Latest Lunar soil Stories

2009-04-17 14:40:00

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Apollo Moon Program struggled with a minuscule, yet formidable enemy: sticky lunar dust. Four decades later, a new study reveals that forces compelling lunar dust to cling to surfaces "” ruining scientific experiments and endangering astronauts' health "”change during the lunar day with the elevation of the sun. The study analyzes the interactions on the Moon among electrostatic adhesive forces, the angle of incidence of the sun's rays, and lunar...

2009-04-09 07:30:00

The flight computer onboard the Lunar Excursion Module, which landed on the Moon during the Apollo program, had a whopping 4 kilobytes of RAM and a 74 KB "hard drive." In places, the craft's outer skin was as thin as two sheets of aluminum foil. It worked well enough for Apollo. Back then, astronauts stayed on the lunar surface for only a few days at a time. But when NASA sends people back to the Moon starting around 2020, the plan will be much more ambitious "” and the hardware is...

2009-01-28 10:41:00

GREENBELT, Md., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Lunar Science Institute selected a proposal to investigate the sun's influence on the moon submitted by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The basic science research supports NASA's human exploration of the moon. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "Many people think of the moon as dead, but if you look with a different pair of glasses - at the atomic level - it is very active," said Dr....

2009-01-08 10:30:00

...I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mineI loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal ....You load sixteen tons, what do you get .... If you listen closely, you might hear a NASA project manager singing this song. Lately, Marshall Space Flight Center's Carol McClemore has been working at the end of a sledge hammer opposite a big pile of rocks, so she has good reason to sing the song Tennessee Ernie Ford made famous. "I call it 'choppin' rocks,' " says McClemore, who manages Marshall's...

2008-11-13 15:55:11

NASA has concluded nearly two weeks of testing equipment and lunar rover concepts on Hawaii's volcanic soil. The agency's In Situ Resource Utilization Project, which studies ways astronauts can use resources found at landing sites, demonstrated how people might prospect for resources on the moon and make their own oxygen from lunar rocks and soil. The tests helped NASA gain valuable information about systems that could enable a sustainable and affordable lunar outpost by minimizing the amount...

2008-09-30 13:43:10

A new NASA contest challenges college-level students to design tools or instrument packages that could be used on the next generation of human-driven moon rovers. Students will have the opportunity to engage in NASA's return to the moon by designing equipment that will help astronauts accomplish tasks on the lunar surface. Moon explorers will need to navigate in darkness around the moon's south pole and collect lunar regolith, or moon dust, for on-site analysis and radiation detection. They...

2008-09-27 10:55:00

The Apollo Moon missions of 1969-1972 all share a dirty secret. "The major issue the Apollo astronauts pointed out was dust, dust, dust," says Professor Larry Taylor, Director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee. Fine as flour and rough as sandpaper, Moon dust caused "Ëœlunar hay fever,' problems with space suits, and dust storms in the crew cabin upon returning to space. Taylor and other scientists will present their research on lunar dust at the...

2008-07-30 18:36:11

NASA scientists and contractors have been spending time running tests in a simulated environment located in Moses Lake, Wash. that they believe resembles the conditions on the surface of the moon. "Believe it or not, this place has a lot in common with the moon," Robert Ambrose, deputy division chief for NASA, said of the unusual sand dunes in central Washington. The key element is the soft, powdery soil that is mixed with volcanic ash and similar to lunar dust, he said. The soil forms high,...

2008-07-11 06:20:00

A gigantic telescope on the Moon has been a dream of astronomers since the dawn of the space age. A lunar telescope the same size as Hubble (2.4 meters across) would be a major astronomical research tool. One as big as the largest telescope on Earth "” 10.4 meters across "” would see far more than any Earth-based telescope because the Moon has no atmosphere. But why stop there? In the Moon's weak gravity, it might be possible to build a telescope with a mirror as large as 50...

2008-06-24 02:25:00

MOSES LAKE SAND DUNES, Wash.-- This patch of desert may resemble the moon, but a team of NASA scientists who came here to test lunar robots, rovers and spacesuits found spring weather in Eastern Washington can be worse than outer space. During the two-week exercise, howling wind blasted sand into every nook and crevice of the machines _ some of which were venturing outside the lab for the first time. Rain squalls forced scientists to shield state-of-the-art prototypes under blue tarps. "It...

Word of the Day
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.