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Lunar Science

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Destination: Moon

ESA has released this beautiful and informative video called Destination: Moon about lunar exploration, enjoy!

Testing Mars and Moon soil for sheltering astronauts from radiation

Apollo 11 and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[ESA Press Release - 10.10.2012]
Humans venturing beyond Earth orbit deeper into space face increased exposure to cosmic radiation, so ESA has teamed with Germany’s GSI particle accelerator to test potential shielding for astronauts, including Moon and Mars soil.

Independently sponsored space telescope to be launched to the Moon and deliver Galaxy Imagery from the lunar surface

IOLA Observatory on the Moon. Credits: ILOA

[ILOA Press Release - 26.07.2012]
The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA), led by American businessman / educator Steve Durst, plans to place an astronomical observatory on the Moon to capture never before seen images of the Galaxy / Stars, Moon and Earth and broadcast them in support of the worldwide Galaxy Forum 21st Century Education program.

NASA's LCROSS Impacts Confirm Water in Lunar Crater

LCROSS before impact. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 13.11.2009]
Preliminary data from NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater.
The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon.

The LCROSS spacecraft and a companion rocket stage made twin impacts in the Cabeus crater Oct. 9 that created a plume of material from the bottom of a crater that has not seen sunlight in billions of years.

Microwaving Water from Moondust

Apollo 12 astronaut Allan Bean on the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Article - 08.10.2009]
NASA is figuring out how to make water from moondust. Sounds like magic?

"No magic--" says Ed Ethridge of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center "-- just microwaves. We're showing how microwaves can extract water from moondust by heating it from the inside out."

The recent discovery of water on the Moon's surface has inspired researchers like Ethridge to rev up the development of technologies to capture it. Some of them believe the small amounts of frozen water mixed in lunar topsoil are just the tip of the iceberg.1 If so, Ethridge has figured out a way to retrieve it.

LRO to Help Astronauts Survive in Infinity

Artist impression of lunar outpost. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 16.04.2009]
Space seems exotic, forbidding, and remote, but imagine trying to survive winter without a heated shelter or warm clothing. Our ancestors developed these technologies because they needed room to grow; without them, we would still be confined to narrow areas along the equator, but with them, we could live anywhere in the world. With the right technology, space is just another place for people to live.

Join STEREO and Explore Gravitational "Parking Lots" That May Hold Secret of Moon's Origin

Artist impression of STEREO. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 09.04.2009]
Two places on opposite sides of Earth may hold the secret to how the moon was born. NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft are about to enter these zones, known as the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points, each centered about 93 million miles away along Earth's orbit.

As rare as free parking in New York City, L4 and L5 are among the special points in our solar system around which spacecraft and other objects can loiter. They are where the gravitational pull of a nearby planet or the sun balances the forces from the object's orbital motion. Such points closer to Earth are sometimes used as spaceship "parking lots", like the L1 point a million miles away in the direction of the sun. They are officially called Libration points or Lagrangian points after Joseph-Louis Lagrange, an Italian-French mathematician who helped discover them.

CU-Boulder Selected for Two Lunar Research Grants Totaling $11 Million

Artist impression of a moon telescope. Credits: NASA

[CU-Boulder Press Release - 09.01.2009
The University of Colorado at Boulder was awarded two grants totaling $11 million today from NASA's Lunar Science Institute to probe the cosmos from observatories on the moon and to conduct science and safety investigations on the dusty lunar surface and its atmosphere.

The two CU-Boulder grants from the Lunar Science Institute, which was created by NASA in March 2008, are expected to further the space agency's research agenda regarding future moon missions, a key part of NASA's space exploration goals. A total of seven grants were made nationwide to interdisciplinary science teams by the institute, which is managed by the NASA Ames Research Center in California.

NASA Selects CU-Boulder to Build $6 Million Lunar Dust Detector to Orbit Moon in 2012

LADEE model. Credits: NASA

[CU-Boulder Press Release - 09.01.2009]
The University of Colorado at Boulder has been awarded a $6 million grant from NASA to build a high-tech lunar dust detector for a 2011 mission to orbit the moon and conduct science investigations of the dusty lunar surface and its atmosphere.

Known as the Lunar Dust Experiment, or LDEX, the instrument will be designed and built at CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The instrument will fly on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Experiment Explorer mission, or LADEE, an orbiting satellite that will assess the lunar atmosphere and the nature of dust lofted above the moon's surface.

NASA Selects Research Teams for Lunar Science Institute

NASA Lunar Science Institute. Credits: NASA

NASA has selected seven academic and research teams as initial members of the agency's Lunar Science Institute.

The institute supports scientific research to supplement and extend existing NASA lunar science programs in coordination with U.S. space exploration policy. The selection of the members encompasses academic institutions, non-profit research institutes, private companies, NASA centers and other government laboratories. Selections were based on a competitive evaluation process that began with the release of a cooperative agreement notice in June 2008. The next solicitation opportunity for new members will take place in approximately two years.

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