Friday / 8 Dec 2017

Russia Advancing Luna-25 Lander & Luna-26 Orbiter Missions With New Contracts

First Russian Return To Moon Luna-25 To Land Near South Pole 2019; Roscosmos State Corporation Contracts ~2 Billion Rubles (~US$34M) For Luna-26 Orbiter To Complete By 2020 Feb 29: NPO Lavochkin Receives 80% Contract Value; Luna-26 Weighing <2200kg Will Relay Data From Luna-25 Lander In Boguslavsky Crater; Together Will Study Solar Wind Interaction With Moon Surface — May Inform Future VLF Astronomy

Credits: NPO Lavochkin

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 8-11 Sep 2017

Moon Surface Supercomputer
RFI Being Sought By NASA

Radiation Tolerant Computer Which Could Be Used In Short Duration Moon Surface Mission, Operate In Vacuum Of Space Under -40°C To +70°C Temperatures, Provide 128MB Of Data Storage & 128MB Memory NASA RFI Due Sep 13; Vital Communications Infrastructure Will Be Needed For Multi-Payload & Human Missions To Moon Surface (Potentially Early 2020s), Far Side Moon, Deep Space, Mars, Beyond; Current 1-Year Testing Of HPE Linux Supercomputer At ISS; LADEE 2013 Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration Proved Record-Breaking Downlink Speed 622Mbps / Error-Free Uplink Speed 20Mbps, Revolutionary Technology Was 50% Weight Of Comparable Radio-Based Terminal & Used 25% Less Power


Thursday / 7 May 2015

Radiation Environment May Alter Lunar Regolith


Researchers From UNH & NASA Goddard Publish Study Detailing How ‘Sparking’ May Affect Lunar Regolith In Permanently Shadowed Craters; High-Energy Particles From Large Solar Storms Or Cosmic Rays Buildup Electric Charges Faster Than Regolith Can Dissipate Them, Particularly In -240°C Permanently Shadowed Polar Craters, Regolith Then Disintegrates Into Smaller Particles Of Distinct Materials; Researchers Used LRO CRaTER Instrument & Custom Computer Model; Team Will Now Utilize LRO Instruments At New Lower Orbit To Find Evidence For Sparking

Image Credit: NASA, UNH

Thursday / 15 January 2015

Science Lectures: Lunar Swirls For Space Exploration, Origin Of Moon


Ruth Bamford At BIS London 21 Jan To Explain How Mini Magnetospheres (Lunar Swirls) On Moon May Provide Key For Interplanetary Travel / Radiation Protection; Using Technology Based On This Phenomenon, Radiation Protecting Hardware Mass Could Be Kept Below 3000kg Requiring Only 10-20kW Of Power, Well Within Practical Expectations; Sarah Stewart Of UC Davis To Give SETI Lecture On 27 Jan Detailing Models Of The Giant Impact Believed To Have Created The Moon, A Follow-Up From Recent Billy Quarles SETI Lecture On “Theia’s Date With Destiny

Image Credit: Fahad Sulheria, RAL Space, UC Davis, NASA


Tuesday / 28 October 2014

LRO CRaTER Highlighting Dangers Of Space Environment


Data From CRaTER Instrument Aboard LRO Orbiter Demonstrating Impact Of Abnormal & Extended Lack Of Solar Activity; Since 2006 – Longest Solar Minimum / Weakest Solar Activity Is Bringing About Highest Intensities Of Galactic Cosmic Rays Witnessed Since Beginning Of Space Age Says CRaTER PI Nathan Schwadron Of UNH; Trend Reducing Allowable Days For Human Deep Space Exploration By 20%; Lunar Exploration – Short Transit & Possibilities For Underground Habitation – More Feasible Than Deep Space / Mars Exploration With Current Technology

Image Credit: NASA, UNH

Thursday / 12 June 2014

Lunar Swirls May Hold Key To Facilitate Human Deep Space Travel


Natural ‘Radiation Shelters’ On Moon Provide Clues About Surviving Solar Storms / Cosmic Radiation In Deep Space; Study Examined How Small Magnetic Fields On Lunar Surface Are Effective, Despite Their Low-Density, In Preventing High-Energy Particles From Striking Moon; Data Shows Previous Studies Have Overestimated Strength Of Magnetic Field Required To Keep Astronauts Safe, Suggests More Plausible Design For Spacecraft Mini-Magnetosphere Deflector Shields; Researchers Estimate 0.5kg Of Xenon Gas May Be Sufficient To Protect Crew For 6 Months In Deep Space

Image Credit: NASA

Thursday / 27 March 2014

Meteorite Impact Risk On Moon Greater Than Formerly Known


Future Moon Settlements / Human Operations Should Be Underground, Rely On Robots For Majority Of Surface Activity To Protect From Meteorite Impacts Says Russia Astronomer Vladimir Surdin (R); Over 300 Impacts Recorded On Moon Since 2005; At LPSC, LROC PI Mark Robinson Details Data Of Secondary Impacts From Recent Lunar Impact, 248 Small Debris Impacts Found Up To 30km From Fresh 18m-Wide Crater, These Secondaries Could Pose More Threat To Surface Assets Than Primary Craters

Image Credit: NASA, Moscow State University

Wednesday / 12 February 2014

Scientists Investigate Origin Of Organic Compounds On Moon


Cosmic Rays From Outside Galaxy May Turn Simple Molecules In Lunar Ice Into More Complex Organics; Sarah Crites Of University Of Hawaii At Manoa Models Ice Chemistry; Simulation Suggests Up To 6% Of Simpler Molecules In Moon Polar Ice Could Be Converted Into Organic Compounds Such As Methane After 1 Billion Years Of Cosmic Ray Bombardment; David Lawrence Of Johns Hopkins APL Says Data Provides Incentive For Moon Pole Prospecting Missions

Image Credit: NASA,, Facebook

Wednesday / 15 January 2014

LRO CRaTER Instrument Making Music From Cosmic Rays


CRaTER Instrument Aboard LRO Continuing To Characterize Global Lunar Radiation Environment & Its Biological Impact; CRaTER Website Converts Data From The 6 Instrument Detectors Into Music; Music Shifts From Major To Minor & Main Instrument Transitions Among 8 Options From Piano To Banjo As Cosmic Ray Count Increases; CRaTER Data Critical For Human Moon Mission / Lunar Base Construction Preparations

Image Credit: NASA, Business Insider