Latest Regolith Stories

2006-06-01 17:20:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- A Japanese spacecraft that landed on an asteroid found a ball of rubble held loosely together by its own gravity, unlike other asteroids that have been visited, according to reports from the mission published on Thursday. The spacecraft Hayabusa, whose name means "falcon" in Japanese, hovered over the near-Earth asteroid Itokawa last autumn, taking several measurements before landing briefly on the orbiting gravel pile. Itokawa has...

2006-05-11 18:50:00

The Moon has plentiful oxygen for future astronauts. It's lying on the ground. An early, persistent problem noted by Apollo astronauts on the Moon was dust. It got everywhere, including into their lungs. Oddly enough, that may be where future Moon explorers get their next breath of air: The moon's dusty layer of soil is nearly half oxygen. The trick is extracting it. "All you have to do is vaporize the stuff," says Eric Cardiff of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He leads one of several...

2006-04-20 08:45:00

Ever get a fragile item packed in a box filled with Styrofoam peanuts? Plunge your hands into the foam peanuts to search for the item, and when you pull it out foam peanuts are clinging to your arms. Try to brush them off, and they won't fall off -- instead, they seem to hop away, only to cling to your legs or elsewhere. The smaller the peanuts, the more tenacious they seem. In fact, if you break a foam peanut into bits, the tiny lightweight bits are almost impossible to brush off. This...

2005-11-30 12:12:05

ESA -- For the first time in the history of planetary exploration, the MARSIS radar on board ESA's Mars Express has provided direct information about the deep subsurface of Mars. First data include buried impact craters, probing of layered deposits at the north pole and hints of the presence of deep underground water-ice. The subsurface of Mars has been so far unexplored territory. Only glimpses of the Martian depths could be deduced through analysis of impact crater and valley walls, and by...

2005-11-13 09:30:00

NASA -- "If you can't lick 'em, join 'em," goes a cliche that essentially means "figure out how to live with whatever you can't get rid of." That may be superb advice for living and working on the moon. Scientists and engineers figuring out how to return astronauts to the moon, set up habitats, and mine lunar soil to produce anything from building materials to rocket fuels have been scratching their heads over what to do about moondust. It's everywhere! The powdery grit gets into everything,...

2005-09-07 18:50:00

A large team of NASA scientists, led by earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis details the first solid set of evidence for water having existed on Mars at the Gusev crater, exploration site of the rover Spirit. Using an array of sophisticated equipment on Spirit, Alian Wang, Ph.D., Washington University senior research scientist in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, and the late Larry A. Haskin, Ph.D., Ralph E. Morrow Distinguished University...

2005-03-19 09:35:00

Why colonize the Moon before going to Mars? NASA scientists give their reasons. Science@NASA -- NASA has a new Vision for Space Exploration: in the decades ahead, humans will land on Mars and explore the red planet. Brief visits will lead to longer stays and, maybe one day, to colonies. First, though, we're returning to the Moon. Why the Moon before Mars? "The Moon is a natural first step," explains Philip Metzger, a physicist at NASA Kennedy Space Center. "It's nearby. We can practice...

2005-02-01 07:20:00

Driving, digging, mining: these are things astronauts will be doing one day in the sands of Mars. It's not as simple as it sounds. Science@NASA -- Imagine this scenario. The year is 2030 or thereabouts. After voyaging six months from Earth, you and several other astronauts are the first humans on Mars. You're standing on an alien world, dusty red dirt beneath your feet, looking around at a bunch of mining equipment deposited by previous robotic landers. Echoing in your ears are the final...

2004-11-27 12:27:30

University of Arizona scientists have discovered why Eros, the largest near-Earth asteroid, has so few small craters. Arizona -- When the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission orbited Eros from February 2000 to February 2001, it revealed an asteroid covered with regolith -- a loose layer of rocks, gravel and dust -- and embedded with numerous large boulders. The spacecraft also found places where the regolith apparently had slumped, or flowed downhill, exposing fresh surface...

Word of the Day
  • A style of popular dance music originating along the border between Texas and Mexico, characterized by the use of accordion, drums, and 12-string bass guitar and traditionally based on polka, waltz, and bolero rhythms.
The word 'conjunto' comes through Spanish, from Latin coniūnctus, past participle of coniungere, to join together; see conjoin