Thursday / 19 May 2016

Japan SLIM Moon Lander Advancing For 2018/2019 Launch

LED-5-18-16

JAXA Selects Mitsubishi Electric As Contractor For 1st Japan Lunar Lander Launching Fiscal Year 2019; Company To Work With JAXA, Several Japan Universities To Build 130-Kg Craft Capable Of Precision Landing, Goal To Improve Location Accuracy By Factor Of 10 Or More Over Similar Missions; Possible Destinations Scouted By Kaguya Include Vertical Shaft (Lava Tube Skylight?) 60m Diameter, 80m Deep; Total Project Budget JP¥18B (US$164M)

Credit: JAXA, Mitsubishi Electric

Tuesday / 3 November 2015

GLXP Teams Gear Up For 2017 Moon Missions:
Six Leading The Competition

11032015Efforts To Kick-Start Commercial Lunar Enterprise Advancing With Verified Launch Contracts, Ride Shares & GLXP Competition Extension; SpaceIL Preparing For SpaceX Launch Mid 2017, Craft To Solar Recharge Batteries Before 500m Race; Astrobotic Offering Ride Share Low-Cost Lunar Delivery Service With CEO Stating Team Will Be “The DHL To The Moon”; Teams Hakuto & AngelicvM Aboard With Astrobotic; Hakuto Additional Goal Will Be The Use Of Second Rover To Explore Caves For Potential Future Human Habitats; Moon Express Aiming For 2017 Launch With Rocket Lab; Part-Time Scientists Developing Space-Grade Parts Via 3D Printing

Credit: GLXP, Astrobotic, Hakuto, SpaceIL, Moon Express, Part-Time Scientists, AngelicvM

Thursday / 17 September 2015

LRO Observes Forming Moon Surface Faults

9172015Gravitational Tidal Forces From Earth Influencing Orientation Of Young Fault Scarps Caused By Cooling & Contracting Of Moon’s Interior; LRO Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) Identifying ~3,200 Thrust Fault Scarps Sampled In Areas 40° Longitude By 20° Latitude; Arizona State University & LROC Principal Investigator, Mark Robinson States “Now That We Have NAC Images …Structural Patterns Are Starting To Come Into Focus”

Credit: NASA, Arizona State University, Smithsonian Institution

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 28-31 August 2015

LRO Furthering Technological Advancements For Volatiles Search

8292015LRO Detailed Mapping With Laser Altimetry & Moon South / North Pole Region Assessment Inspires Researchers Including Andreas Velten From University Of Wisconsin-Madison Laboratory For Optical & Computational Instrumentation (LOCI); Velten Developing Technology With Ability To “See Around Corners” On Lunar Surface / In Lunar Caves With Laser Light Pulses To Allow For Water / Other Volatile Discoveries Without Excavation; LRO Will Continue Search For New Impacts & Characterize Radiation Environment, Data Release 23 Expected In September

 

Credit: NASA, University of Wisconsin

Thursday / 13 August 2015

NASA Drones For Moon Prospecting: Paul Spudis Notes Challenges & Benefits

8132015Latest Advances In Autonomous Teleoperated Arial Craft (Drones) May Revolutionize Lunar & Other Planetary Explorations In Areas Too Difficult For Human Maneuvering & At Lower Cost; Drones Could Prospect Lunar Surface For Ice & Resources Further Promoting The Ability To Access Moon / Deep Space; Paul Spudis Comments On Drone Challenges Of Different Atmospheres & Adaptions Required And Advantages Of Prolonged Flight Viewing Ability For Geologic Data Collection, Prospecting & Mapping Lunar Polar Regions, Craters, Lava Tubes

Credit: NASA, NASA Swamp Works

Friday / 31 July 2015

Moon Express & Astrobotic Testing Landers / Developing Flight Software

ME & Astrobotic 2015 Jul

Moon Express (ME) Continuing Flight Testing Of MTV-1A Lunar Lander (Successor Of MTV-1X) At Kennedy Space Center ‘Moonscape’ Test Range, Final Version Will Land On Moon & Hop 500 Meters, ME GNC Software Was Also Tested On NASA Mighty Eagle Lander; Through Lunar CATALYST Agreement, Astrobotic Developing Lunar Guidance Systems / Flight Trajectory Plan Using NASA Core Flight Software & LRO Data To Land In Lacus Mortis Region At 44.96°N 25.62°E, Explore Lunar Cave

Credit: ME, Astrobotic, NASA, GLXP

Thursday / 9 July 2015

Moon South Pole & Lunar Cave
Research Being Funded

792015Research Continues For Moon South Pole Shackleton Crater Terraforming For Future Robotic & Human Habitat / Exploration; Crater ~209 Square Kilometers With Peaks Over 4,267 Meters In Which Water Potential Has Been Identified; Technological Trans-Former Will Operate In Darkness / Low Temperatures, Reflect Sunlight & Convert Into Energy For Rover / Astronauts; NIAC Also Awarding Funds For PERISCOPE Orbiter To Shine Laser Pulses Into Crater / Caves & Gather Data

Credit: NASA

Thursday / 21 May 2015

ISDC 2015 Focusing On Breakthrough Technologies For Lunar / Space Exploration

ISDC2015

Over 1,000 Attendees Meeting At NSS International Space Development Conference In Toronto, Canada 20-24 May; Robert Richards Of Moon Express To Speak Today On ‘Breakthrough Technologies Shaping Our Future’; Friday To Feature Presentations On The International Lunar Decade By Dave Dunlop & Vid Beldavs, Plus A Keynote Presentation By Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin; Lunar Workshop To Include Presentations On Lunar Surface Solar Power / Power Beaming, Supporting A Cislunar Econosphere, Mapping Lunar Lava Tubes

Image Credit: National Space Society, Canadian Space Commerce Association, Moon Express, LinkedIn

Tuesday / 5 May 2015

Astrobotic Gains 3 More Contract Awards From NASA

AstroboticSTTR0515

GLXP Contender Announces US$375,000 In Contract Awards Through NASA Small Business Technology Transfer Program; Astrobotic, In Partnership With Carnegie Mellon University, Will Advance 3 Proposals For Resource Exploration On & Under Surface Of Moon / Other Planetary Bodies: Develop Sensors To Precisely Detect Minerals In Lunar Regolith, Develop Imaging Technology To Map Lunar Robot Surroundings While In Shadowed Polar Craters, Create Navigation / Perception Technology For Flying Robots To Explore Lunar Caves Without Communication To Earth

Image Credit: Astrobotic, NASA

Friday / 20 March 2015

46th LPSC Revealing Further Data On Moon Evolution, Structure, Habitability

46th LPSC

Final Day Of 46th LPSC At The Woodlands TX Focuses On “Early Lunar Evolution: Accretion To Crustal Formation & More”, “Later Lunar Evolution: How Old Is Old?”, “Impact Craters On Mars & The Moon”;  New Map Of Moon, Produced By Jack Wilson & Team At Durham University, Charts Thorium Spread 70,000km2 From Volcanic Eruption 3.5B Years Ago; Study By David Blair & Colleagues At Purdue University Concludes Moon Lava Tubes Of 1km+ Would Be Structurally Sound For Permanent Bases, Tunnels Are Expected To Be Larger On Moon Than On Earth Due To Lower Gravity

Image Credit: LPSC, LPI, NASA, Durham University, GSFC, ASU, LRO