Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 16-19 Feb 2018

NASA FY19 Proposal And Human / International Moon Missions

U.S. Space Policy Directive 1 Goal To Lead Sustainable Program Of Exploration With Commercial & International Partners Is Prioritized In US$19.892B NASA FY19 Budget Proposal Including $10.5B Campaign To Return Humans To Moon; Potential $200M May Be Allotted To Develop Commercial Robotic Landers 2020, Leading To Human-Rated Landers 2023; SLS / Orion To Be Fully Funded, Planning 2020 Uncrewed Launch, 2023 Crewed Lunar Flyby; SpaceX Falcon Heavy May Also Contribute To Commercial Lunar Launches, Deliver Humans To Moon & Mars; International Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway In Cislunar Space Could Accelerate Human Moon Landings & First Women On The Moon

Credits: NASA, SPC, ILOA

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 9-12 Feb 2018

India Chandrayaan-2 Updated Details On Lunar South Pole Landing

ISRO Chairman K Sivan Confirms April Launch From Sriharikota Satish Dhawan For GSLV MK2 / 3,290-kg Chandrayaan-2 Carrying Orbiter, Lander, Rover To Land ~600 km From Lunar South Pole, ~70° S, Between Craters Manzinus C And Simpelius N; 6-Wheeled Rover Will Have Solar Power For 1 Lunar Day (14 Earth Days), Ability To Travel Up To 200 Meters While Performing In-Situ Surface Chemical Analysis, Experiments, Observations That Could Be Relayed To Earth Within 15 Minutes; May Pave Way For Future Lunar Habitation Says Project Manager Muthayya Vanitha

Credits: ISRO, NASA, LRO

Friday / 9 Feb 2018

Deep Space Gateway To The Moon South Pole:
5 Landing Sites Being Explored

International Space Exploration Coordination Group Developing Navigation Routes For 5-Year Campaign Of 5 Human Moon Landing Missions From Envisioned Deep Space Gateway Starting 2028 At Malapert Massif, Shackleton Crater, Schrödinger Basin, Antoniadi Crater, South Pole-Aitken Basin; NASA NexGen ELA Study In 2015 Indicates Human Lunar Return 5-7 Years For US$10B Thru Public-Private Collaboration; Commercial Space At National Space Council Meeting 2017 Confirms Statement Adding Committed Funding & Political Support Necessary – Next Meeting 21 Feb; Reusable Moon Lander For Crew & Robots Would Be Most Essential For Moon, Deep Space Exploration States Clive Neal (R)

Credits: Leonard David, Scientific American; Image Credit: NASA, ISECG, Notre Dame

Wednesday / 24 Jan 2018

Chandrayaan-2 To Attempt India 1st Touchdown On Another World

Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit “Moon Vehicle”) Indigenous US$93M Mission Consisting Of Orbiter, Lander, Rover At 3,250 kg Expected To Launch March-April On GSLV Mk 2; Orbiter To Maintain 100-km Lunar Polar Orbit; Mission Will Collect Data From Water-Ice, Lunar Topography, Mineralogy, Elements, Exosphere; Solar Powered 20-kg Rover Has 3D Vision, Laser-Induced Breakdown And Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectroscopes; Project Director Mylswamy Annadurai States 1,250-kg Lander To Take First On-Site Measurements Near South Pole Region With First Of Its Kind Radio Anatomy Instrument (RAMBHA)

Image Credits: ISRO

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

Friday / 19 Jan 2018

Blue Origin, Astrobotic and Moon Express Developing Lunar Landers

Blue Origin Near Seattle Designing “Blue Moon” Lander Capable Of Carrying 4,500 kg – Advanced Programs Manager A.C. Charania Says Aiming For 1st Mission In The Next Few Years; Astrobotic In Pittsburgh Developing “Peregrine” Lander Capable Of Delivering Up To 265 kg At US$1.2M/kg – 1st Moon Landing With 35-kg Payload Scheduled For 1st Half Of 2020; Moon Express At Cape Canaveral Planning To Launch “MX-1E” Landers With 10-20 kg Payloads, Including One With ILO-X Telescope & Possibly On Rocket Lab Electron From New Zealand For Google Lunar XPrize; Space.com Mike Wall Writes On Moon Rush

Pictured: Blue Origin Jeff Bezos & A.C. Charania, Astrobotic CEO John Thornton, ME CEO Bob Richards; Credits: Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, A.C. Charania, Astrobotic, Moon Express, Bob Richards

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

Friday / 12 Jan 2018

Lunar Science For Landed Missions NASA Ames Workshop To Evaluate Target Sites Today

3rd & Final Day Of Workshop At NASA Ames Organized By NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) & Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG); 1st Presentation Today By Jack Burns On Lunar Farside Science Including Radio Observations Of Redshifted 21-cm Hydrogen Line For Cosmology; Final Panel Discussion With Jim Green, Sarah Noble, Ben Bussey, Clive Neal, Greg Schmidt; Ends With Discussion On Top Recommended Sites — Within Context Of Newly Reactivated USA Moon Goals; Remote Participation Possible Through Live Coverage

Pictured: NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green, Professor Jack Burns; Credits: NASA, University of Colorado

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 / 19 Dec 2017

Japan Lunar Startup ispace Proceeds With Historic US$90M Investment From INCJ, Shimizu, JAL And Others

Lunar Resource Exploration Company ispace Raises 10 Billion JPY – Largest Ever Series A In Global Space Sector & Largest By Any Japanese Startup; Investors Include INCJ, DBJ, TBS, Shimizu, Suzuki, JAL & 6 Others; Planning Lunar Orbiter 2019 & Lander 2020; Lander Will Be Designed To Carry 30 kg Including 2 Rovers Each With Max 5-kg Payload; CEO Hakamada Hopes For 1000-Person Moon Base By 2040; ispace Runs GLXP Team Hakuto Aiming For 1st Japan Commercial Lunar Landing Q1 2018

Pictured: ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada; Credits: ispace, INCJ, DBJ, TBS, Shimizu, Suzuki, JAL