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  • richardmitnick 3:13 pm on December 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Can Israelis Put Two Landers on the Moon at Once?", , Beresheet and Beresheet 2, Lunar research, SpaceIL,   

    From The New York Times: “Can Israelis Put Two Landers on the Moon at Once?” 

    From The New York Times

    Dec. 23, 2020
    Kenneth Chang

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    6

    1
    SpaceIL’s control room in Yahud, Israel, during last year’s mission, shortly before the spacecraft crashed into the moon. Credit: Israel Aerospace Industries/EPA, via Shutterstock.

    3
    SpaceIL’s Beresheet Lunar Lander.

    4
    Beresheet 2 depiction. Credit: Haim Zach, GPO.

    An Israeli nonprofit will try again to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon after its first attempt ended in a crash last year.

    The spacecraft, named Beresheet, made it to lunar orbit in April 2019, but plummeted to the surface during its final descent.

    On Wednesday, SpaceIL, the nonprofit, announced Beresheet 2, a follow-up that is to be more complex — two landers as well as an orbiter — although the organization says it will fit into roughly the same budget as the first mission: about $100 million. Beresheet 2 is to launch in the first half of 2024.

    Beresheet means “Genesis” or “in the beginning” in Hebrew.

    In an interview, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub, two of the founders of SpaceIL, said they did not want to simply build and launch a carbon copy of the first attempt.

    “We’re looking to do something that will be unique, something that was never done before,” Mr. Damari said. “Not just, you know, repeat the same mission and just change the ending. We’re looking to do something that will be meaningful.”

    In an interview, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub, two of the founders of SpaceIL, said they did not want to simply build and launch a carbon copy of the first attempt.

    “We’re looking to do something that will be unique, something that was never done before,” Mr. Damari said. “Not just, you know, repeat the same mission and just change the ending. We’re looking to do something that will be meaningful.”

    The two landers would be much smaller than the first spacecraft — about 260 pounds each, fully fueled, compared with a bit less than 1,300 pounds for Beresheet — and they would land on different parts of the moon. The orbiter would circle the moon for at least a couple of years.

    The three spacecraft of Beresheet 2 would together weigh about 1,400 pounds.

    Even though the designs would be new, they would reuse many aspects of Beresheet, and the founders said they had learned lessons that would increase the chances of success for the second attempt. SpaceIL will again collaborate with Israel Aerospace Industries, a large satellite manufacturer.

    An investigation revealed that a component tracking the lander’s orientation failed, and as mission controllers tried to reset that, they inadvertently shut down the engine, and the spacecraft fell to its destruction.

    In May last year, NASA released a photograph taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft that showed the scar that Beresheet made on the moon.

    3
    Left: Beresheet impact site. Right: An image processed to highlight changes near the landing site among photos taken before and after the landing, revealing a white impact halo. Other craters are visible in the right image because there is a slight change in lighting conditions among the before and after images. Scale bar is 100 meters. North is up. Both panels are 490 meters wide. Credits: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

    SpaceIL hopes that international partnerships will pay for half of the cost of Beresheet 2. Mr. Damari said the United Arab Emirates, a small but wealthy country in the Persian Gulf that has set up an ambitious space program in recent years, was one of seven nations interested in taking part. He declined to name the other six.

    “We’re going to do something that will have a global impact,” he said.

    The Israel Space Agency is likely to provide some financing. SpaceIL will have to raise the rest from private donors.

    Two of the biggest benefactors of the original Beresheet mission — Morris Kahn, a South African-Israeli billionaire who served as SpaceIL’s chairman, and Sheldon G. Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate — are not currently involved with Beresheet 2. Mr. Kahn initially said he would contribute to a second SpaceIL moonshot.

    SpaceIL started as one of the competitors in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, which offered $20 million for the first private entity to softly land a spacecraft on the moon. That endeavor turned out to be harder than many expected, and none of the teams, including SpaceIL, were able to do so before the prize expired at the end of 2018.

    Even without the potential financial reward, SpaceIL pressed on, hoping that it would inspire younger Israelis to pursue careers in science and engineering.

    The moon was the focus of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s but then was largely ignored until recent years.

    China has successfully landed three spacecraft there since 2013, including a mission this month to bring back rocks from the moon for the first time since the Soviet Union’s Luna robotic probe in 1976.

    NASA is also looking to send robotic missions to the moon, hiring private companies to take payloads. That first commercial mission may launch as soon as next year.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 9:53 pm on December 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Confirms New SIMPLEx Mission Small Satellite to Blaze Trails Studying Lunar Surface", , , , , Lunar research,   

    From NASA JPL-Caltech: “NASA Confirms New SIMPLEx Mission Small Satellite to Blaze Trails Studying Lunar Surface” 

    NASA JPL Banner

    From NASA JPL-Caltech

    December 2, 2020

    Grey Hautaluoma /
    NASA Headquarters, Washington
    202-358-0668 /
    grey.hautaluoma-1@nasa.gov /

    Alana Johnson
    NASA Headquarters, Washington
    202-358-1501
    alana.r.johnson@nasa.gov

    Ian J. O’Neill
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
    818-354-2649
    ian.j.oneill@jpl.nasa.gov

    NASA Lunar Trailblazer depiction.


