Latest Lunar soil Stories

2008-06-23 10:40:00

Imagine landing on the Moon, climbing down the ladder of your spacecraft, and looking around the harsh lunar landscape"”to see another, older spacecraft standing only 200 yards away. That's exactly what happened in November 1969, when astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean stepped out of the Apollo 12 lunar module. There, within walking distance on the edge of a small crater, stood Surveyor 3, an unmanned U.S. spacecraft that had landed in April 1967. Apollo 12's landing site had been...

2008-06-18 15:00:00

WASHINGTON -- NASA is asking private industry to come up with creative ideas for a lunar outpost that can house four astronauts for one to four weeks on the moon starting about 2024. The moon base must be equipped to send out crews for hundreds of miles in pressurized rovers, bring back scientific samples and return them safely to Earth, NASA officials said. "We're looking for better ways of doing things, for clever ideas," Chris Culbert, the manager of the space agency's Lunar Surface...

2008-06-17 12:00:05

By Sandi Doughton, Seattle Times Jun. 17--MOSES LAKE SAND DUNES, Grant County -- 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...

2008-06-12 03:54:21

The alien and perilous dust on the moon has prompted scientists to ponder lunar health standards that would be set before astronauts go there again. A diverse team that includes flight surgeons, industry air quality experts, toxicologists, lunar geologists, and even an astronaut is examining how harmful lunar dust could be to humans. "Lunar dust is unlike any kind of dust we're used to breathing on Earth," said Noreen Khan-Mayberry, space toxicologist at NASA's Johnson Space...

2008-05-13 13:20:00

Lunar dust could be more than a housekeeping issue for astronauts who visit the moon. Their good health may depend on the amount of exposure they have to the tiny particles.To prepare for a return to the moon, researchers with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are evaluating how dust deposits in the lungs in reduced gravity in order to assess the health risk of long-term exposure to the particles. The findings will influence the design of lunar bases and could also...

2008-04-17 07:05:00

Behold the full Moon. Ancient craters and frozen lava seas lie motionless under an airless sky of profound quiet. It's a slow-motion world where even a human footprint may last millions of years. Nothing ever seems to happen there. Right? Wrong. NASA-supported scientists have realized that something does happen every month when the Moon gets a lashing from Earth's magnetic tail. "Earth's magnetotail extends well beyond the orbit of the Moon and, once a month, the Moon orbits through it," says...

2008-04-11 08:00:00

Moondust is dry, desiccated stuff, and may seem like a dull topic to write about. Indeed, you could search a ton of moondust without finding a single molecule of water, so it could make for a pretty "dry" story. But like the dust in your mother's attic, moondust covers something interesting "“ the moon "“ and even the dust itself has curious tales to tell. A group of NASA and University of Alabama researchers are what you might call "active listeners": Mian Abbas, James Spann,...

2008-04-09 14:38:15

WASHINGTON -- NASA is preparing to send a small spacecraft to the moon in 2011 to assess the lunar atmosphere and the nature of dust lofted above the surface. Called the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), the mission will launch before the agency's moon exploration activities accelerate during the next decade. LADEE will gather detailed information about conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these influences...

2008-03-31 16:34:13

With Americans set to return to the moon, this time for much longer expeditions, the pressure is on to make the journeys safer and more affordable. That is the mission of NASA's robotic scout, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, also known as LRO. Scheduled for launch in late 2008, LRO represents NASA's first step toward returning humans to the moon by 2020. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will conduct a one-year primary mission exploring the moon, taking measurements to identify future...

2008-03-28 07:50:00

Bright gray, crater-pocked mountains taller than Mount McKinley. Abyssal craters that could swallow several Grand Canyons whole. Recent radar maps of the Moon's southern pole revealed a dramatic, jagged landscape that astronauts could someday call home. But unfortunately, these radar images didn't provide any new information about something that would make living at the lunar pole much easier: frozen water. New evidence on whether water ice exists at the Moon's poles will have to wait for a...

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.