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

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

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

Tuesday / 12 Dec 2017

Space Policy Directive 1 Orders Human Return To Moon, Then Beyond

U.S. President Signs SPD-1, Redirecting National Space Policy For Human Expansion Across Solar System, Starting With Landing Humans On The Moon; Plans For Sustainable Program With Commercial & International Partners; National Space Council Scott Pace States “We Want To Expand & Include More Countries In That Effort”; USA To Launch Astronauts With Space Launch System & Orion Crew Vehicle For Moon Flyby ~2021; NASA 2019 Budget Request To Reflect New Directive; Guests Attended Signing Include Buzz Aldrin, Jack Schmitt, Peggy Whitson, Astronaut Candidate Christina Koch, Robert Lightfoot & Eric Stallmer

Credits: NASA, Aubrey Gemignani, CNN, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 8-11 Dec 2017

Rocket Lab Electron 2nd Test Ideal Launch Conditions Open Monday Local Time (Sunday USA)

Electron Rocket 2nd Test Launch Possible 14:30-18:30 Dec 11 In New Zealand (15:30-19:30 Sunday HST): Live Video Stream To Begin 12 Minutes Before Launch; 17m-Tall, 1.2m-Diameter Rocket Capable Of Taking 225kg To Orbit; This Test Carries 2 Weather-Monitoring Lemur-2 Satellites For Spire & 1 Earth-Imaging Dove Satellite For Planet Labs; Daily 4-Hour Launch Window Continues Until Dec 17; Success Prepares Rocket Lab For Moon Express Lunar Launch Contracted For Q1 2018

Pictured: Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck; Credits: Rocket Lab, Spire, Planet Labs, NASA

Thanksgiving Weekend Edition
Thu-Mon / 23-27 Nov 2017

Lunar Interests / Plans Accelerate Globally

Moon Village Association / ESA Records Progress At ISU In Strasbourg, France; US National Space Council Working Scenarios For 3-7 Year Human Moon Return; India Early 2018 Chandrayaan-2 Moon South Pole Touchdown Could Startle Global Space Communities; China Expanding Astronomy From The Moon Activities With Chang’e-4 VLF Payloads And Technology; India-Japan Announce Lunar Sample Return Collaboration; Canada Space Agency LEAD Project To Support International HERACLES Moon South Pole Mission Concept; Prospective Candidates For ‘First Woman On The Moon’ Rising

 Credits: ESA/ Foster + Partners, WH.gov, ISRO, CAST, JAXA, SPC / ILOA, CSA

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 3-6 Nov 2017

American Lunar Updates: CATALYST, Next NASA Admin, HERA, Moon Express New Hire

Lunar Cargo Transportation And Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) Program To Spur Moon Commercial Cargo Transportation & Enable New Science / Exploration Being Extended 2 Years For Astrobotic, Masten Space Systems, Moon Express – Jason Crusan Of NASA States ‘Its Optimistic These Companies Could Deliver Payloads In 2018’; Nominee For Next NASA Admin Jim Bridenstine Testifies In Front Of Senate Committee, Awaiting Confirmation; JSC In Houston 4-Person 45-Day Spaceflight / Moon / Mars Mission Analog Campaign 4: Mission 3 Of Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) Ongoing Until Dec 4; Dr. Alain Berinstain Of Canada Joins Moon Express As VP Of Global Development

Credits: NASA, Moon Express, A. Berinstain, Astrobotic

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 27-30 Oct 2017

India Chandrayaan-2 Pioneering
Moon South Pole

ISRO Confirms Q1 2018 Plan To Deploy Orbiter, Attempt Lunar South Pole Touchdown With Lander And Rover; Chandrayaan-2 Project Director Mylswamy Annadurai States Specific Landing Site Is Not Yet Determined, Total Mission Cost US$93M, Lift-off Mass 3,250 kg; First Mission Ever To New Frontier Moon South Pole And India 2nd Mission To Moon Could Prove To Be Game Changer For Lunar Base Build Out, Resource Prospecting, Science, Energy / Technology Advancements; Payloads On-board Lander Include Thermal Sensors For Temperature, And RAMBHA To Measure Near-Surface Plasma & Its Changes

Credits: ISRO, NASA

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 20-23 Oct 2017

Human Return To Moon Advancing
With NSC And Commercial Ventures

USA National Space Council Declaring America Will Return To The Moon, Plans To Establish Users’ Advisory Group Composed Of Commercial Space Industry Leaders; Major Questions To FY19 Funding NASA Return To Moon: Where Will It Come From And Who Will It Involve – Commercial Or International Partners? At LEAG Return To The Moon Workshop, Moon Express, Astrobotic, Blue Origin & Masten Present Their Plans To Return To Moon, Opportunities For Government Collaboration; Bigelow & ULA Announce B330 Habitat For Low Lunar Orbit; As To ‘Why’ We Return To Moon – Expert Paul Spudis States “We Go To The Moon To Learn How To Live & Work Productively On Another World… Arrive, Survive, Thrive”

Credits: NASA, Bill Ingalls, Moon Express, SpaceX, Bigelow, Astrobotic

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 13-16 Oct 2017

Busiest Year For Moon Landings Since 1970s:
2018 India And China Lunar Lander Plans

India Chandrayaan-2 Lander, Rover & Orbiter Expected To Launch To Moon Polar Region March 2018 On GSLV Mk 2; China Chang’e-3 Lander Still Operating On Moon Surface Could See CE-4 Orbiter May-Jun 2018, Followed By Lander / Rover In Oct To Far Side, And CE-5 Sample Return Mission To NW Near-Side Before End Of 2018; New Chapter In Commercial Space For India, GLXP Team Indus Carrying Japan Team Hakuto Planning To Launch On PSLV Early 2018 To Attempt Moon Landing; Enterprises Moon Express, Synergy Moon, SpaceIL Also Working To Win GLXP With Mission Completion Deadline Set Mar 31, 2018

Credits: ISRO, CNSA, NAOC, CAS, ME, GLXP, et al