Blogs

Chandrayaan-1 enters Lunar Transfer Trajectory

Chandrayaan-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: ISRO

[ISRO Press Release - 04.11.2008]
The fifth and final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was successfully carried out today (November 4, 2008) morning at 04:56 am IST. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about two and a half minutes. With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory with an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of about 380,000 km.

Google Lunar X Prize awarded the Young Lunar Explorers Award

Lunex logo. Credits: Lunex

[Lunex Press Release - 04.11.2008]
The Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) received the Young Lunar Explorers Award at the LEAG-ICEUM10-SRR conference, October 30th 2008. GLXP was selected as the winner of the award by the Lunar Explorers Society.

The award was given to the GLXP because of the wide reaching effect the GLXP has had on promoting lunar exploration among young people around the world. Several GLXP teams are run by students or have strong student participation, and the general outreach caused by the announcement of the prize has ignited a world wide desire among young people to be a part of the return to the Moon.

Germany's CESAR crowned king of rovers in ESA’s Robotics Challenge

[ESA Press Release - 04.11.2008]
A robot rover designed by a Bremen university team has won an ESA contest to retrieve soil samples from a lunar-style terrestrial crater. Eight student teams fielded rovers during the event, their progress monitored by an advanced 3-D viewer already flight-tested in space and planned for eventual deployment on the Moon.

Craters surrounding the Moon's poles are a top 21st Century science target. Lunar researchers believe these craters may be 'cold traps', preserving ancient water ice deposits. Such ice would not only be an invaluable time capsule, it would also support manned lunar settlements. But the only way to verify the ice is there is to go fetch it, which is where rovers come in.

Cape Canaveral Lunar Declaration 2008 Released

ILEWG Logo. Credits: ILEWG

[ILEWG Press Release - 04.11.2008]
The "Cape Canaveral Lunar Declaration 2008" was discussed and approved by ILEWG-LEAG-SRR conference participants on the last day (31 October) of a very successful and interactive lunar conference.

Approximately 200 International Lunar Explorers gathered at the 10th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon (ICEUM10) co-sponsored by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG), NASA Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), Space Resources Roundtable (SRR) and the Lunar and Planetary Institute, from 27 to 31 October, at Cape Canaveral, Florida, US. The conference engaged scientists, engineers, industry and organizations in the review of recent activities and the coordinated preparation of the next steps on the Moon.

Chandrayaan-1 Camera Tested

Chandrayaan-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: ISRO

[ISRO Press Release - 31.10.2008]
The Terrain Mapping camera (TMC) on board Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was successfully operated on October 29, 2008 through a series of commands issued from the Spacecraft Control Centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore. Analysis of the first imagery received by the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu and later processed by Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC) confirms excellent performance of the camera.The first imagery (image 1) taken at 8:00 am IST from a height of 9,000 km shows the Northern coast of Australia while the other (image 2) taken at 12:30 pm from a height of 70,000 km shows Australia’s Southern Coast.

Private U.S. Company to Partner with NASA for Lunar Lander Development

Oddyssey Moon logo. Credits: Odyssey Moon

[Odyssey Moon Press Release - 31.10.2008]

NASA Ames Collaborates to Develop Robotic Lunar Lander

LADEE model. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 31.10.2008]
NASA Ames Research Center is collaborating with a commercial partner to develop a lunar lander for future low-cost missions to the moon.

Astrobotic Technology expeditions will build lunar data library

Astrobotic Technology logo. Credits: Astrobotic Technology

[Astrobotic Press Release - 30.10.2008]
At a meeting of worldwide Moon exploration experts, Astrobotic Technology Inc. today unveiled its plans for a series of robotic expeditions to build a lunar data library.

“Astrobotic will robotically explore the Moon’s high-interest areas on a commercial basis, collecting information required to design future outposts and to answer scientific questions about the Moon and Earth,” said President David Gump. “Our data library also will point the way to utilizing lunar energy and mineral resources to lower the cost of exploration and eventually supply markets on Earth.”

Chandrayaan-1’s Orbit Closer to Moon

Chandrayaan-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: ISRO

[ISRO Press Release - 29.10.2008]
The fourth orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was carried out today (October 29, 2008) morning at 07:38 am IST. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about three minutes. With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered into a more elliptical orbit whose apogee (farthest point to Earth) lies at 267,000 km (two lakh sixty seven thousand km) while the perigee (nearest point to Earth) lies at 465 km. Thus, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft’s present orbit extends more than half the way to moon. In this orbit, the spacecraft takes about six days to go round the Earth once.

NASA to Update Reporters about Constellation Program

[NASA Press Release - 28.10.2008]
NASA will host a media teleconference Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m. EDT, to brief reporters about recent developments and ongoing progress in NASA's Constellation Program. Constellation will build the spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and return humans to the moon by 2020.

Teleconference participants are:
- Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters in Washington

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