    Peering into the Moon’s permanently shadowed regions, Lunar Trailblazer will detect signatures of water ice in reflected light, and it will pinpoint the locations of micro-cold traps less than a football field in size. Credit: Lockheed Martin.

    Producing maps to locate ice or water trapped in rock at the Moon’s surface, Lunar Trailblazer will help support NASA’s efforts to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon.

    A small-satellite mission to understand the lunar water cycle – detecting and mapping water on the lunar surface in order to investigate how its form, abundance, and location relate to geology – has received NASA approval to proceed with the next phase of its development.

    On Nov. 24, the Lunar Trailblazer, a mission selected under NASA’s Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) program, passed its Key Decision Point-C (KDP-C) milestone, obtaining agency-level endorsement to begin final design of hardware and build. The milestone also provides the project’s official schedule and budget determination.

    “Lunar Trailblazer will confirm whether water on the Moon is tightly bound in crystalline rock, as recently suggested by NASA’s SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) observations, or loosely bound and mobile as a function of temperature,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “This SIMPLEx mission bolsters our portfolio of targeted science missions designed to test pioneering technologies while reducing overall costs using new streamlined processes.”

    Producing the highest-resolution basemaps to locate ice or water trapped in rock at the Moon’s surface, Lunar Trailblazer will help support NASA’s Artemis program, which includes establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon by the end of the decade and preparing for crewed missions to Mars.

    “We’re excited to help answer big planetary science questions with a small satellite by making the new maps of water on the Moon,” said Bethany Ehlmann, the mission’s principal investigator, of Caltech. “Given the importance of water on the Moon for future robotic and human missions, Lunar Trailblazer will provide critical basemaps to guide future exploration.”

    Peering into the Moon’s permanently shadowed regions, Lunar Trailblazer will detect signatures of ice in reflected light, and it will pinpoint the locations of micro-cold traps less than a football field in size. Collecting measurements at multiple times of day over sunlit regions, the mission will help scientists understand whether the water signature on the illuminated surface changes as the lunar surface temperature changes by hundreds of degrees over the course of a lunar day.

    “Lunar Trailblazer will vastly advance our understanding of water cycles on airless bodies like the Moon,” said Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “By measuring both direct light and low levels of terrain-scattered light, Lunar Trailblazer will generate comprehensive maps of surface water ice, even in the Moon’s darkest regions.”

    Selected in 2019, Lunar Trailblazer is the second mission from the current round of programs to receive confirmation and plans to deliver its flight system in October 2022, with a launch currently planned for February 2025. The Janus mission received its confirmation in early September 2020 and will investigate the formation and evolution of small, deep-space “rubble pile” asteroids. The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (EscaPADE) mission is still in formulation, with its KDP-C planned for summer of 2021.

    “Lunar Trailblazer has a talented, multi-institutional team whose collective effort resulted in a successful formulation phase and confirmation review,” said Calina Seybold, Lunar Trailblazer Project manager, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “I am thrilled that the team has earned the privilege of continuing to our final design and fabrication phase.”

    For information on NASA’s Lunar Trailblazer mission, visit:

    https://trailblazer.caltech.edu/

    For information on NASA’s small satellite activities, visit:

    https://www.nasa.gov/smallsat-institute

    Lunar Trailblazer is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California as part of the Solar System Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington and guided by agency priorities and the Decadal Survey process of the National Academy of Sciences. Managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, JPL also provides system engineering and mission assurance as well as navigation. Lockheed Martin provides the spacecraft and integrates the flight system, under contract with Caltech.

    SIMPLEx mission investigations will be managed by the Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama as part of the Solar System Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The program conducts space science investigations in the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, guided by NASA’s agency priorities and the Decadal Survey process of the National Academy of Sciences.

    See the full article here .


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    NASA JPL Campus

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

    Caltech Logo

     
  • richardmitnick 9:20 am on December 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "China’s Chang’e 5 mission has landed on the moon", , Lunar research   

    From EarthSky: “China’s Chang’e 5 mission has landed on the moon” 

    1

    From EarthSky

    December 2, 2020
    Lia Rovira

    China’s robotic Chang’e 5 launched successfully last week atop a Chinese Long March 5 rocket. Now it’s reported to have landed on the moon. It’s scheduled to bring back moon rocks later this month.

    1
    China’s Chang’e 5 moon lander and ascent vehicle separated from the orbiter early on Monday, December 1, 2020, ahead of its landing in the moon’s Ocean of Storms. Image via CCTV/ South China Morning Post.

    China’s Chang’e 5 mission – launched November 23, 2020, and in orbit around the moon since November 28 – successfully set a lander down on the lunar surface on December 1, 2020. Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, reported:

    “China’s Chang’e-5 spacecraft successfully landed on the near side of the moon late Tuesday (December 1) and sent back images, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced. At 11:11 p.m.[local time in China], the spacecraft landed at the preselected landing area near 51.8 degrees west longitude and 43.1 degrees north latitude.”

