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Lunar Explorers Society hands out the first 'Best Young Lunar Explorers Paper Award'

The Lunex award session at ICEUM9/ILC'07. Credits: Lunex

[Lunar Explorers Society Press Release - 28.10.2007]
The Lunar Explorers Society (Lunex) handed out the "Best Young Lunar Explorers Paper Award" for 2007 during the 9th International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon (ICEUM9), to a team from the 2007 Alpbach Summer School program.

The paper was awarded the 'Best Young Lunar Explorers Paper Award' because of the clarity of the presentation and the originality of the proposed mission concept.

Lunar Explorers Society awarded the Young Lunar Explorers Award

The Lunex award session at ICEUM9/ILC'07. Credits: Lunex

[Lunar Explorers Society Press Release - 25.10.2007]
The Lunar Explorers Society (Lunex) was awarded the Young Lunar Explorers Award at the 9th International Conference on the Exploration and Utilization of the Moon (ICEUM9), October 24th 2007. Lunex was nominated and elected as the winner of the award by the International Program Committee of IECUM9.

The prize was awarded to Lunex because of its work to involve young people in lunar exploration. In the last year Lunex has resumed its activities after a few years of inactivity, and has successfully organized workshops, tutorials, brainstorming sessions and conference sessions for young lunar explorers on several conferences around the world. It has also supported several young lunar explorers to attend the ICEUM9 this year.

Chang'e-1 launched!

Chang'e-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: CNSA

The Chinese Chang'e-1 lunar probe was successfully launched on a Long March 3A from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province on 5:05 a.m. October 24th (CST). It is named after the Chinese goddes of the Moon and is the first Chinese Lunar mission.

Chang'e-1 weighed 2350 kg on launch, of which approximately half was fuel. The payload suite weighs around 130 kg. Change'e-1 carries a scientific payload which will perform a wide variety of experiments from its orbit around the Moon. Within the mission duration of one year, Chang'e-1 will create a 3D model of the moon surface and determine the contents and distribution of a number of chemical elements on the lunar surface, among other things. It carries 7 instruments alltogether.

NASA Offers $2 Million Lunar Lander Competition Prize

Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Logo. Credits: X Prize

[NASA Press Release - 24.10.2007]
During the X PRIZE Cup Oct. 27-28, NASA's Centennial Challenges Program will offer prizes totaling $2 million if competing teams successfully meet the requirements of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The challenge will take place at Holloman Air Force Base, in Alamogordo, N.M.

The purpose of the lunar lander challenge is to accelerate technology development leading to a commercial vehicle that could one day be capable of ferrying cargo or humans back and forth between lunar orbit and the moon's surface.

Kaguya (Selene) completed critical phase

Kaguya in orbit around the Moon. Credits: Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA

[JAXA Press Release - 21.10.2007]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) injected the KAGUYA main satellite in its scheduled orbit and shifted its operation mode to the regular control mode. Both the KAGUYA main satellite and its two baby satellites are in good health. The "KAGUYA" (SELENE) is a lunar explorer launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) on September 14, 2007, (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.

Chang'e 1 launch between October 22 and 25, Chinese lunar sample-return in 2013

Chang'e-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: CNSA

Recently a lot of information on the upcoming launch of Chang'e-1 has become available. According to chinanews.com, Chang'e-1 will be launched between October 22 and 25. According to news.sina.cn, the launch will take place at 18:05 CST, October 24th.

Also, Sun Laiyan, the director of the National Space Administration, released some detailed information from the 11th Five-Year Plan Period (2006-2010), about the future Chinese space exploration roadmap.

Vstar separated from Kaguya (Selene)

Kaguya in orbit around the Moon. Credits: Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA

[JAXA Press Release - 12.10.2007]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) performed the separation operation of one of the onboard baby satellites, the VRAD (Very Long Baseline Interferometer) Satellite* of the "KAGUYA" (SELENE.) The VRAD satellite was released at 1:28 p.m. on October 12, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST). The KAGUYA is a lunar explorer that was launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) on September 14, 2007, (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. Both the KAGUYA and VRAD satellite are confirmed to be in good health.

NASA is forming a new Lunar Science Institute

www.moontoday.com reports that NASA plans to form a NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) patterned on the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).

"Speaking tonight at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Orlando, Stern said that the initial selection would be done of 4 to 5 lead teams at a cost of $1-2 million each.

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Rstar separated from Kaguya (Selene)

Kaguya in orbit around the Moon. Credits: Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA

[JAXA Press Release - 09.10.2007]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) performed the separation operation of one of the onboard baby satellites, the Relay Satellite (Rstar,) of the "KAGUYA" (SELENE,) and the Rstar was released at 9:36 a.m. on October 9 (Japan Standard Time, JST). The KAGUYA is a lunar explorer launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) on September 14, 2007 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. Both the KAGUYA and Rstar are confirmed to be in good health.

Kaguya (Selene) safely inserted into lunar orbit

Kaguya in orbit around the Moon. Credits: Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA

[Jaxa Press Release - 05.10.2007]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) performed the lunar orbit injection maneuver (LOI1) for the "KAGUYA" (SELENE) at 6:20 a.m. on October 4, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST.) The KAGUYA is a lunar explorer launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13) on September 14, 2007 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. As a result of the orbit calculation after the maneuver, we have confirmed that the KAGUYA was injected into the following lunar orbit. The satellite is confirmed to be in good health.

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