Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 17-20 February 2017

U.S. Administration Considers Accelerating 1st Human Moon Mission Of 21st Century To 2018

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot Requesting Top Official For Human Spaceflight William Gerstenmaier To Explore Feasibility Of Sending Astronauts On EM-1 Flight 2018; Could Advance A Human Return To Moon, Landing 1st Woman On Moon, Reclaiming Multi World Species Status, First Missions To Mars & Beyond; Scott Pace Of Space Policy Institute At GWU Notes There May Be A Push For Significant Near-Term U.S. Accomplishments; Presidential Policy Advisor Bob Walker Believes There Is Possibility To Land Humans On Moon 2021-2025, Perhaps Using Commercial Companies & Technologies; Similar Goals Of Other Countries Could Catalyze International Collaboration For Human Lunar Missions / Settlement

Credits: NASA, ESA, Bigelow Aerospace

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 10-13 February 2017

Europe And USA Closer To Returning Humans To Moon Via Orion / SLS In 2021

ESA Delivers Propulsion & Supply Module For Uncrewed Lunar 2018 Exploration Mission-1, Will Begin Developing Module With Airbus For 2021 Crewed Lunar Flight – Taking Humans Farther Than Any Apollo Mission; EM-1 Also Carrying 13 CubeSats, 4 Or More Will Focus On Moon Science & Observations; New U.S. Administration May Advance Human Moon Landing / Settlement Competencies & Technologies, Resource Extraction, Commercial Space Policies; Orion / SLS Has Potential To Carry Astronauts To Asteroids & Mars; SpaceX Planning Craft For Mars, Jupiter, Saturn Systems

Credits: NASA, ESA, Rad Sinyak

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 3-6 February 2017

MoonWatcher Mission Proposes 24/7 Live Video Of Moon, Seeks US$150K Crowd Funding

Co-Founders Blair DeWitt (L) & Barret Schlegelmilch (R) Of MIT Aiming To Build MoonWatcher Satellite, Design State Of The Art Camera, And Launch To LEO Via Virgin Galactic LauncherOne Rocket Feb 2018 To Provide 1st Private Real-Time, Unobstructed View Of Lunar Surface; Plan To Report Latest Lunar News & Science; This Round Of Investment Ends March 12; Future Goals Would Be Fleet Of Lunar Cameras / Satellites; Potential To View Future Lunar Missions / Activities, Lunar Base Build Out, Meteor Showers, Surface Changes; Team Advisors Include Sean Casey, Matt Blasco, Dennis Williams

Credits: MoonWatcher, Virgin Galactic

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 6-9 January 2017

China And India Next-Gen Moon Missions, Planning For Mars, Venus, Jupiter

China CE-5 Sample Return Mission To Launch Late 2017; CE-4 Orbiter To Support Moon South Pole / Far Side Aitken Basin Lander & Rover Mission Launching 2018; Chief Lunar Scientist Ouyang Ziyuan Says Precise Lunar Digital Map And 4.36 x 2.2 Meter Drawing To Be Finished 2018, Released 2020; First China Mars Probe Expected 2020, Jupiter Exploration To Follow; India Chandrayaan-2 Moon Orbiter, Lander & Rover Likely 2018 For Polar Mission To Study Atmosphere, Temperature, Plasma Environment; ISRO Associate Director M. N. Rao Says Its Planning Cost Effective Jupiter & Venus Missions, Analyzing Satellites & Rockets Needed; Mars Orbiter 2 To Launch 2018; Team Indus To Launch Two Lunar Rovers On PSLV Late 2017

Credits: ISRO, CAS, NASA

New Year Holiday Edition
Friday-Tuesday
23 December 2016 – 3 January 2017

Russia Remains Lunar Focused, Sets Realistic Timeline For Moon South Pole, Human Missions, Lunar Base

Russia Lunar Exploration Program Planning To Launch South Pole Missions: Luna 25 Lander In 2018-19 To  Boguslavsky Crater To Look For Water, Luna 26 Orbiter In 2020, Luna 27 Lander In 2021, Luna 28 Sample Return Mission In 2023, Luna 29 Lander & Rover In 2025; According To Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Russia Moon Program 2025-2036 Includes Development Of New Super Heavy Rocket For Cargo Transport, Human Moon Missions Beginning 2030, Russian Academy Of Sciences Lunar Rovers & National Centre For Technology Development Humanoid Robots To Support Lunar Base Build Out 2031

Credits: Roscosmos, YouTube/Rokossovskiy Konstantin, Russia National Center for Technology Development and Basic Robotics, Lavochkin Research and Production Association

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 9-12 December 2016

LRO Providing High-Res, Multispectral Moon Mapping, Prepares For 2017 And Revisits Apollo Landing Sites