    If all goes according to plan, the Chang’e 5 mission will carry moon rocks back to Earth in mid-December. They will be the first moon rocks to arrive back on Earth since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976.

    Xinhua explained that the Chang’e 5 spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner. The news agency reported:

    “At 10:57 p.m. Tuesday, the lander-ascender combination of Chang’e-5, from about 15 km above the lunar surface, started a powered descent with a variable thrust engine ignited. Its relative vertical velocity to the moon was lowered from 1.7 km per second to zero.

    The probe was adjusted and approached the lunar surface during the descent.

    After automatically detecting and identifying obstacles, the probe selected the site and touched down on the north of the Mons Rumker … on the near side of the moon.

    During the landing process, the cameras aboard the lander took images of the landing area.”

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    Nuno Sequeira in Lisbon, Portugal captured this image of the moon on December 1, 2020 and kindly marked Chang’e 5’s landing site. Nuno wrote, “The approximate landing zone of Chang’e 5 probe … It will enjoy 2 weeks of sunlight.” Thank you, Nuno!

    The landing site of the mission – the Mons Rumker area – is in the vast lunar volcanic plain known as Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms). Parts of this region on the moon have been explored by other moon missions, including NASA’s Apollo 12 in 1969. Rocks in the Mons Rumker region are thought to have formed just 1.2 billion years ago. In contrast, the moon rocks brought home by the Apollo astronauts – between 1969 and 1972 – are much older. The Planetary Society, a U.S. nonprofit space advocacy group, explained:

    “The samples should be the youngest ever returned to Earth: just 1.2 billion years old, when multicellular life may have already evolved on our planet. Chang’e-5 will help scientists understand what was happening late in the moon’s history, as well as how Earth and the solar system evolved.”

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    This image of Mons Rumker on the moon was captured by Apollo 15 astronauts in 1971. It is about 43 miles (70 km) wide and rises nearly a mile (1.6 km) above the surrounding area. Image via Planetary Society.

    The Chang’e 5 spacecraft’s journey to the moon lasted 112 hours. Chinese space engineers reported on November 28 that the craft had successfully entered orbit around the moon.

    The mission launched November 23 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in China’s Hainan province. It was carried atop a Long March 5 rocket.

    4
    The mission, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, will seek to collect lunar material to help scientists understand more about the moon’s origins and formation. Image via China Global Television Network.

    Chang’e 5 is not the only ongoing sample-return mission. Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission is scheduled to return a lander from space to the continent of Australia on December 6, 2020; it will be carrying pieces of the asteroid Ryugu collected over two years ago.

    JAXA/Hayabusa 2 Credit: JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita.

    More recently, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe took a sample of the asteroid Bennu; that material is expected to be returned to Earth in September 2023.

    NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft.

    And it seems that China has big plans for the moon. Speaking to astronauts aboard the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft through a video call in 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping said:

    “The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger. The Chinese people will take bigger strides to explore further into space.”

    China became the first country to send an unmanned rover to the far side of the moon last year. Last July, China launched its first unmanned mission to Mars – Tianwen-1 – expected to arrive in February 2021.

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    Image of China’s Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover Tianwen-1 undergoing tests during 2019.

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    Tianwen-1 depiction. https://www.dw.com

    If Tianwen-1 is successful, Beijing hopes eventually to send a manned mission to Mars. There are also plans to bring up a permanent space station by 2022, as well as sending astronauts back to the moon by the 2030s.

    If this would prove successful, China would become the second country in the world to put a human on the moon, after the U.S.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.orgin 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. “Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers,” she says.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:05 pm on October 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Sunlit Surface of Moon", Lunar research,   

    From NASA/DLR SOFIA: “NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Sunlit Surface of Moon” 

    NASA SOFIA Banner

    NASA SOFIA

    From NASA/DLR SOFIA

    Oct. 26, 2020

    Felicia Chou
    Headquarters, Washington
    202-358-0257
    felicia.chou@nasa.gov

    Alison Hawkes
    Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, Calif.
    650-604-4789
    alison.hawkes@nasa.gov

    1
    This illustration highlights the Moon’s Clavius Crater with an illustration depicting water trapped in the lunar soil there, along with an image of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) that found sunlit lunar water.
    Credits: NASA/Daniel Rutter.

    NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.

    SOFIA has detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. Previous observations of the Moon’s surface detected some form of hydrogen, but were unable to distinguish between water and its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH). Data from this location reveal water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million – roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water – trapped in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface. The results are published in the latest issue of Nature Astronomy.

    “We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”

    As a comparison, the Sahara desert has 100 times the amount of water than what SOFIA detected in the lunar soil. Despite the small amounts, the discovery raises new questions about how water is created and how it persists on the harsh, airless lunar surface.

    Water is a precious resource in deep space and a key ingredient of life as we know it. Whether the water SOFIA found is easily accessible for use as a resource remains to be determined. Under NASA’s Artemis program, the agency is eager to learn all it can about the presence of water on the Moon in advance of sending the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 and establishing a sustainable human presence there by the end of the decade.

