Tag Archives | Moon

NASA Wants To Give The Moon A Moon

Why on earth would NASA want to give the Moon its own moon? Wired reports:

It sounds almost like a late ’90s sci-fi flick: NASA sends a spacecraft to an asteroid, plucks a boulder off its surface with a robotic claw, and brings it back in orbit around the moon. Then, brave astronaut heroes go and study the space rock up close—and bring samples back to Earth.

Except it’s not a movie: That’s the real-life idea for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which NASA announced today. Other than simply being an awesome space version of the claw arcade game (you know you really wanted that stuffed Pikachu), the mission will let NASA test technology and practice techniques needed for going to Mars.

The mission, which will cost up to $1.25 billion, is slated to launch in December 2020. It will take about two years to reach the asteroid (the most likely candidate is a quarter-mile-wide rock called 2008 EV5).

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The Moon Cannot Be Stolen: The FAA is regulating business on the moon

Via Reuters:

(Reuters) – The United States government has taken a new, though preliminary, step to encourage commercial development of the moon.

According to documents obtained by Reuters, U.S. companies can stake claims to lunar territory through an existing licensing process for space launches.

The Federal Aviation Administration, in a previously undisclosed late-December letter to Bigelow Aerospace, said the agency intends to “leverage the FAA’s existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities can be conducted on a non-interference basis.”

In other words, experts said, Bigelow could set up one of its proposed inflatable habitats on the moon, and expect to have exclusive rights to that territory – as well as related areas that might be tapped for mining, exploration and other activities.

However, the FAA letter noted a concern flagged by the U.S.

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Google’s ‘Back To The Moon For Good’

For those of you who don’t believe that man ever set foot on the moon (i.e. the moon missions were a hoax), this may not be too compelling, but for those interested in Google’s space plans, this Tim Allen-narrated mini-documentary from Google is some great eye candy:

Here’s the official description:

Watch our cool movie about going back to the Moon. In case you haven’t heard, the Moon is trending again… and in a big way. Narrated by Tim Allen (voice of Buzz Lightyear), this is a complete behind-the-scenes feature on the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history. Adapted from the award-winning digital planetarium show, the 24-minute movie chronicles 18 teams from around the world looking to make history by landing a privately funded robotic spacecraft on the Moon. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world.

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The Dark Side of the Moon

A good long read for Christmas comes in the form of this profile of astronaut Buzz Aldrin at GQ:

“So how was it? How was…the moon?” You have no further questions. Because he went to the moon. And now he’s sitting here, at your table in a dark and crowded D.C. restaurant. It’s disorienting. The moon! The crescent and the eclipse, the waxing and the waning, the cheese—the lunar glow hanging right there, night after night on the periphery of your busy coming and going. No matter what your age, gender, politics, nationality, social or financial standing, every single person inhabiting the planet Earth has the same reaction to him. Holy crap, Buzz Aldrin, you went to the moon!

Buzz Aldrin - Campus Party 2013.jpg
Buzz Aldrin – Campus Party 2013” by Marcio De AssisOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

You smile at him, your face opening the way every single face in the entire world opens when it encounters him.

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Tech Company ‘Proves’ Faked Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory As Hoax

Nvidia, the tech company that makes the graphics card for your gaming PC, says it has debunked the faked moon landing conspiracy theory. Here’s the video, about which Nvidia says “Explore the truth behind the iconic Buzz Aldrin moon landing photo. See how modern graphics innovations can shed new light on a 35-year-old conspiracy theory”:

What do you think, disinfonauts?

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Watch The Moon Turn Red – Tonight!

While it is true that the Moon will appear red in the Western Hemisphere, tonight is a bit of a stretch: it should take place roughly between 3 AM and 5 AM EST tomorrow morning, April 15th. Caused by the Earth, moon and sun aligning, the resulting full-lunar eclipse will give the Moon a red hue. Enjoy it if you can stay awake (or you’re in a more conducive time zone)!

The November 2003 Red Moon. Photo: Oliver Stein (CC)

The November 2003 Red Moon. Photo: Oliver Stein (CC)

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Hawking: We’ll Colonize The Moon Within 50 Years, Mars By 2100

320px-Physicist_Stephen_Hawking_in_Zero_Gravity_NASAStephen Hawking joined in a two-and-a-half-hour live broadcast from the International Space Station and Mission Control in Houston on March 16th, telling viewers that our future is in space and that we’ll have colonized the Moon within 50 years and Mars by 2100. It’s a message he’s been preaching for some time and with thousands of people clamoring to join the one-way mission to Mars planned for 2025, it seems his message has resonance…

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USA Heading Back To The Moon

320px-Apollo15LunarRoverAssuming you believe that the United States actually put men and machines on the moon before (yes, there are still plenty of naysaying conspiracy theorists who think it was a grand hoax), then this is a case of going back to the moon. If not, then it could be the first time. Exciting! From the Telegraph:

America is preparing to land a robot on the moon for the first time in four decades.

Nasa is looking for private partners to participate in the project that will see a new generation of rovers wandering across the moon’s surface.

The American space agency has set up a programme called Catalyst to exploit commercial opportunities offered by the moon.

It believes that eventually there will be a market for commercial cargo trips to the lunar surface.
“As Nasa pursues an ambitious plan for humans to explore an asteroid and Mars, US industry will create opportunities for Nasa to advance new technologies on the moon,” said Greg Williams, Nasa’s deputy associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

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Google Maps Reveal Bizarre Triangular Wedge On Moon Surface

craftA mere photographic anomaly, or does Google Moon viewer show something more sinister? The Daily Mail writes:

Speculation has exploded over these controversial images which appear to show something unexplained on the surface of the moon.

The triangular anomaly, spotted on Google’s map of the moon, has rows of seven light-like dots along its edge that have been likened to an alien base or spaceship.

The two-sided, triangular feature on the lunar surface, was uncovered by paranormal researcher YouTube user WowForReeel and posted in a new video. ‘Is is just a weird looking crater? or is it something else?,’ he asks.

It can be found on the Google Moon viewer at coordinates 22042’38.46N and 142034’44.52E. The regularly spaced, circular promontory shapes which make up the seven points on the perfectly formed triangle wedge seem to be intelligently designed.

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Chinese Moon Landing

Rendering of the Chang'e 3 lander and rover, credited to the Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering

Rendering of the Chang’e 3 lander and rover, credited to the Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering

Calling all moon landing conspiracy theorists: did China really just make the first landing on the Moon in four decades? Or ever? AP reports on China’s lunar beachhead:

China on Saturday successfully carried out the world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, state media said, the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.

The unmanned Chang’e 3 lander, named after a mythical Chinese goddess of the moon, touched down on Earth’s nearest neighbor following a 12-minute landing process.

The probe carried a six-wheeled moon rover called “Yutu,” or “Jade Rabbit,” the goddess’ pet. After landing Saturday evening on a fairly flat, Earth-facing part of the moon, the rover was slated to separate from the Chang’e eight hours later and embark on a three-month scientific exploration.

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