Results tagged “Lunar”

LADEE Update

Technicians at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., install a heater cage around NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory sitting in the base of the thermal-vacuum chamber, in order to simulate the hot and cold extremes the observatory will experience during the mission.

Why LADEE Matters

Earth's atmosphere is critically important to all of us. In addition to providing us with air to breathe, it protects us from temperature extremes, harmful space radiation, and vast numbers of incoming meteoroids. The atmosphere is a very complex system that we are only beginning to understand. Gaining a better understanding of the atmosphere, how it protects us, and how we can protect it is in all of our interests.

Is There an Atmosphere on the Moon?

The Lunar Atmospheric Composition Experiment (LACE) deployment during the Apollo 17 mission. Image credit: NASA

U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), John Culberson (R-TX), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Pete Olson (R-TX), Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Ted Poe (R-TX) have once again reintroduced bipartisan legislation directing NASA to develop a plan for returning to the Moon and establishing a human presence there. The RE-asserting American Leadership in Space Act, or REAL Space Act, sets a clear course for NASA toward human space flight while keeping within current budgetary constraints.

Due to the recent government restrictions on travel, The NASA Lunar Science Institute will broadcast the annual NASA Lunar Science Forum (LSF) as a virtual conference the week of July 15-19, 2013. The conference will be broadcast between the hours of 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. PDT, Monday-Friday, to accommodate a wide spread in time zones.

A new NASA-developed, laser-based space communication system will enable higher rates of satellite communications similar in capability to high-speed fiber optic networks on Earth. The space terminal for the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), NASA's first high-data-rate laser communication system, was recently integrated onto the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

RASSOR, The Moon Mining Robot

After decades of designing and operating robots full of scientific gear to study other worlds, NASA is working on a prototype that leaves the delicate instruments at home in exchange for a sturdy pair of diggers and the reliability and strength to work all day, every day for years.

This video of the moon was taken by the NASA GRAIL mission's MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) camera aboard the Ebb spacecraft on Dec. 14, 2012. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) above the northern hemisphere of the moon's far side, in the vicinity of the Jackson impact crater.

NASA has named the site where twin agency spacecraft impacted the moon Monday in honor of the late astronaut, Sally K. Ride, who was America's first woman in space and a member of the probes' mission team.

It's a big claim, but Washington University in St. Louis planetary scientist Frederic Moynier says his group has discovered evidence that the Moon was born in a flaming blaze of glory when a body the size of Mars collided with the early Earth.

Water Ice in Shackleton Crater's Walls

Scientists using the Mini-RF radar on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have estimated the maximum amount of ice likely to be found inside a permanently shadowed lunar crater located near the moon's South Pole.

One of the Expedition 32 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station captured these images of the full moon on Aug. 1, 2012.

MoonKam Images on Display

Students to Exhibit NASA Spacecraft Lunar Images

"Media representatives are invited to see middle-school students and their teachers demonstrate science lessons and highlight selected images provided by twin NASA spacecraft studying the moon from crust to core. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon EDT (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. PDT), PM Friday, June 1, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center located at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington. The event showcases an education and public outreach project called MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students). MoonKAM provides students around the world with an opportunity to identify and choose images of the moon's surface using small cameras aboard NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. To date, thousands of images of lunar targets have been selected by fifth- to eighth-grade students."

NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition

NASA Invites Media To Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition

"More than 50 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from eight countries will come to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 21-26 to take part in the third annual Lunabotics Mining Competition. The teams have designed and built remote controlled or autonomous robots that can excavate simulated lunar soil. During the competition, the teams' designs, known as lunabots, will go head-to-head to determine whose machine can collect and deposit the most simulated moon dust within a specified amount of time."

NASA's Grail MoonKAM Returns First Student-Selected Lunar Images

"One of two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed back the first student-requested pictures of the lunar surface from its onboard camera. Fourth grade students from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., received the honor of making the first image selections by winning a nationwide competition to rename the two spacecraft. The image was taken by the MoonKAM, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students. Previously named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) A and B, the twin spacecraft are now called Ebb and Flow. Both washing-machine-sized orbiters carry a small MoonKAM camera. Over 60 student-requested images were taken aboard the Ebb spacecraft from March 15-17 and downlinked to Earth on March 20."

GRAIL = Ebb + Flow

Montana Students Pick Winning Names for Moon Craft

"Twin NASA spacecraft that achieved orbit around the moon New Year's Eve and New Year's Day have new names, thanks to elementary students in Bozeman, Mont. Their winning entry, "Ebb and Flow," was selected as part of a nationwide school contest that began in October 2011. The names were submitted by fourth graders from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School. Nearly 900 classrooms with more than 11,000 students from 45 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia participated in the contest. Previously named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL-A and -B, the washing machine-sized spacecraft begin science operations in March, after a launch in September 2011."

Shackleton Energy Company: Humans to Return to the Moon by 2019

"The process of establishing the world's first operational lunar base and propellant depot business in space is underway as SEC launches its initial fundraising campaign. This comes in the footsteps of recent amazing new discoveries of huge deposits of propellant-feedstock ice on the Moon by NASA and other international space programs. Joining forces with RocketHub, one of the largest crowdfunding platforms, SEC seeks to raise the initial seed capital necessary to complete its top level planning in order to then secure the first major round of investment capital necessary to complete preliminary designs of all system elements."

Shackleton Energy Company Propellant Depots, RocketHub

"By 2020, Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) intends to become the world's foremost space-based energy company providing rocket propellants, life support, consumables, and services in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and on the Moon to all spacefarers. The company will use a mix of industrial astronauts and advanced robotic systems to provide a strategically-assured, continuous supply of propellants to already-defined customers in space. Critical to the success of this operation is the prospecting for and mining of ice located within deep, inhospitable, ultra-cold craters at the polar regions of the Moon."

23 August 2011: "During a recent test at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., the robotic lander prototype, known as Mighty Eagle, performed a hover test flying up to three feet and then translated, or moved itself sideways, to perform a controlled, safe landing 13 feet from the launch pad." More information.

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