Blogs

Life and Work on the Moon: What Images Come to Mind?

Astronauts and Lander on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 23.08.2007]
A new NASA contest encourages university art and design
students to partner with science and engineering departments to
create art representative of living and working on the moon. The goal
is for students in the arts, science and engineering to
collaboratively engage in NASA's mission to return humans to the moon
by 2020, and eventually journey on to Mars and other destinations in

SMART-1 diagnoses wrinkles and excess weight on the Moon

SMART1 image of wrinkles on the moon. Credit: ESA/SPACE-X

[ESA Science Press Release - 22.08.2007]

Owing to SMART-1’s high resolution and favourable illumination conditions during the satellite’s scientific operations, data from Europe’s lunar orbiter is helping put together a story linking geological and volcanic activity on the Moon.

The combination of high-resolution data from SMART-1’s AMIE micro-camera and data from the US Clementine mission is helping scientists determine the tectonics of the Moon’s giant basins and the history of volcanic flooding of mid-sized craters, inside and around the lunar basins.

Total Lunar Eclipse Draws Attention Back to the Moon

Total lunar eclipse. Credits: Antonio Finazzi and Michele Festa

[NASA Press Release - 21.08.2007]
As August draws to an end, watchers of the night sky will be in for a treat. In the early morning hours of August 28, sky watchers across much of the world can look on as the Moon crosses in to the shadow of the Earth, becoming completely immersed for one-hour and 30 minutes, a period of time much longer than most typical lunar eclipses. In fact, this eclipse will be the deepest and longest in 7 years.

Registration opens for Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Challenge

[NASA Press Release - 08.08.2007]
As space shuttle Endeavour and 10 million cinnamon basil seeds are set to launch on a mission to the International Space Station, NASA has opened registration for the Lunar Plant Growth
Chamber challenge.

Students participating in the challenge will design and build their own greenhouse chambers to analyze and study plant growth from the space-flown seeds following their return to Earth. Students will conduct classroom experiments that may help NASA find new ways to grow and sustain plants in space and on the moon - a critical need for future space exploration.

Lunex at the Space Generation Congress

SGAC logo. Credits: SGAC

The Lunar Explorers Society will be present at this years Space Generation Congress (SGC) in Hyderabad, India. Together with the SGC, Lunex will organise a workshop called "Lunar Explorers Society", where we will look at how Lunex best can organise its upcoming role at the ICEUM9/ILC'07 conference in Sorrento, Italy. We will also invite the workshop participants to come with ideas for the future of Lunex; how we can improve our website, how we can recruit more members, etc.

Dreamy Lunar Eclipse

Total lunar eclipse. Credits: Antonio Finazzi and Michele Festa

[NASA Press Release - 03.08.2007]
August 3, 2007: Close your eyes, breath deeply, let your mind wander to a distant seashore: It's late in the day, and the western sun is sinking into the glittering waves. At your feet, damp sand reflects the twilight, while overhead, the deep blue sky fades into a cloudy mélange of sunset copper and gold, so vivid it almost takes your breath away.

A breeze touches the back of your neck, and you turn to see a pale full Moon rising into the night. Hmmm. The Moon could use a dash more color. You reach out, grab a handful of sunset, and drape the Moon with phantasmic light. Much better.

Moon shows sparks by passing gas

Moon Gas

[MSNBC - 30.07.2007]
Changes in the brightness and color over small areas of the moon's surface, known as Transient Lunar Phenomena have been observed telescopically for hundreds of years.

The optical flashes have been seen by skywatchers but rarely photographed.

"People over the years have attributed TLPs to all sorts of effects: turbulence in Earth's atmosphere, visual physiological effects, atmospheric smearing of light like a prism, and even psychological effects like hysteria or planted suggestion," said Columbia University researcher Arlin Crotts.

NASA Robots Practice Moon Survey in the Arctic Circle

The two rovers from NASA Ames used at the Haughton crater. Credits: NASA

[NASA Ames Press Release - 20.07.2007]
Two NASA robots are surveying a rocky, isolated polar desert within a crater in the Arctic Circle. The study will help scientists learn how robots could evaluate potential outposts on the moon or Mars.

The robots, K10 Black and K10 Red, carry 3-D laser scanners and ground-penetrating radar. The team arrived at Haughton Crater at Devon Island, Canada, on July 12 and will operate the machines until July 31. Scientists chose the polar region because of the extreme environmental conditions, lack of infrastructure and resources, and geologic features. Additionally, Haughton Crater is geographically similar to Shackleton Crater at the South Pole of the moon. Both are impact craters that measure roughly 12.4 miles in diameter.

Launch Postponement of Kaguya (Selene)

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

[JAXA Press Release - 20.07.2007]
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency would like to announce that we have decided to postpone the launch of the Lunar Orbit Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 13 (H-IIA F13).

The launch was originally scheduled for August 16, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST.) The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.

MIT team designs sleek, skintight spacesuit

Massachusetts Institute of Technology new biosuit. Credits: MIT

[Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press Release - 16.07.2007 ]
In the 40 years that humans have been traveling into space, the suits they wear have changed very little. The bulky, gas-pressurized outfits give astronauts a bubble of protection, but their significant mass and the pressure itself severely limit mobility.

Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, wants to change that.

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