    SOFIA’s results build on years of previous research examining the presence of water on the Moon. When the Apollo astronauts first returned from the Moon in 1969, it was thought to be completely dry. Orbital and impactor missions over the past 20 years, such as NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, confirmed ice in permanently shadowed craters around the Moon’s poles.

    NASA/ LCROSS

    Meanwhile, several spacecraft – including the Cassini mission and Deep Impact comet mission, as well as the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 mission – and NASA’s ground-based Infrared Telescope Facility, looked broadly across the lunar surface and found evidence of hydration in sunnier regions.

    NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft.

    NASA Deep Impact spacecraft.

    ISRO Chandrayaan 2.

    NASA Infrared Telescope facility Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level.

    Yet those missions were unable to definitively distinguish the form in which it was present – either H2O or OH.

    “Prior to the SOFIA observations, we knew there was some kind of hydration,” said Casey Honniball, the lead author who published the results from her graduate thesis work at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu. “But we didn’t know how much, if any, was actually water molecules – like we drink every day – or something more like drain cleaner.”


    SOFIA Discovers Water on a Sunlit Surface of the Moon
    Scientists using NASA’s telescope on an airplane, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, discovered water on a sunlit surface of the Moon for the first time. SOFIA is a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that allows astronomers to study the solar system and beyond in ways that are not possible with ground-based telescopes. Molecular water, H2O, was found in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.
    Credits: NASA/Ames Research Center.

    SOFIA offered a new means of looking at the Moon. Flying at altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, this modified Boeing 747SP jetliner with a 106-inch diameter telescope reaches above 99% of the water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere to get a clearer view of the infrared universe. Using its Faint Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST), SOFIA was able to pick up the specific wavelength unique to water molecules, at 6.1 microns, and discovered a relatively surprising concentration in sunny Clavius Crater.

    “Without a thick atmosphere, water on the sunlit lunar surface should just be lost to space,” said Honniball, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Yet somehow we’re seeing it. Something is generating the water, and something must be trapping it there.”

    Several forces could be at play in the delivery or creation of this water. Micrometeorites raining down on the lunar surface, carrying small amounts of water, could deposit the water on the lunar surface upon impact. Another possibility is there could be a two-step process whereby the Sun’s solar wind delivers hydrogen to the lunar surface and causes a chemical reaction with oxygen-bearing minerals in the soil to create hydroxyl. Meanwhile, radiation from the bombardment of micrometeorites could be transforming that hydroxyl into water.

    How the water then gets stored – making it possible to accumulate – also raises some intriguing questions. The water could be trapped into tiny beadlike structures in the soil that form out of the high heat created by micrometeorite impacts. Another possibility is that the water could be hidden between grains of lunar soil and sheltered from the sunlight – potentially making it a bit more accessible than water trapped in beadlike structures.

    For a mission designed to look at distant, dim objects such as black holes, star clusters, and galaxies, SOFIA’s spotlight on Earth’s nearest and brightest neighbor was a departure from business as usual. The telescope operators typically use a guide camera to track stars, keeping the telescope locked steadily on its observing target. But the Moon is so close and bright that it fills the guide camera’s entire field of view. With no stars visible, it was unclear if the telescope could reliably track the Moon. To determine this, in August 2018, the operators decided to try a test observation.

    “It was, in fact, the first time SOFIA has looked at the Moon, and we weren’t even completely sure if we would get reliable data, but questions about the Moon’s water compelled us to try,” said Naseem Rangwala, SOFIA’s project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “It’s incredible that this discovery came out of what was essentially a test, and now that we know we can do this, we’re planning more flights to do more observations.”

    SOFIA’s follow-up flights will look for water in additional sunlit locations and during different lunar phases to learn more about how the water is produced, stored, and moved across the Moon. The data will add to the work of future Moon missions, such as NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), to create the first water resource maps of the Moon for future human space exploration.

    In the same issue of Nature Astronomy, scientists have published a paper using theoretical models and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data, pointing out that water could be trapped in small shadows, where temperatures stay below freezing, across more of the Moon than currently expected. The results can be found here.

    “Water is a valuable resource, for both scientific purposes and for use by our explorers,” said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. “If we can use the resources at the Moon, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help enable new scientific discoveries.”

    B-roll footage related to this finding is available at:

    https://go.nasa.gov/2TnDWSd

    Participate in a Reddit Ask Me Anything on our Moon exploration activities at 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 27:

    http://reddit.com/r/space

    Learn more about SOFIA at:

    https://www.nasa.gov/sofia

    NASA SOFIA GREAT [German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies]

    NASA SOFIA High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus HAWC+ Camera

    NASA/SOFIA Forcast

    See the full article here .

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    SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, DLR. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley manages the SOFIA program, science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI) at the University of Stuttgart. The aircraft is maintained and operated from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Hangar 703, in Palmdale, California.

    DLR Bloc

     
  • richardmitnick 11:27 am on May 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Carbon emissions on the moon put theory of moon birth in doubt", Changes may have to be made to the theory of the moon's birth.hanges may have to be made to the theory of the moon's birth., Evidence of embedded carbon emissions on the moon., JAXA KAGUYA lunar orbiter, Lunar research,   

    From phys.org: “Carbon emissions on the moon put theory of moon birth in doubt” 


    From phys.org

    May 7, 2020
    Bob Yirka

    1
    Illustration of carbon ions emitted from the Moon. Credit: S. Yokota

    A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in Japan has found evidence of embedded carbon emissions on the moon. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their study of carbon data from the KAGUYA lunar orbiter and what they learned from it.

