Jun 23, 2009 | 7
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched last week to survey the moon with an eye toward future human exploration, has reached lunar orbit. The spacecraft entered orbit today at 6:27 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time), placing a NASA probe around the moon for the first time in nearly 10 years.
From its orbit 31 miles (50 kilometers) above the moon, LRO will make detailed maps of the lunar surface, including its poles, where astronauts would have access to consistent solar power and possibly even stores of water ice. A companion spacecraft launched with LRO, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, will make two lunar impacts this fall to seek out evidence of that water. LRO will contribute to that water hunt while also studying the moon's radiation environment and its potential health effects, among other investigations.
Apr 23, 2009 | 16
NASA's stated goal of returning humans to the moon by 2020, which received a tentative boost in February with an affirmation in President Barack Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2010, is reportedly now in danger.
According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel quoting unnamed NASA engineers and contractors, the space agency's timelines "are quietly being revised" in light of ongoing technical and budgetary problems. That revision, engineers told the newspaper, means the "2020 date to send humans back to the moon is in deepening trouble."
The agency has pushed back by two years its internal timeline for the scheduled moon launch of Ares V, a planned heavy-cargo carrier rocket, according to the Sentinel report. NASA had reportedly tagged the Ares V with a 2018 internal target—which builds in leeway for unforeseen problems—for a lunar launch, while announcing a 2020 date to the public. Grey Hautaluoma, a spokesperson for NASA, declined to comment on the Sentinel story. "We won't have any comment about our budgets and schedules until the 2010 budget is released next month," Hautaluoma said.
Feb 12, 2009 | 1
A new, high-resolution topographic map of the lunar surface indicates that the outer layers of the moon are likely bone dry. The new data, obtained from a laser-mapping instrument onboard the Japanese SELENE satellite, also known as Kaguya, shows that the moon's surface is rigid, not buoyant and flexible as would be expected if a significant amount of water flowed underneath it.
"The surface can tell us a lot about what's happening inside the moon, but until now mapping has been very limited," study co-author C. K. Shum, a professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, said in a statement. "For instance, with this new high-resolution map, we can confirm that there is very little water on the Moon today, even deep in the interior. And we can use that information to think about water on other planets, including Mars."
Deadline: Dec 11 2013
Reward: $52,000 USD
Platform technologies – tools, techniques, and instruments that enable entirely novel approaches for scientific investigation across a b
Deadline: Jan 11 2014
Reward: $20,000 USD
Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99X