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 / 21-24 Oct 2016

 Schrödinger Basin @ Moon South Pole Gives Clues To Earth Chicxulub Crater & Solar System Evolution


Study Using NASA LRO & ISRO Chandrayaan-1 Remote Sensing Data Shows Similarities, Including Peak Rings, Between Moon 312-km Diameter Schrödinger Basin & Earth 180-km Chicxulub Crater (Impact Thought To Have Killed Dinosaurs ~66 Million Years Ago); Head Researcher David Kring Explains Impact On Moon Created In An Hour Able To Be Studied Because Of Clearly Visible, Preserved State, Whereas Impact On Earth Created In Just Minutes (Due To Higher Gravity) Is Hard To Study Lying Underneath Yucatán Peninsula & Half Submerged In Ocean; Moon South Pole Remains High Priority For Research, Exploration

Credits: NASA, Detlev Van, Ravenswaay / Science Source

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 8-11 July 2016

LRO Mission Receives NASA Extension Through March 2018


Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Shedding Light On Origin And Evolution Of The Solar System Through A Multitude Of Science Investigations At The Moon; NASA Planning US$20M / Year To Operate Flagship Lunar Mission Through FY2018 (Subject To Appropriation & Annual Budget Process); Latest Results Include SwRI Team Led By Kathleen Mandt Identifying 2 Geologically Young Craters Near South Pole Using Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) Detector Which Observes With Help Of Ultraviolet Light Coming From Distant Stars & From The Lyman-Alpha Skyglow Scattering Of Hydrogen Atoms In Solar System

Credit: LRO, NASA, SwRI

Thursday / 7 July 2016

LPI Seminar 8 July: Micro Cold Traps On The Moon Presented By Paul Hayne


Lunar And Planetary Institute Seminar Series Hosts Paul Hayne, Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences, JPL On Fri 8 July; Recent Observations Of Moon, Mercury Confirm Predictions Of Water Ice In High-Latitude Permanent-Shadow Craters; Some Discrepancies Exist As To Concentrations / Locations Of Volatiles, Presence Of Super-Volatiles (CH4, CO2, Methanol), Heterogeneous Thermal Environments; Hayne Presents New Theory To Explain These Based On Evidence Of Micro Cold Traps, Discusses Importance For Future Robotic / Human Exploration

Credit: LPI, JPL, UCLA/NASA/JPL/Goddard

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 10-13 June 2016

LRO Continues Intense Reconnaissance Of Moon


Flagship NASA Lunar Mission Will Enter Its 8th Year In Lunar Orbit 23 June As It Continues Highly Elliptical Polar Trajectory Observing Moon With Variety Of Onboard Instruments; SwRI Team Including Senior Research Scientist Kathleen Mandt Published Finding In Icarus Journal Identifying Geologically Young Craters Via Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) Instrument & Mini-RF Radar Data; One Crater Estimated At Just 16 Million Years Old, Others Between 75-420 Million Years

Credit: NASA, SwRI

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 27-30 May 2016

6 Current Moon Craft Operated Solely By China And NASA

China NASA 2016 Moon Craft

2017 Brings Hope For 1st Commercial Moon Missions, India Chandrayaan-2 & China Chang’e-5 Sample Return, While NASA LRO Continues Collecting Data On Lunar Poles, New Surface Features – Will Enter 8th Year At Moon 23 June, Data Release #26 Upcoming; NASA ARTEMIS 1 & 2 Studying Moon Plasma Wake & Solar Wind Interactions, To Enter 6th Year At Moon In July; China Chang’e-3 Lander & Yutu Rover At Guang Han Gong, 44.12°N 19.51°W To Celebrate Start Of 4th Year On Surface 14 Dec; Chang’e-5T1 Service Module Almost 17 Months In Orbit, Continues Observations / Tests For Future Landing Missions


Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 13-16 May 2016

LRO Greatly Advancing Lunar Knowledge, Up For 2 Year Extension In September


In Moon Orbit Longer Than Any Other Spacecraft LRO Continues Intensive Study From Highly Elliptical Path Flying As Low As 20km Over South Pole Every 117.2 Minutes; Noah Petro (Lunar Geologist) Studying Evolution Of Moon Today And Over Last Billion Years And John Keller (LRO Project Scientist) Examining Polar-Crater Water-Ice Deposits, Both At NASA GSFC, Are Among Thousands Of Scientists Worldwide Who Pour Over Data Releases From 7 Onboard Instruments; Project Team Has Requested Extension From NASA

Credit: GSFC, NASA

Wednesday / 11 May 2016

Europe Focuses On Lunar Exploration And Moon Village

4th European Lunar Symposium 18-19 May At The Dutch Royal Academy Of Arts And Sciences, Amsterdam (TR), The Netherlands Is Co-Organized By NASA SSERVI; Inaugural Lecture On LRO ‘Seven Years Exploring The Moon’; A “Moon Village” Workshop Occurs At Nearby ESTEC (BL) 19-20 May To Expand, Enhance And Refine This Primary Initiative Of ESA Director General Jan Woerner Who Is Determined To Help Establish A Permanent International Outpost At Moon As Next Major Step For Global Space Endeavor Beyond ISS


Friday / 22 April 2016

LRO Providing Critical Information & Inspiration For New Wave Of Lunar Progress


Flying 20 Km Over South Pole, 165k Km Over North Pole In Elliptical Orbit; LRO Providing Highest Resolution Data Ever, At A Rate Of ~440 Gigabits Image Data Per Day; Thomas R. Watters, LRO Co-Investigator And Senior Scientist At Smithsonian NASM, Notes The Narrow Angle Camera Instrument Alone Has Returned Well Over 1 Million Images, “More Digital Data Than Every Other Planetary Mission”; Resurgence Of Lunar Interest For National Space Agencies, Commercial Enterprises, Individuals Across The Globe

Credit: NASA.

New Year / Holiday Edition
Fri / 18 Dec 2015 – Mon / 4 Jan 2016

New Earthrise Photo From Moon Reaffirms Human Achievements & Prompts Next Steps Looking, Heading Into Milky Way Galaxy

12192015_2Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Continues To Gather Invaluable Data Solidifying Human Quest To Explore & Discover More About Earth, Moon, Solar System, Galaxy & Beyond; Photo Pays Tribute To Image Taken During Apollo 8 In Lunar Orbit On 24 Dec 1968 By Astronaut Anders; Composite Of Images Taken With LRO High-Resolution Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) In B&W Along With Wide Angle Camera (WAC) In Color ~134km Above Moon Farside Compton Crater While Traveling 1,600 Meters Per Second (Relative To The Lunar Surface); LRO Scheduled To Continue Through 2017; After Decades Of Viewing Earth From Moon, Next Inspiration Should Come From The Galaxy And Our Future Among The Stars

Pictured: Apollo 8 Crew (L-R) James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; William A. Anders, lunar module pilot; and Frank Borman, commander.

Credit: NASA