    JAXA Kaguya lunar oribiter

    After the manned moon missions of the 60s and 70s brought back samples of lunar rocks, scientists began formulating a theory to explain how the moon came to exist. That theory reached fruition in recent years as it became accepted that the moon was formed from material that was expelled when a large planet collided with the Earth. Part of the theory hinges on data from the moon rocks that indicate volatile carbon vaporizing from the moon due to the heat from the massive impact. But now, it appears that there is ancient carbon embedded in the moon’s surface, suggesting some changes may have to be made to the theory of the moon’s birth.

    The work involved studying a year and a half of data from the KAGUYA lunar orbiter, focusing specifically on carbon emissions. They found that the moon was emitting more carbon than has been thought, and more than could be accounted for by new carbon additions, such as the solar wind or collisions with micrometeoroids. They also found that some parts of the moon have been emitting more carbon than others—the basaltic plains, for example, emit more carbon than the highlands. The researchers suggest this is because surface material on the plains is newer than material in the highlands and thus has had less time to vaporize.

    The findings by the researchers suggest that the moon has a large amount of ancient carbon beneath its surface, and it has likely been there since the moon was formed. How it could have persisted on a very hot early moon remains a mystery. The researchers also note that their approach could be applied to the study of other celestial bodies in the solar system and that they intend to use it to learn more about carbon emissions from Mercury and Phobos.

    See the full article here .

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    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X™ is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.
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  • richardmitnick 8:39 am on April 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "This is the most comprehensive map of the moon’s geology yet", Lunar research,   

    From Science News: “This is the most comprehensive map of the moon’s geology yet” 

    From Science News

    April 24, 2020
    Maria Temming

    Cartographers merged Apollo-era maps and modern lunar observations to make the new graphic.

    1
    A new map of the moon is the most comprehensive geologic map of the lunar surface (nearside shown left, farside shown right). Different colors designate different surface features, such as lunar highlands (dark earth tones) and ancient lava flows (reds and purples).Credit: GSFC/NASA, USGS

    In the most comprehensive lunar map yet, the moon looks like it’s been playing paintball.

    Each splash of color identifies a discrete rock or sediment formation, including craters, basins and ancient lava fields. For instance, “the darker, more earth tones are these highland-type terrains, and the reds and the purples tend to be more of these volcanic and lava flow materials,” says geologist James Skinner, who oversees the production of standardized maps for solar system bodies at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Ariz. (For more details on exactly what those colors mean, check out the map in all its glory here.)

    The Unified Geologic Map of the Moon, released April 20 by the USGS, as it’s called, combines information from six regional lunar maps created during the Apollo era, as well as recent spacecraft observations. The modern data include views of the north and south lunar poles made by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and observations around the equator from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s SELENE lunar orbiter (SN: 7/10/19).

    NASA/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    4
    JAXA SELENE lunar orbiter

    This lunar cartography project was trickier than just fitting Apollo-era maps together like puzzle pieces and using new data to tweak the details — in part, because the edges of the regional maps didn’t line up. Many surface features at the boundaries between neighboring maps were labeled with inconsistent names, descriptions and ages.


    See USGS’ new geologic map of the moon
    Different colors on a new geologic map of the moon designate different types of rock and sediment formations on the moon. For instance, craters associated with the Eratosthenian period on the moon (about 3.2 billion to 1.1 billion years ago) are typically marked green. Craters from the older Imbrian period (around 3.9 billion to 3.2 billion years ago) are generally painted blue.

    Those discrepancies arose because the Apollo-era maps were created by separate research groups, and two different teams looking at the same parts of the moon could interpret what they saw differently. For instance, one group might have seen something jagged on the surface and called it a fault, whereas another team could have read it as a fragment ejected during the formation of a crater.

    Skinner and colleagues reconciled those discrepancies by analyzing information from all six regional maps, along with the new lunar orbiter observations, to figure out the proper identifications for different surface features. That allowed the team to draw up a comprehensive geologic map of the whole moon.

    Detailed observations from the lunar orbiters were especially helpful for clearing up uncertainties in how different craters overlapped with each other, which revealed the craters’ relative ages. Hammering out crater formation timelines gives insight into the moon’s history (SN: 3/26/18).

    The new map could also inform future human missions to the moon by revealing regions that may be rich in useful resources or areas that need more detailed mapping to land a spacecraft there safely (SN: 12/16/19).

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 8:38 am on March 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Tests complete for Orion", Artemis 1- an uncrewed test flight around the Moon that paves the way for the Artemis 3 mission which will land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024., , Lunar research   

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe: “Tests complete for Orion” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe

    United space in Europe

    03/16/2020

    1

    The first Orion spacecraft that will fly around the Moon as part of Artemis to return humans to the lunar surface has finished its space-environment tests at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Ohio, USA.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction

    The vehicle – that can transport up to four astronauts – consists of the European Service Module, the Crew Module and connecting adapter and all elements have now been given the stamp of approval for spaceflight after being subjected to the vacuum, extreme temperatures and electro-magnetic interference it will encounter during its trip to the Moon.