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter 7.5 Years Into Mission, Continuing Eccentric Polar Mapping Orbit (20-km Altitude South Pole, 165-km North Pole) Since May 2015; Adding To 3D Map Of Lunar Surface At 100-meter Resolution (98.2% Coverage So Far, Excluding Polar Areas In Deep Shadow); Recent Data From Apollo Sites Provides Modern Views, New Interpretations Of Sample Materials; Release 28 Of LRO Data Expected 15 December; Science Team Schedules August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Observations Of Moon Shadow Moving Across USA; NASA Planning US$20M / Year To Operate Flagship Lunar Mission Through FY2018

Credits: NASA, GSFC, Arizona State University

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 2-5 December 2016

GLXP Teams Must Provide Launch Contract Before 2017 To Stay In Competition: 4 Verified, 1 Newly Contracted

glxp-teams-dec-2016

Nearing 1-Year Mark To Claim US$20M First Place Prize, GLXP Teams Have Until 31 Dec 2016 To Contract With Launch Provider; Israel SpaceIL With Hopper Lander Has Verified SpaceX Launch, USA Moon Express Hopper Lander Verified Contract With Rocket Lab (And Has FAA Approval For Mission), USA Synergy Moon Lander & 2 Rovers Verified With Interorbital, India Team Indus Lander & Rover Verified With ISRO PSLV; Germany Part Time Scientists Lander & 2 Rovers SpaceX Contract Via Spaceflight Industries Not Yet Verified; USA Astrobotic Lander (With Andy Rover) – Carrying Japan Hakuto 2 Rovers & Chile AngelicvM Uni Rover – Still Planning SpaceX Launch

Credits: Moon Express, Astrobotic, Hakuto, SpaceIL, Part Time Scientists, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, AngelicvM, GLXP

Weekend Edition
Thu-Mon / 24-28 November 2016

USA Lunar Transport Enterprises Submitting RFI Proposals For NASA Payload Delivery 2017-2020

nasa-rfi-lunar

Seeking To Address Strategic Knowledge Gaps In Lunar Resource Potential, Lunar Environment & Its Effects On Humans, NASA Asks USA Commercial Lunar Cargo Transportation Service Providers To Propose (By 9 December) Payload Delivery Options Available In 2017-2020; Moon Express Announces It Will Give US$500,000 For Each NASA Payload On First Three MX-1 Missions ($1.5M Total) Under Lunar Scout Program; Astrobotic Proposes Dollar For Dollar Matching Program (Up To US$12M) – For Every NASA Payload Selected To Fly On Astrobotic 1st Mission 2017, It Will Provide Second Mission In 2021 At No Charge

Credits: Moon Express, Astrobotic

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 18-21 November 2016

Japan Epsilon Launch Set For 20 Dec, Intended To Carry SLIM Lander To Moon 2018-19

japan-epsilon-slim

The 2nd JAXA Epsilon Rocket Launch Planned 20 Dec Lofting ERG Satellite Should Further Qualify Technology Enabling 1st JAXA Lunar Landing With Smart Lander For Investigating Moon (SLIM); Epsilon Launch Estimated At US$38M (Half Cost Of Predecessor M-5), Uses H-2A Solid Booster, M-5 Second & Third Stages; SLIM To Test Technologies For SELENE-2 (Lander & Rover) And Future Human Missions; JAXA, ISAS, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory ‘Workshop On Planetary Science Enabled By Epsilon Class Missions’ 15-16 Nov Establishing Potential International Collaborations & Inputs For SLIM, Penetrator Probe For Moon Or Airless Bodies, DESTINY+ For Meteor Shower Study

Pictured: ISAS Associate Professor Shinichiro Tokudome (responsible for developing Epsilon propulsion systems & integration)

Credits: JAXA, ISAS

Special Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 14-17 Oct 2016

First Woman On The Moon:
Chinese? American? Other?

international-woman-on-the-moon

While 46 Of The 60 Women Astronauts Are American, NASA Has No Plans To Put 1st Woman On Moon, Reclaim Greatest Advance In Human History / Multi World Species, Reach New Frontier Of Moon South Pole; China May Be Well Positioned To Put 1st Woman On Moon As Chang’e, Tiangong, Long March Rocket Programs Prove Reliability, And Planning Shows Step-By-Step Logical Progression; Russia & ESA Hope For Eventual Human Lunar Bases, Japan Plans Human Lander After SELENE-3, Canada Participating In ISECG Road Map Which May Include Moon Missions & On NASA Robotic Resource Prospector Mission 2018, S Korea Focusing On 1st Moon Orbiter 2018, Robotic Lander / Rover 2020

Pictured: L-R, T-B: Wang Yaping, Liu Yang (China), Julie Payette (Canada), Naoko Yamazaki (Japan), Yelena Serova (Russia), Yi So-yeon (S Korea)

Credits: CNSA, NASA, CSA, KARI, RSA, JAXA