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An unmanned Chinese orbiter known as the “Little Flyer” returned to Earth this past weekend after successfully circumnavigating the Moon, becoming the first spacecraft in nearly four decades to make the journey to the planet’s natural satellite and back.
On Friday, China launched its first mission intended to travel to the Moon and return intact. While the current mission is unmanned, it does set the stage for the Asian country to put a man on the Moon in the near future.
Every full moon, Landsat 8 turns its back on Earth. As the satellite’s orbit takes it to the nighttime side of the planet, Landsat 8 pivots to point at the moon.
After dutifully carrying out its mission, NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) probe crashed into the surface of the Moon on Thursday at an extremely high rate of speed – a planned impact designed to gather information on high speed lunar impacts.
With precise timing, the camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was able to take a picture of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft as it orbited our nearest celestial neighbor.
A new system to produce electricity on the Moon at night would rule out the need for batteries and nuclear power sources for future lunar missions.