Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 8-11 July 2016

LRO Mission Receives NASA Extension Through March 2018

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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

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 10-13 June 2016

LRO Continues Intense Reconnaissance Of Moon

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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 / 13-16 May 2016

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

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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

Friday / 6 May 2016

Two Conferences Supporting Moon, Mars, & Asteroids Investigate Opportunities

Two ConferencesStimulating Renewed Support In Moon / Space Activities Two Conferences Moving Into Year 8 Scheduled To Address: Lunar Exploration & Enterprise, Solar System, Near Earth Asteroids; 7-9 June Golden Colorado School Of Mines To Host  SRR, PTMSS & LPI With PISCES Rob Kelso Discussing ISRU Construction – Lunar Launch/Landing Pad; Ames Research Center Holding Annual Lunar & Small Bodies Graduate Conference (LunGradCon 2016) In Mountain View California 19 July; NASA SSERVI Topics To Include Missions & Human Exploration

Credit: SRR, PTMSS, LPI, NASA, SSERVI, PISCES

Friday / 29 April 2016

Value Of The Moon Considered by Paul Spudis in New Book

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Planetary Geologist Dr. Paul D. Spudis At Lunar And Planetary Institute (LPI) Continues Leading Advocacy For Moon Exploration, Development; The 272-Page Illustrated Hardcover Highlights Moon Enabling Science, Commerce, Security, Human Solar System Expansion; Plan Outlines Base At Lunar Pole, In Situ Water-Ice Utilization, Regions Of Near-Continuous Sunlight, Teleoperated-Robtic Infrastructure Development Prior To Crew Missions; US$88B Cost Estimate For Human Lunar Outpost Capability

Credit: LPI, Smithsonian Books.

Wednesday / 2 December 2015

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Delivering Four Billion Measurements And Counting

1222015In Year 7, LRO Continues To Provide Information Useful For Decades Of Future Human Exploration; LRO Deputy PI Benjamin Greenhagen Comments “We Honor The Moon As A Global Scientific Legacy”; Data Reveals 5 Key Lessons According To B. Dorminey (Forbes Article): Recent Volcanic Activity Confirmed By Interior Temperature & Cooling Implies Moon Is Likely Still Tectonically Active; Lunar Surface Shows Extreme Temperature Variations Of –247 °C In Permanently Shadowed Regions To +123 °C In Areas Exposed To Up To 243 Consecutive Days Of Sunlight; Moon May Hold Water / Other Volatiles Useful For Life-Support As Well As Other Resource Utilization Potentials; Moon South Pole Aitken Basin Offers Potential Samples Of Lunar Rock Originating From Interior Mantle; LRO Radiation Measurements Could Help Minimize Future Human Moon & Deep Space Exploration Hazards

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, LRO, LPI

Thursday / 5 November 2015

Moonspike May Continue Efforts To Reach Moon, Other Private Ventures Advancing

11052015US$122K Raised From Over 1,000 Supporters Fell Short Of Crowdfunding Goals For Moonspike Spacecraft & Rocket To Crash-Land On The Lunar Surface;  Moonspike Founder Chris Larmour States “We Are Going To Spend Some Time Reviewing Our Options”; Britain Commercial Lunar Mission One Raised Over US$1.3M & Planning To Land Probe On Moon Surface & Drill 20-100 Meters For Samples To Return To Earth By 2024; Israel SpaceIL GLXP Team Set a US$240K Campaign Goal – One Dollar For Every Mile To The Moon, Team Secured Launch Services With Spaceflight Industries To Launch NLT 2017

Credit: Moonspike, Lunar Mission Ltd., SpaceIL

Wednesday / 30 September 2015

Helium-3 Has Tenuous Potential As Lunar Energy Resource

9302015Engineering Capabilities Of Unproven Helium-3 Fusion Reactor Technology May Be Decades Out; Apollo Astronaut Harrison Schmitt (T) Advocates For Lunar Mining Of Helium-3 (He-3); China, Russia, Europe, USA, India Also Showing He-3 Interest; Other Energy Solutions Including Lunar Water-Ice Extraction Proposed By Shackleton Energy Company (SEC); Strategic SEC Partnership With Penguin Automated Systems, Dr. Greg Baiden (B) Declares “There’s Also The Potential For Solar Power Stations”

Credit: NASA, Arizona Geological Society, SEC, ESA, Greg Baiden

Thursday / 24 September 2015

Canada Space Sector Innovating Strategies For Lunar Exploration

9242015 Lunar Night Survival Technologies Being Advanced By Canadensys With Endorsement Of ILOA Evaluating Extreme Moon Surface Temperature Variations From ~50°C In Sunlight To -230°C In Permanently Shadow Areas; Goal Is To Develop Alternative Non-Radioactive Heat Source For Missions Such As ILO-1 Moon South Pole Obervatory; Canadian Space Agency Performing Training & Field Work, Analyzing Data Of Lunar Geology Simulations From Arctic Analog To Aid In Future Moon, Mars, Asteroid Missions

Credit: CSA ACS, Canadensys, NASA, ILOA

Tuesday / 15 September 2015

India Considers RTG For Upcoming Chandrayaan-2 Moon Mission

9152015ISRO Work Pace Increases With Goal Of ~2017-18 Launch Of Chandrayaan-2, India Inaugural Soft Landing On Lunar Surface; Second Lunar Mission May Get Boost With Non-Fission Nuclear Energy Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG); Chandrayaan Project Director, Mylswamy Annadurai Affirms ISRO Success With Chandrayaan-1 Confirming Water Traces On Moon & Second Mission To Include Configuration Changes To Orbiter To Accommodate Lander

Credit:  ISRO