Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 19-22 Jan 2018

Russia Luna-27 Lander, ESA Lunar Ice Drill Progressing Toward Moon South Pole Launch 2021

Roscosmos Advancing Luna-Resurs Lander (Luna-27) With ESA Contract On Surface Drill (PROSPECT) Design, Planned 2021 Launch; Drill With 1-2 Meter Penetration Capability Through Frozen Regolith Being Tested At -140° C, Lunar Shadowed Surfaces Could Reach -240° C; ESA To Also Provide High Resolution Cameras With LIDAR & Precise and Intelligent Landing using Onboard Technologies (PILOT) System To Assist Landing; Luna-25 2019 Lander To Test Soft-Landing Technologies; Neutron Detector On Luna-26 Launching 2020 To Map Subsurface Ice; Sample Return Planned For Luna-28 In 2023; Luna-29 Lander And Rover In 2025 Could See Human Missions / Future Moon Base

Credits: NPO Lavochkin, Anatoly Zak, RussianSpaceWeb, Roscosmos, NASA, ESA, LROC, Ivanov et al., 2015

Friday / 19 Jan 2018

Blue Origin, Astrobotic and Moon Express Developing Lunar Landers

Blue Origin Near Seattle Designing “Blue Moon” Lander Capable Of Carrying 4,500 kg – Advanced Programs Manager A.C. Charania Says Aiming For 1st Mission In The Next Few Years; Astrobotic In Pittsburgh Developing “Peregrine” Lander Capable Of Delivering Up To 265 kg At US$1.2M/kg – 1st Moon Landing With 35-kg Payload Scheduled For 1st Half Of 2020; Moon Express At Cape Canaveral Planning To Launch “MX-1E” Landers With 10-20 kg Payloads, Including One With ILO-X Telescope & Possibly On Rocket Lab Electron From New Zealand For Google Lunar XPrize; Space.com Mike Wall Writes On Moon Rush

Pictured: Blue Origin Jeff Bezos & A.C. Charania, Astrobotic CEO John Thornton, ME CEO Bob Richards; Credits: Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, A.C. Charania, Astrobotic, Moon Express, Bob Richards

Thursday / 18 Jan 2018

Lava Tube Entrances May Exist In Moon Polar Regions

Planetary Scientist Pascal Lee Of SETI Institute & Mars Institute Discovers 3 Pits In Philolaus Crater Near Lunar North Pole – Candidate “Skylight” Entrances To Underground Lava Tubes; Permanently Shadowed Inside, These Pits May Give Access To Subsurface Water Ice; Polar Location Provides Solar Power & Direct Earth Communications For Easier Ice Extraction & Human Exploration; New Findings Made At NASA Ames Using Data From Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Credits: NASA, LRO, SETI Institute, Mars Institute, Pascal Lee

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 12-15 Jan 2018

Rocket Lab Second Test Launch Set For NET Jan 20, Could Determine GLXP Finale

Electron Second Test Flight ‘Still Testing’ Planned During 9-Day Launch Window Starting 20 January Could Be Significant Determiner In Google Lunar XPrize 31 March Deadline Further Extension Or GLXP End; Team Indus / ISRO PSLV Contract Cancelled Making It Virtually Impossible To Secure New Contract, Raise Funds, Integrate Lander & Launch Before Deadline; This Leaves Moon Express (Rocket Lab), Synergy Moon (Interorbital Untested Launch Vehicle Neptune), SpaceIL (SpaceX – Team Noted It Needed US$7.5M By 20 Dec 2017) And Team Hakuto (Working To Stay In Competition) To Attempt To Win US$20M Grand Prize

Pictured: Peter Beck, Rocket Lab CEO; Credits: Rocket Lab, Moon Express, GLXP

Friday / 12 Jan 2018

Lunar Science For Landed Missions NASA Ames Workshop To Evaluate Target Sites Today

3rd & Final Day Of Workshop At NASA Ames Organized By NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) & Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG); 1st Presentation Today By Jack Burns On Lunar Farside Science Including Radio Observations Of Redshifted 21-cm Hydrogen Line For Cosmology; Final Panel Discussion With Jim Green, Sarah Noble, Ben Bussey, Clive Neal, Greg Schmidt; Ends With Discussion On Top Recommended Sites — Within Context Of Newly Reactivated USA Moon Goals; Remote Participation Possible Through Live Coverage

