Latest Lunar soil Stories

2008-02-12 07:30:11

New research has revealed the seemingly gentle touchdowns of the six Apollo Lunar Modules (LMs) on the moon between 1969 and 1972 were actually incredibly violent events. The Lunar Module's descent engine blew out high-velocity lunar particles that strafed the landscape. "The smallest particles were seen by the Apollo astronauts to fly right out over the horizon and keep on going," said Philip Metzger of NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC). "Depending on the actual velocity they may have gone...

2007-11-26 09:25:00

At Cape Canaveral, not far from the launch pad where the space shuttle lifts off, there's a ragged hole in a chain link fence. Its message: Watch out for flying boulders. "The powerful exhaust of the shuttle's solid rocket boosters blasts concrete out of the flame trench below the engines," explains physicist Phil Metzger of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). "On some launches, boulders of concrete up to a half meter wide are blown out as far as a half a kilometer away, traveling fast enough to...

2007-08-22 13:09:44

The latest plans for the Lunar Explorations Orbiter (LEO), a German lunar mission due for launch in 2012, will be presented on Wednesday 22nd August at the European Planetary Science Congress, Potsdam Professor Ralf Jaumann, from the German aerospace centre DLR, said "The Lunar Explorations Orbiter will be a unique mission. It will consist of two spacecraft flying in formation and taking simultaneous measurements, which will give us the first three-dimensional view of the Moon's magnetic and...

2007-08-20 06:25:00

In October 1963, two cartographers with the Air Force Aeronautical Chart and Information Center saw a strange glow on the moon. Using the 24-inch refractor telescope at Lowell observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, James Greenacre and Edward Barr saw a deep, ruby-red glow coming from the crater Aristarchus. The sighting might have been glowing gas from volcanic activity, and a second sighting in November of that year was verified by Dr. John Hall, Director of the observatory at the time....

2007-06-21 16:40:00

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected proposals, including two from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for future lunar science activities. In addition, the agency has established two new programs that will enhance research made possible by the Vision for Space Exploration. The proposals and programs are part of an effort by NASA to develop new opportunities to conduct important science investigations during the planned renewal of human exploration of the moon. In a highly...

2007-06-05 09:15:00

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Poets may see "a face of plaintive sweetness" or "a cheek like beryl stone" when they look at the moon, but Shaopeng Huang sees something else altogether: the ideal location for a network of observatories dedicated to studying climate change on Earth. Using data from an Apollo 15 experiment whose original intent was thwarted by unanticipated lunar surface conditions, the University of Michigan geophysicist recently showed that surface temperatures on the near side of the...

2007-04-16 16:46:57

For four days every month the Moon passes through the magnetic field of the Earth and parts of the lunar surface are charged with static electricity. Next week Dr Mike Hapgood of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory will present a model at the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting in Preston, which suggests that this charging may increase after the year 2012 and become an important issue for future lunar explorers. Once in every orbit around the Earth the Moon moves through the...

2007-03-15 05:30:00

NASA scientist Bill Cooke is shooting marbles and he's playing "keepsies." The prize won't be another player's marbles, but knowledge that will help keep astronauts safe when America returns to the Moon in the next decade. Cooke is firing quarter-inch diameter clear shooters "“ Pyrex glass, to be exact "“ at soil rather than at other marbles. And he has to use a new one on each round because every 16,000 mph (7 km/s) shot destroys his shooter. "We are simulating meteoroid impacts...

2007-02-08 09:25:00

If you woke up tomorrow morning and found yourself on the moon, what would you do? NASA has just released a list of 181 good ideas. Ever since the end of the Apollo program, "folks around the world have been thinking about returning to the moon, and what they would like to do there," says Jeff Volosin, strategy development lead for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Now, NASA is going back; the agency plans to send astronauts to the Moon no later than 2020. "So we consulted more...

2007-01-27 07:20:00

With binoculars, examine the rugged face of the Moon. It is pocked with thousands of impact craters from interplanetary asteroids and comets. Ever wonder why Earth, a much bigger target, apparently has so few craters? They're so rare that a pristine example, the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona, is actually a tourist attraction. Did Earth just get lucky and dodge the heavy artillery? No, throughout the history of the solar system, Earth was bombarded even more than the Moon. But Earth is so...

Word of the Day
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.