Trond Krovel's blog

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.

NASA's LCROSS Mission Changes Impact Crater

LCROSS impact crater Cabeus. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 29.09.2009]
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission (LCROSS) based on new analysis of available lunar data, has shifted the target crater from Cabeus A to Cabeus (proper).

The decision was based on continued evaluation of all available data and consultation/input from members of the LCROSS Science Team and the scientific community, including impact experts, ground and space based observers, and observations from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Prospector (LP), Chandrayaan-1 and JAXA's Kaguya spacecraft. This decision was prompted by the current best understanding of hydrogen concentrations in the Cabeus region, including cross-correlation between the latest LRO results and LP data sets.

NASA Instruments Reveal Water Molecules on Lunar Surface

Chandrayaan-1 image of water on the Moon surface. Credits: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Brown Univ

[NASA Press Release - 24.09.2009]
NASA scientists have discovered water molecules in the polar regions of the moon. Instruments aboard three separate spacecraft revealed water molecules in amounts that are greater than predicted, but still relatively small. Hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, also was found in the lunar soil. The findings were published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science.

Lunar South Pole - Out of the Shadows

Moon south pole seen from LRO. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 16.09.2009]
During the LRO Commissioning Phase, the high-resolution Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) captured this 1-m pixel scale (angular resolution) two-image mosaic of the lunar south pole, which is located on the rim of the 19-km diameter Shackleton crater. At meter scales features such as boulders and ridges can be mapped, paving the way for future explorers. Right now we know little of the poles and much is to be learned from the data now being returned from LRO. The rim of Shackleton crater is a prime candidate for future human exploration due to its proximity to permanently shadowed regions and nearby peaks that are illuminated for much of the year. The permanent shadow may harbor cold-trapped volatiles deposited as comets and asteroids impacted the Moon over the past billion years or more. Highly illuminated peaks provide opportunities for solar power during most of the year for future human habitation.

Team Selenokhod Enters $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition

Google Lunar Xprize logo. Credits: Xprize

[X Prize Press Release - 21.09.2009]
Today, Team Selenokhod, a Russian group of engineers and managers, 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. Team Selenokhod, headquartered in Moscow, Russia with ten group members, is among 20 teams from 44 countries that are competing for their share of the $30 million prize purse.

Doubts about LCROSS landing site

LPOD 12.09.2009. Credits: NASA

[LPOD - 12.09.2009]

Editors note: This is a comment made by Chuck Wood on the LPOD wesite

I am confused by NASA's selection of Cabeus A as the target for the LCROSS impact of October 9. According to the NASA press release Cabeus A was selected based on a set of conditions that include proper debris plume illumination for visibility from Earth, a high concentration of hydrogen, and mature crater features such as a flat floor, gentle slopes and the absence of large boulders.

NASA's LCROSS Reveals Target Crater For Lunar South Pole Impacts

Cabeus A crater. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 11.09.2009]
NASA has selected a final destination for its Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, after a journey of nearly 5.6 million miles that included several orbits around Earth and the moon. The mission team announced Wednesday that Cabeus A will be the target crater for the LCROSS dual impacts scheduled for 7:30 a.m. EDT on Oct. 9, 2009. The crater was selected after an extensive review as the optimal location for LCROSS' evaluation of whether water ice exists at the lunar south pole.

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