Category Archives: Moon

Suddenly, It Seems, Water Is Everywhere in the Solar System – NYTimes.com

Oceans trapped under ice appear to be pretty common in the solar system and one of them, on a small moon of Saturn’s, appears to be quite hot.

This week in the journal Nature, an international team of scientists reported evidence for hydrothermal vents on the Saturnian moon Enceladus, with temperatures of its rocky core surpassing 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) in spots. The discovery, if confirmed, would make Enceladus the only place other than Earth where such chemical reactions between rock and heated water are known to be occurring today — and for many scientists, it would make Enceladus a most promising place to look for life.

CONTINUE READING via Suddenly, It Seems, Water Is Everywhere in Solar System – NYTimes.com.

NASA Announces Lunabotics Mining Competition Winners

NASA Announces Lunabotics Mining Competition Winners

Thirty-six teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe tested their robot designs in a challenge at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida from May 26-28.

I-Team: Bigelow Aerospace May Get Module on Space Station

LAS VEGAS –�”Having visitors coming to the moon, that would be the destination of all time. That would be really something. More than a few politicians and rich folks would want to do that,” said Robert Bigelow.

And the rest of us as well. The idea of a�resort on the surface of the moon isn’t farfetched at all, certainly not to Bob Bigelow. When he launched his private space program a decade ago, the assumption was that he wanted to duplicate the success of his earthly hotel chain out there, and while Bigelow is convinced tourism will help drive the commercialization of space, he never intended to run any hotels himself.

Bigelow Aerospace is more of a contractor. It will build and lease expandable space habitats as stand-alone modules in orbit, or craft combined into space stations — like Station Bravo, capable of housing a crew of 24, or as the backbone of permanent bases on the moon or Mars, serviced by stations orbiting above.

“There is no reason you could not have multiple bases,” he said.

Other private parties in the space race, like Richard Branson or Space One, have much higher profiles than Bigelow. But the Nevada company is much further along and has far bigger goals than quick, up and down jaunts into the wild blue.

The Bigelow modules represent a more permanent presence, though Bigelow says he and the other space entrepreneurs are all taking steps down the same road.

“The sub-orbital folks have a different mission, but it leads right into orbital activity. Sub-orbital is a good place for the FAA to supervise and get used to frequent flights and for the general public to have access to something that goes 2,500 miles per hour up to 1,000 kilometers. That’s pretty exciting,” he said.

via I-Team: Bigelow Aerospace May Get Module on Space Station.

Company Books Ride to the Moon : Discovery News

Astrobotic Technology reserves a spot on a private rocketship to deliver their lunar lander to the moon by as early as 2013.

By Irene Klotz

Mon Feb 7, 2011 08:33 AM ET

moon launch

THE GIST

A company building a lunar rover and lander have booked a flight to the moon.

The contract is the first moon mission for the privately owned SpaceX.

The mission could launch as early as December 2013.

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The company, Astrobotic Technology, has reserved a ride on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Click to enlarge this image.

http://astrobotic.net/

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SpaceX, the rocket company headed by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, sold its first launch to the moon, a mission that gives Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology, a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off, an early lead in a $32 million race to land a privately owned rover on the lunar surface.

The contract, announced Sunday, reserves a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to fly Astrobotic Technology’s lander and rover to the moon as early as December 2013.

“For every hundred technology developments there is one that has a ride booked. It’s a real distinguishing factor,” David Gump, president of Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology, told Discovery News.

via Company Books Ride to the Moon : Discovery News.

Layer 8: X Prize $30 million private race to the moon is on | Network World

The master competition masters at X Prize Foundation are at it again.� Today the group announced the 29 international teams that will compete for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, the competition to put a robot on the moon by 2015.

To win the money, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth. ��The first team to do so will claim a $20 million Grand Prize, while the second team will earn a $5 million.

Teams are also eligible to win a $1 million award for stimulating diversity in the field of space exploration and as much as $4 million in bonus prizes for accomplishing additional technical tasks such as moving ten times as far, surviving the frigid lunar night, or visiting the site of a previous lunar mission, according to the X Prize folks.

via Layer 8: X Prize $30 million private race to the moon is on | Network World.

A damp moon: Water found inside and out

Spacecraft reveal higher than expected abundances of the liquid on the lunar surface and in volcanic rocks

By Ron Cowen

October 24th, 2009; Vol.176 #9 (p. 10)


access

Scientists’ understanding of the moon could be all wet. Its surface is surprisingly dewy and its interior contains more water than previous analyses of moon rocks have indicated, according to new studies.

Observations from three spacecraft suggest that water is widely distributed over a thin layer of the lunar surface rather than locked up in icy enclaves predicted to lie at the moon’s poles. The results, detailed in a trio of papers to be posted online September 24 in Science, suggest that liquid water may be more available to future moon explorers than had been thought. Concentrations in sunlit soil might average about 1,000 parts per million, the equivalent of roughly a quart of water per ton of material. That water doesn’t remain on the moon, but comes and goes each lunar day. 

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