    Orion arrived at Plum Brook Station – the only centre large enough to test the spacecraft – on 26 November and passed two months of thermal-vacuum tests subjecting the spacecraft to temperatures ranging from –175°C to 75°C in vacuum.

    After passing the trial by temperature, Orion went through electromagnetic interference testing to ensure the electronics worked well together – the European Service Module has over 11 km over wiring to gather information and send commands to its 31 engines, propellant tanks, solar wings and more.

    Orion is a key component of Artemis 1, an uncrewed test flight around the Moon that paves the way for the Artemis 3 mission which will land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024. ESA is designing and supplying the European Service Module for Orion – the bottom part of the spacecraft in the picture – that provides electricity, water, oxygen and nitrogen as well as keeping the spacecraft at the right temperature and on course.

    Orion will now ship to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center where it will be further prepared for launch, including assembling the solar panels and more individual tests.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 10:18 am on March 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ESA Gateway mission, Europe’s contribution will monitor radiation to gain a complete understanding of cosmic and solar rays in unexplored areas as the orbital outpost is assembled around the Moon., Lunar research, NASA’s first investigation to fly aboard the Gateway is a Sun-oriented space weather experiment to observe solar particles and solar wind.   

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe: “European Gateway experiment will monitor radiation in deep space” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe

    From United Space in Europe

    03/13/2020

    The first science experiments that will be hosted on the Gateway, the international research outpost orbiting the Moon, have been selected by ESA and NASA.

    1
    Gateway. ESA.

    Europe’s contribution will monitor radiation to gain a complete understanding of cosmic and solar rays in unexplored areas as the orbital outpost is assembled around the Moon.

    The first module for the Gateway, the Power and Propulsion Element, is set to launch on the second Artemis mission and will host two external scientific investigations.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction

    ESA’s hardware will actively monitor radiation at all times and return data for all scientists from participating countries to consult.

    2
    This composite image shows a SOHO image of the Sun and an artist’s impression of Earth’s magnetosphere.

    As the Gateway module flies to its position in a halo-like orbit around the Moon, it will pass through the Van Allen radiation belt – an area around Earth where high-energy particles are trapped by our planet’s magnetic field. The particles can cause more radiation damage to humans, and the hardware will provide useful information on to how to keep astronauts safe as they pass through the belt.

    Once in position, the Gateway will orbit the Moon flying as close as 3000 km from the lunar surface and at its furthest, 70 000 km. The radiation investigation will continue to monitor the changes in protons, electrons and heavy ions and neutrons as they hit the measuring instruments.


    Angelic halo orbit chosen for humankind’s first lunar outpost.

    Heavy interactions in space

    “Heavy neutrons are of particular interest for us,” says ESA’s Science Team Leader of Human and Robotic Exploration Jennifer Ngo-Anh “some cosmic rays hit the Moon and interact with the surface to reflect as heavy neutrons that are particularly damaging to humans. We need to know more about where and how these particles form, to protect astronauts.”

    NASA’s first investigation to fly aboard the Gateway is a Sun-oriented space weather experiment to observe solar particles and solar wind. These phenomena are unpredictable and can cause violent outbursts of radiation that could hit astronauts as they venture farther from the protective atmosphere of Earth.

    4
    Gateway over Moon. ESA.

    “Both these experiments will work together to supply much-needed information to forecast radiation events and how to build better spacecraft and protection for astronauts on and around the Moon,” explains ESA’s director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker.

    “As we prepare for the next generation of European astronauts who will join their NASA colleagues in the Artemis programme, this research is of vital importance and shows how science and exploration go hand-in-hand as we move forward to the Moon.”

    5
    The space Gateway is the next structure to be launched by the partners of the International Space Station. During the 2020s, it will be assembled and operated in the vicinity of the Moon, where it will move between different orbits and enable the most distant human space missions ever attempted. Placed farther from Earth than the current Space Station – but not in a lunar orbit – the Gateway will offer a staging post for missions to the Moon and Mars.

    More science will be selected to fly aboard the Gateway in the future to take advantage of the unique environment in lunar orbit that cannot be duplicated on Earth or on the International Space Station.

    The Gateway will be built and assembled this decade as a platform for science in deep space and as an outpost for astronauts traveling onwards to the lunar surface. It is led by NASA. Following decisions at Space19+, ESA will build a Habitation module, communications systems and a refuelling module for the Gateway. The Canadian Space Agency has committed to provide advanced robotics for the lunar outpost. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency is also in discussion to supply elements.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:20 am on October 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Lunar research, Oxygen and metal from lunar regolith   

    From European Space Agency: “Metal from moondust” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    1
    Oxygen and metal from lunar regolith

    09/10/2019
    Beth Lomax – University of Glasgow

    On the left side of this before and after image is a pile of simulated lunar soil, or regolith; on the right is the same pile after essentially all the oxygen has been extracted from it, leaving a mixture of metal alloys. Both the oxygen and metal could be used in future by settlers on the Moon.

