Tag Archives | Moon

Newt Gingrich Is Right About Having A Permanent Moon Base

Earth To MoonYes, “Gingrich” and “right” in the same sentence is very strange: Saturday Night Live managed to successfully mock this derided idea in a recent well received sketch (which I thought was reminiscent of that show’s style from the ’70s). Here is a differing perspective presented by Robert T. Gonzalez on io9.com:

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has promised us a permanent Moon base by 2020. Many people have been calling Newt’s vow a publicity stunt, while others have chimed in by attacking the idea of a lunar base in and of itself, with assertions like “real scientists know [a Moon base] is fantasy.” We won’t speak to Newt’s political maneuverings, but we’re sure as hell not going to sit idly by while people bash the feasibility or scientific potential of a lunar settlement. In fact, we’ve got 185 reasons we should set a course straight away …

An Off-World Energy Source: We spoke to astrophysicist Michael Shara — curator of the astrophysics department at the American Museum of Natural History — about the scientific potential of a permanent Moon base, and one of the first things to come up was lunar resource utilization.

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Gingrich’s Path To Statehood For A Space Colony

moo_img001Wondering if the Constitution still applies when gravity does not? Newt Gingrich believes so. Buzzfeed dug up Newt’s 1981 bill laying out rules of governance for a future 20,000-person U.S. colony on the moon or Mars. At the moment he’s being bashed from all sides for this, but I think it’s fantastic:

Yesterday Newt Gingrich revealed his “weirdest idea ever” — to provide a path to statehood for a hypothetical lunar colony.

With the help of the skilled research librarians in the Library of Congress Law Library, BuzzFeed tracked down the bill, which Gingrich called the “Northwest Ordinance for Space,” or formally the “National Space and Aeronautics Policy Act of 1981.”

“The Congress declares that the United States is committed to the expansion of free people and free institutions into space,” the bill stated, calling for an array of near earth and solar space travel vehicles to be completed by 2010.

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Earth Always Has Two Moons

Fig_250rA group of Cornell astrophysicists say that at any given time, Earth always has a very small second moon orbiting. That’s the moon I like most. Phenomenica writes:

The Earth has always had a temporary second moon, new study has claimed. When astronomers caught sight of a mysterious titanium white object circling around the Earth in 2006, they assumed it was a spent rocket. But it was actually a small asteroid captured by the Earth’s gravitational field that rotated around the Earth until June 2007.

In the new study, astrophysicists at Cornell claim that this little moon was not an anomaly as these asteroids come and go so often it means our planet always has a temporary second moon.

According to Cornell University’s Mikael Granvik, Jeremie Vaubaillon and Robert Jedicke, they have calculated the population of “irregular natural satellites that are temporarily captured” by Earth.

In their study, researchers say that while these moons are small, the scientific implications of this discovery are phenomenal.

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Earth (Usually) Has Two Moons

Two MoonsSo reports MIT's Technology Review:
Back in 2006, the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona noticed that a mysterious body had begun orbiting the Earth. This object had a spectrum that was remarkably similar to the titanium white paint used on Saturn V rocket stages and, indeed, a number of rocket stages are known to orbit the Sun close to Earth. But this was not an object of ours. Instead, 2006 RH120, as it became known, turned out to be a tiny asteroid just a few metres across--a natural satellite like the Moon. It was captured by Earth's gravity in September 2006 and orbited us until June 2007 when it wandered off into the Solar System in search of a more interesting neighbour. 2006 RH120 was the first reliably documented example of a temporary moon ...
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Who Stole The Moon?

Olivine basalt collected by Apollo 15. Photo: Wknight94 (CC)

Olivine basalt collected by Apollo 15. Photo: Wknight94 (CC)

Dan Vergano writes in USA Today:

NASA hauled back loads of rocks and dust from the moon, but apparently hasn’t kept good track of those samples on Earth. The space agency has lost or misplaced more than 500 pieces of the lunar rocks and other space samples, NASA’s inspector general reported Thursday, making the case for better inventory controls.

Astronauts on the Apollo moon landings from 1969 to 1972 returned 842 pounds of lunar rock and soil to Earth. The space agency now loans samples, along with meteorite and comet dust, to about 377 researchers worldwide.

