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Latest Regolith Stories

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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...

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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...

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...

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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....

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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...

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2007-05-01 09:00:00

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - University of Arkansas researchers, in partnership with a local company will develop a probe for future planetary rovers that will help scientists study the history of the solar system by examining the properties of layers of material beneath the surface of the moon, Mars, comets and other planetary bodies. Scientists at the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences and officials of Space Photonics Inc. received a $403,000 grant from the Planetary Instrumentation...

2007-02-15 15:00:10

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID WASHINGTON - An orbiting spacecraft has sent back new evidence for the presence of water on Mars. Scientists have long debated whether water flowed on the red planet, with evidence increasing in recent years. The presence of water would raise the possibility of at least primitive life forms existing there. Images from a camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show alternating layers of dark- and light-toned rock in a giant rift valley. Within those...

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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...

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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...

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2007-01-03 09:55:00

Life is tough for a humble grain of dirt on the surface of the Moon. It's peppered with cosmic rays, exposed to solar flares, and battered by micrometeorites -- shattered, vaporized and re-condensed countless times over the billions of years. Adding insult to injury, Earthlings want to strip it down to oxygen and other elements for "in situ resource utilization," or ISRU, the process of living off the land when NASA returns to the Moon in the not-so-distant future. But, as Robert Heinlein...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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