Pictured: NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green, Professor Jack Burns; Credits: NASA, University of Colorado

Wednesday / 10 Jan 2018

John Young, “Moon Worker”, Took Humankind’s First Star Photos From Luna

Commander John Young Traveled Twice To Moon On Apollo 10 & 16, Pioneer / Founder Of “Astronomy From The Moon” – April 1972, Imaged Earth & Stars Using Far-UV Spectroscope; Loved Moon’s Possibilities, Reminding Us That “Single-Planet Species Don’t Last”, That “The Moon Will Save Us”; Served As ILOA Director Emeritus Since Addressing The ILOA Founders Meeting In 2007; Awarded “Astronaut Of The Century” Memorial Plaque From ILOA In 2012; Ad Astra 2018 Jan 5

Credits: NASA, SPC

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 5-8 Jan 2018

New Year 2018 Likely To See Increased Lunar Activities Worldwide

Increasing Moon Efforts By USA, India, China, Europe, Japan, Russia, Canada, South Korea Reflected By Growing Number Of International Lunar Conferences: Lunar Science For Landed Missions Workshop At NASA Ames 10-12 Jan, New Views Of The Moon 2 – Asia In Japan 18-20 Apr, European Lunar Symposium In Toulouse 13-16 May, International MoonBase Summit In Hawai`i Oct, ILOA Galaxy Forum China In Hainan Nov With Themes “Astronomy From The Moon” & “International Human Moon Missions”

Credits: NASA, LPI, International MoonBase Alliance, ISRO

New Year 2018 Edition
Fri-Thur / 22 Dec 2017 – 4 Jan 2018

2018 Could See Historic 1st Moon South Pole Landings, 1st Commercial Landings, While NASA LRO Continues FlagShip Mission

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter With 7 Instruments Providing Highest Resolution Data Ever At A Rate Of ~440 Gigabits Image Data Per Day – Is Now 8.5 Years Into Mission In Eccentric Polar Mapping Orbit (20-km Altitude South Pole, 165-km North Pole), Planned To Operate Through 2018 – Which May Be Most Favorable Year For Lunar Landings Since 1972; Chandrayaan 2 Moon South Pole Lander / Rover By India Set To Launch During Q1 2018; China Planning Chang’e-4 Far-Side Orbiter Launch May 2018, Followed By Far-Side South Pole Lander / Rover Oct 2018; Five Independent International Enterprises Look To Win Google Lunar XPrize, Aiming To Launch / Land On Moon Before 31 Mar 2018

Credits: NASA, LRO, ISRO, CNSA, SPC

Thursday / 21 Dec 2017

New Novel “Artemis” Set In The 1st City On Moon In Late 21st Century

Andy Weir — Author Of “The Martian” — Depicts Life Of Saudi Woman Jazz Bashara In Lunar Settlement Named Artemis; Weir Thinks We Will Colonize Moon Before Mars; Artemis Based On Commercial Space Efforts Making Lunar Tourism Viable Business; Population Lives In 5 Interconnected Bubbles Built With Aluminum From Smelting Lunar Anorthite, Located Near Apollo 11 Landing Site; Weir Presents Only ~1% Of All Details Of City He Crafted; Film Rights Already Sold

Credits: Andy Weir, Crown Publishing Group, David Lindroth Inc, Will Staehle, Kovalto1/shutterstock

Tuesday / 19 Dec 2017

Japan Lunar Startup ispace Proceeds With Historic US$90M Investment From INCJ, Shimizu, JAL And Others

Lunar Resource Exploration Company ispace Raises 10 Billion JPY – Largest Ever Series A In Global Space Sector & Largest By Any Japanese Startup; Investors Include INCJ, DBJ, TBS, Shimizu, Suzuki, JAL & 6 Others; Planning Lunar Orbiter 2019 & Lander 2020; Lander Will Be Designed To Carry 30 kg Including 2 Rovers Each With Max 5-kg Payload; CEO Hakamada Hopes For 1000-Person Moon Base By 2040; ispace Runs GLXP Team Hakuto Aiming For 1st Japan Commercial Lunar Landing Q1 2018

Pictured: ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada; Credits: ispace, INCJ, DBJ, TBS, Shimizu, Suzuki, JAL