The space agency now lists 517 moon rock samples as missing or stolen. However, the inspector general audit suggests much more is missing, based on inquiries to a sample of 59 scholars loaned moon rocks, comet dust or meteorites. The audit found 19% could not locate all of their samples.

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Large Asteroid 2005 YU55 to Pass Earth — Closer Than Moon

Asteroid 2005 YU55Edward Lovett and Ned Potter Report on ABC News:

We have a visitor — a large asteroid called 2005 YU55 that is expected to come within approximately 201,700 miles of Earth on Tuesday, according to NASA. That’s slightly less than the distance from Earth to the moon.

Asteroids often pass this close, but most are tiny. Countless thousands of pieces come plunging into the atmosphere, but they burn up without doing any harm. If they’re as large as grains of sand, we may, if we’re lucky, see them in the night sky as shooting stars.

But 2005 YU55 is at least 1,300 feet wide — larger than an aircraft carrier, according to radar measurements. The last time an asteroid this big passed by was in 1976, and the next one scientists know of won’t be until 2028, NASA says. (There have been some rude surprises in between, but not involving anything remotely as large.)
Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif., said this fly-by is an opportunity to learn more about c-type — that is, carbon-based — asteroids, to find “clues as to what it was like when our solar system was forming.”

More: ABC News

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Before War of the Worlds, the Great Moon Hoax of 1835

Great Moon HoaxLunar man-bats, unicorns, bipedal beavers and a triad of mysterious solar temples featured in a sensational hoax perpetuated by the New York Sun in 1835. This from Victorian Gothic:

Imagine that you wake up one morning, sit at your computer, and you are bombarded with links to a developing story from a major news outlet: Stephen Hawking, by making novel use of Cambridge University’s new quantum supercomputer to analyze data from SETI’s telescope array, has discerned that the universe is awash with signals from intelligent life. It reads like a regular science story, at first, but soon it is revealed that Hawking and his colleagues have tapped into an extra-terrestrial television transmission, and are even now watching, breathless, as the first, dream-like images of alien civilizations display themselves on the Q-computer’s tiny monitor.

You and your friends refresh your browsers compulsively, talking over each new description that emerges of strange alien races and the exotic landscapes they inhabit, as gleaned from upon the wacky sitcoms and low-budget reality shows that they are indiscriminately beaming into space.

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Former NASA Employee Claims Alien Moon Cities Exist

Ken JohnstonVia Before It's News:
Former National Aeronautics and Space Administration Data and Photo Control Department manager, Ken Johnston, who worked for the space agency's Lunar Receiving Laboratory during the Apollo missions has been fired for telling the truth. Johnston asserts NASA knows astronauts discovered ancient alien cities and the remains of amazingly advanced machinery on the Moon. Some of the technology can manipulate gravity. He says the agency ordered a cover-up and forced him to participate in it. Over the past 40 years other scientists, engineers and technicians have accused NASA of cover-ups and obscuring data. The growing number of accusers' allegations range from hiding information about anomalous space objects and lying about the discovery of artifacts on the surface of the Moon and Mars, to denying the evidence of life reported back by the Viking lander during the mid-1970s.
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Moon to Have No-Fly Zones

Apollo 11R. Prasad writes in the Hindu:

No-fly zones will come into effect on the moon for the very first time by the end of this month! Why, even buffer zones that spacecraft may have to avoid will come into existence. The reason: avoiding any spraying of rocket exhaust or dust onto certain historical sites and artifacts on the moon.

The historical sites are of course the Apollo landing sites and artifacts present on the moon. And the “recommendations” are for preserving and protecting these historical sites. There are currently more than three dozen historical sites that preserve the more than four-decade-old remains.

“Apollo 11 and 17 sites [will] remain off-limits, with ground-travel buffers of 75 meters and 225 meters from each respective lunar lander,” states the July 20 guidelines of NASA. Science journal had obtained the guidelines.

According to Science, by the end of this month NASA is expected to come up with a set of “recommendations” for spacecraft and astronauts visiting the “U.S.

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