    Samples returned from the lunar surface confirm that lunar regolith is made up of 40-45% percent oxygen by weight, its single most abundant element.

    “This oxygen is an extremely valuable resource, but it is chemically bound in the material as oxides in the form of minerals or glass, and is therefore unavailable for immediate use,” explains researcher Beth Lomax of the University of Glasgow, whose PhD work is being supported through ESA’s Networking and Partnering Initiative, harnessing advanced academic research for space applications.

    “This research provides a proof-of-concept that we can extract and utilise all the oxygen from lunar regolith, leaving a potentially useful metallic by-product.

    “The processing was performed using a method called molten salt electrolysis. This is the first example of direct powder-to-powder processing of solid lunar regolith simulant that can extract virtually all the oxygen. Alternative methods of lunar oxygen extraction achieve significantly lower yields, or require the regolith to be melted with extreme temperatures of more than 1600°C.”

    The process involves placing the powdered regolith in a mesh-lined basket with molten calcium chloride salt serving as an electrolyte, heated to 950°C. At this temperature the regolith remains solid.

    Passing a current through it causes the oxygen to be extracted from the regolith and migrate across the salt to be collected at an anode. It took 50 hours in all to extract 96% of the total oxygen, but 75% can be extracted in just the first 15 hours.

    Beth adds: “This work is based on the FCC process – from the initials of its Cambridge-based inventors – which has been scaled up by a UK company called Metalysis for commercial metal and alloy production.”

    “We are working with Metalysis and ESA to translate this industrial process to the lunar context, and the results so far are very promising,” notes Mark Symes, Beth’s PhD supervisor at the University of Glasgow.

    James Carpenter, ESA’s lunar strategy officer comments: “This process would give lunar settlers access to oxygen for fuel and life support, as well as a wide range of metal alloys for in-situ manufacturing – the exact feedstock available would depend on where on the Moon they land.”

    “It could also be used to extract useful materials on Mars as well, where pre-processing the feedstock would give pure metals and alloy products,” adds ESA materials engineer Advenit Makaya.

    This published research can be found at Planetary and Space Science.

    This week is Space Resources week, including a two-day workshop on space resource utilisation, hosted jointly by ESA and the Luxembourg Space Agency, with researchers from across Europe discussing the future use of lunar, martian and asteroid resources.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on June 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Seeing the Light", , , , , , , Lunar research   

    From Eos: “Seeing the Light” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    6.11.19
    Damond Benningfield

    1
    Apache Point Observatory’s laser fires at the Apollo 15 retroreflector during a lunar eclipse in 2014. Credit: Dan Long, Apache Point Observatory

    Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot, New Mexico Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft)

    When Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin blasted off the Moon on 21 July 1969, they left a couple of packages at Tranquility Base. One was a solar-powered seismometer that collected 21 days of observations before expiring in late August. The other was an aluminum frame filled with chunks of fused-silica glass that looked a bit like a high-tech egg crate.

    Along with similar devices left on the Moon by Apollo 14 and 15, the instrument is still working—the only Apollo surface experiment that continues to provide data.

    Known as a lunar laser ranging retroreflector, it bounces pulses of laser light back to their sources on Earth. Scientists time the round-trip travel time of each pulse, allowing them to measure the Earth-Moon distance to within a millimeter. A half century of these observations has provided precise measurements of the shape of the Moon’s orbit, wobbles in the Moon’s rotation, and other parameters. Those, in turn, have helped scientists determine the Moon’s recession rate, probe its interior structure, and test gravitational theory to some of the highest levels of precision yet obtained.

    “This is a venerable technique that’s provided some of our best science about how gravity works,” says Tom Murphy, a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, who has headed a lunar laser-ranging project since the early 2000s.

    Peculiar Prisms on the Moon

    The devices left on the Moon by Apollo astronauts (as well as two others aboard Soviet Lunokhod rovers) consist of arrays of corner cube reflectors.

    2
    McDonald Observatory’s 2.7-meter telescope beams a laser toward the Moon. The telescope, part of the University of Texas at Austin, conducted laser observations from 1969 to the mid-1980s, when laser ranging was moved to a smaller telescope. Credit: Frank Armstrong/UT Austin

    U Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory, Altitude 2,070 m (6,790 ft)

    “These are like peculiar prisms—they’re shaped like the upper corner of a room,” says Doug Currie, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland in College Park who has worked in the field since the 1960s. “You could throw a tennis ball in the corner, and it would hit all three sides and bounce back to you. The lunar reflectors do the same thing. The difference is, you can send up to 1023 photons at a time, and you’re happy when one comes back.”

    The Apollo 11 and 14 retroreflectors each contain one hundred 3.8-centimeter corner cubes, whereas the Apollo 15 array contains 300, so it produces the strongest return signal.

    Photons are beamed toward the Moon through a telescope, such as the 3.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, the largest instrument ever to conduct lunar laser ranging. The laser is fired in 100-picosecond pulses—“bullets of light” just 2 centimeters thick, says Murphy, who heads the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation (APOLLO).

