Midnight In The Desert — lunar

Should We Open Some Sealed Apollo Moon Samples?

Posted by K R on

Should We Open Some Sealed Apollo Moon Samples?

Between 1969 and 1972, Apollo astronauts brought back to Earth a total of nine containers of moon material that were sealed on the lunar surface. Two of the larger sealed samples were collected by Apollo 17 moonwalkers in December 1972. Three sealed samples from Apollo 15, 16 and 17 remain unopened. According to several key lunar researchers, now is the right time to consider opening at least one of the still-sealed sample containers. Protected, preserved and processed Home for the Apollo geological samples — specimens that are physically protected, environmentally preserved and scientifically processed — is the Lunar Sample Laboratory...

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Russia, China agree joint data center for lunar projects & deep space exploration

Posted by K R on

Russia, China agree joint data center for lunar projects & deep space exploration

The projects will involve Russian and Chinese scientific and industrial bodies and companies, Roscosmos said in a statement on Saturday. Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) also signed an agreement of intent on cooperation over moon and deep space research, at the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) in Tokyo. The countries will also look into the possibilities of providing assistance for each other’s lunar programs. That would include the launch of the Russian Luna-26 orbiter in 2022, and the Chinese planned landing on the south pole of the moon scheduled for 2023. In 2017, Roscosmos and the CNSA...

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How 2 Aerospace Companies Plan to Launch an Inflatable Moon-Orbiting Habitat

Posted by K R on

How 2 Aerospace Companies Plan to Launch an Inflatable Moon-Orbiting Habitat

United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Bigelow Aerospace will collaborate to place a space station in orbit around the moon by 2023, the companies announced in a joint statement today (Oct. 17). The collaboration comes as the U.S. government has grown increasingly interested in returning to the moon. ULA is itself a joint venture between the established aerospace companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin. ULA boasts three families of rockets — Atlas V, Delta II and Delta IV — which have launched a combined total of more than 1,300 missions, according to the company's website. Bigelow Aerospace made headlines in May 2016...

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Fly me to the Moon: For some, lunar village takes shape

Posted by K R on

Fly me to the Moon: For some, lunar village takes shape

By 2040, a hundred people will live on the Moon, melting ice for water, 3D-printing homes and tools, eating plants grown in lunar soil, and competing in low-gravity, "flying" sports. To those who mock such talk as science fiction, experts such as Bernard Foing, ambassador of the European Space Agency-driven "Moon Village" scheme, reply the goal is not only reasonable but feasible too. At a European Planetary Science Congress in Riga this week, Foing spelt out how humanity could gain a permanent foothold on Earth's satellite, and then expand. He likened it to the growth of the railways, when villages...

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Minor lunar eclipse to darken part of Moon Wednesday: What to expect

Posted by K R on

Minor lunar eclipse to darken part of Moon Wednesday: What to expect

Earth's shadow will darken part of the moon Wednesday morning in a lunar eclipse that will be visible from much of the globe, including central and western North America. But don't get too excited, skywatchers. Wednesday's lunar eclipse is of the penumbral variety, and the effect will therefore be subtle and subdued compared to the jaw-dropping "blood moons" caused by total lunar eclipses. Earth's shadow is composed of two parts: the dark, inner umbra and a faint, outer portion called the penumbra. As the term suggests, penumbral eclipses involve the moon dipping into the penumbra (but steering clear of the...

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