moon. The Kennedy family has selected Rice University to house and publicly display the award, a lunar sample, at Fondren Library.
Kennedy called for a national initiative to go to the moon during a speech given at Rice University on Sept. 12, 1962.

LCROSS Viewer's Guide

LCROSS impact crater Cabeus. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Article - 05.10.2009]
Just imagine. A spaceship plunges out of the night sky, hits the ground and explodes. A plume of debris billows back into the heavens, leading your eye to a second ship in hot pursuit. Four minutes later, that one hits the ground, too. It's raining spaceships!

Put on your hard hat and get ready for action, because on Friday, Oct. 9th, what you just imagined is really going to happen--and you can have a front row seat.

NASA Ames to Showcase Spectacular LCROSS Lunar Impacts

LCROSS heading towards the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 05.10.2009]
NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission will come to a dramatic conclusion at approximately 4:30 a.m. PDT (7:30 a.m. EDT) on Friday, Oct 9, 2009, with the impact of the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket and four minutes later, the impact of the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft into Cabeus crater near the moon's south pole. To mark the event, NASA Ames Research Center is hosting 'LCROSS Impact Night.' News media are invited to cover the three-part event that is open to the public and free of charge.

NASA Sponsors Student Water Recycling Competition

NASA logo. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 01.10.2009]
NASA is inviting fifth through eighth grade students to participate in a waste limitation management and recycling design challenge. Participants in the competition will design and test water recycling systems that could be used for future exploration of the moon. The top three teams will receive awards, and the first place team will receive an expense-paid trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Team c-base Open Moon Enters $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition

Google Lunar Xprize logo. Credits: Xprize

[X Prize Press Release - 01.10.2009]
Today, Team c-base Open Moon, a German group that includes physicians, businessmen, and engineers, announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a $30 million competition that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch to the Moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks as outlined in the competition’s official rules. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the team is comprised of 5 members and is one of 20 teams from ten countries that are competing for their share of the $30 million prize purse.

My Moon Campaign set to launch UN–declared World Space Week

My Moon World Space Week Logo. Credits: WSW/IYA'09

[World Space Week Press Release - 04.10.2009]
My Moon Campaign is the first joint effort of the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP), one of the Cornerstones of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), and the World Space Week Association (WSWA), a global celebration of space taking place between 4-10 October every year. In 2009 several important dates are marked including the 400th anniversary of Galileo's observations, 150 years of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species", and the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing. The Moon is the ideal target for this campaign as it presents a perfect link between all these important turning points in science history.

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