    No more than a few photons from each pulse return to the telescope, but the telescope fires thousands of laser bullets during each ranging session, allowing it to collect thousands of photons per session. Statistical analysis smooths out the differences in ranges between individual photons, producing a distance to the Moon with an accuracy of about 1 millimeter.

    APOLLO ranges to the Moon about six times per month and targets all five of the retroreflectors during each session. France’s Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, the other major lunar-ranging station, uses a smaller telescope but has begun ranging with an infrared laser, which is about 8 times more efficient than the standard green laser.

    An Array of Scientific Contributions

    3
    All five of the current lunar retroreflectors are located near or north of the Moon’s equator, leaving the southern hemisphere uncovered. Credit: NASA

    Lunar laser ranging’s first scientific contribution was to produce an accurate measurement of how quickly the Moon is moving away from Earth: 3.8 centimeters per year. The retreat is the result of the ocean tides on Earth, which cause our planet’s rotation rate to slowly increase. To balance the books on the overall motion of the Earth-Moon system, the Moon speeds up, causing it to move away from Earth.

    Collecting data from the network of five retroreflectors over the course of several decades also has allowed planetary scientists to probe the Moon’s interior by measuring how the Moon “wobbles” on its axis.

    Some of those wobbles are caused by the Moon’s elliptical orbit, but others are produced by motions within the Moon itself. Measurements of that interior “sloshing” revealed that the Moon has a liquid outer core that’s about 700 kilometers in diameter, roughly 20% of the Moon’s overall diameter.

    “Everybody came in thinking, ‘we really know the Moon,’ but we didn’t,” says Peter Shelus, a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, which conducted lunar laser-ranging operations for more than 40 years. “We didn’t know the lunar rotation as well as we thought. As we got more data, though, everything fell into place, and the rotation rate allowed us to probe the interior.”

    When the lunar laser-ranging experiment was conceived in the early 1960s, however, learning about the Moon itself was a secondary goal. The primary goal was to study gravity. And so far, laser ranging has confirmed Isaac Newton’s gravitational constant to the highest precision yet seen and confirmed other tenets of gravitational theory, including the equivalence principle, which says that gravitational energy should behave like other forms of energy and mass.

    “What we’re after, the flagship science, is the strong equivalence principle,” says Murphy. “By, quote, dropping Earth and the Moon toward the Sun, we can use the Earth-Moon separation as a way to explore whether two bodies are pulled toward the Sun differently. That’s a foundational tenet of general relativity, and it would be very important if we saw a violation there.”

    So far, the lunar laser-ranging experiment has confirmed relativity’s predictions about the equivalence principle to the highest precision yet seen—within the experiment’s margin of error, Earth and the Moon “fall” toward the Sun at the same rate.

    “There’s Still Work to Do”

    Despite the experiment’s success, Murphy says he’s “disappointed” in the results to date.

    “We’ve managed to produce measurements we’re all confident in at the millimeter level of accuracy, but the model that it takes to extract science from this result has been slow to catch up. So we haven’t yet seen the order-of-magnitude level of improvement that we hoped for in those tests. We’ve seen maybe a factor-of-2 level of improvement, but that’s not very satisfying.”

    James Williams, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and another pioneer in the lunar-ranging field, agrees that there’s work to do to improve our understanding of the results.

    “We’ve measured the Earth-Moon acceleration toward the Sun to 1.5 parts in 1013, which is a very, very sensitive test. It limits certain gravitational theories,” Williams says. “But there’s stuff in the model and in the data that we still don’t understand. There’s still work to do.”

    While the models catch up, the observational side of the project could stand some improvement as well, scientists say.

    The Lunokhod reflectors, for example, can be used only around sunrise and sunset; thermal problems scuttle observations at other points in the lunar cycle. The Apollo reflectors are degrading, probably because micrometeorite impacts on the surface are splashing dust onto the corner cubes. All of the current retroreflectors are placed near or north of the equator, leaving the southern half of the lunar globe uncovered. And current ranging is so precise that the orientation of the retroreflectors can cause a problem: As the laser bounces off opposite corners of an array, it can increase uncertainty in the measurements by a few centimeters.

    Currie has proposed sending new reflectors to the Moon using a new corner cube design.

    “We’ve been working on a 100-millimeter glass reflector that’s basically a scaled-up version of the Apollo reflectors,” he says. “You don’t have to worry whether a returned photon came from the near corner or the far corner of an array. We think that’ll improve the accuracy of a shot by a factor of a hundred. We’ve had to solve some thermal issues with the reflectors and the frame, but we can put together a package that can fly.”

    Currie’s group has submitted proposals to NASA to strap one of the new modules on an upcoming lunar mission and has signed an agreement with Moon Express, a company vying to launch a lander.

    “If you’re going to the Moon, these are almost no-brainer accompaniments,” says Murphy. “Their success is almost guaranteed; they require no power, they’ll work for decades and decades….It’s a low-cost, high-reward investment, which is why it was included on the initial Apollo mission.”

    It’s an investment that’s still paying dividends 50 years later.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

     
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