Latest Regolith Stories

2012-07-18 09:31:51

NASA is conducting a nine-day field test starting Tuesday outside Hilo, Hawaii, to evaluate new exploration techniques for the surface of the moon. These mission simulations, known as analog missions, are performed at extreme and often remote Earth locations to prepare for robotic and human missions to extraterrestrial destinations. The In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) analog mission is a collaboration of NASA partners, primarily the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), with help from the...

2011-08-26 10:54:30

  Japanese scientists have determined that the most common meteorites found on Earth are born from stony asteroids. The Earth-bound asteroids, also known as ordinary chondrites, are among the most primitive objects in the solar system.  The researchers said that the discovery means these asteroids have been recording a long and rich history of early solar system events. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Hayabusa spacecraft in 2003 to sample the surface...

2011-06-01 08:57:18

Mercury and its environment constitute a complex system that includes interactions among the interplanetary medium, the planet's magnetic field, its tenuous atmosphere (or exosphere), and its surface. Mercury's environment includes the solar wind and photon flux (flowing charged particles and light), solar and galactic cosmic rays, and the steady bombardment by micrometeoroids (solar system dust particles). The interactions of these elements of the space environment with the surface generate...

2010-06-11 06:30:00

The ongoing search for evidence of past or present life on Mars includes efforts to identify organic compounds such as proteins in Martian soil, but their absence to date remains a mystery. A new theory to explain what happens to these carbon-based molecules is presented in an article published in Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. "There may be no 'safe haven' for these organic molecules on Mars," conclude Ilya Shkrob, Sergey Chemerisov, and Timothy...

2010-03-05 06:30:52

Shortly after the Moon formed, an asteroid smacked into its southern hemisphere and gouged out a truly enormous crater, the South Pole-Aitken basin, almost 1,500 miles across and more than five miles deep. "This is the biggest, deepest crater on the Moon -- an abyss that could engulf the United States from the East Coast through Texas," said Noah Petro of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The impact punched into the layers of the lunar crust, scattering that material across...

2009-10-20 07:00:00

Nineteen teams pushed their robot competitors to the limit, and three teams claimed a total of $750,000 in NASA prizes at this year's Regolith Excavation Challenge on Oct. 18. This is the first time in the competition's three-year history that any team qualified for a cash prize, the largest NASA has awarded to date. After two days of intense competition hosted at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., organizers conferred first place prize of $500,000 to Paul's Robotics of...

2009-10-15 12:20:00

WASHINGTON Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reporters are invited to attend the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge Oct. 17-18 at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. The $750,000 prize challenge is a nationwide competition that focuses on developing improved handling technologies for moon dirt, known as lunar regolith. Part of NASA's Centennial Challenges Program, the competition will see 23 teams use robots they designed and built to excavate simulated lunar soil....

2009-10-15 07:40:00

The Moon is a big sponge that absorbs electrically charged particles given out by the Sun. These particles interact with the oxygen present in some dust grains on the lunar surface, producing water. This discovery, made by the ESA-ISRO instrument SARA onboard the Indian Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, confirms how water is likely being created on the lunar surface. It also gives scientists an ingenious new way to take images of the Moon and any other airless body in the Solar System. The 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...

Word of the Day
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.