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Latest SELENE Stories

2008-06-24 02:29:15

The U.S. space agency issued a reminder Monday that the deadline for submitting names to be taken to the moon is approaching. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said more than 1 million names have been submitted to be on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, which is scheduled to be launched this year. Since May 1, NASA has invited the public to join the excitement of the first mission in its exploration program to return humans to the moon by 2020. The LRO will...

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2008-05-23 10:20:00

Meet MIT professor of physics Maria Zuber. She's dynamic, intelligent, intense, and she's on a quest for the Grail. No, not that Grail. Zuber is the principal investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory "” "GRAIL" for short. It's a new NASA mission slated for launch in 2011 that will probe the moon's quirky gravity field. Data from GRAIL will help scientists understand forces at play beneath the lunar surface and learn how the moon, Earth and other terrestrial planets...

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2008-05-01 16:30:00

NASA invites people of all ages to join the lunar exploration journey with an opportunity to send their names to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft. The Send Your Name to the Moon Web site enables everyone to participate in the lunar adventure and place their names in orbit around the moon for years to come. Participants can submit their information on the web site, print a certificate and have their name entered into a database. The database will be placed...

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2008-04-18 00:10:00

A team of researchers with the European Space Agency has proven that marigolds are able to grow out of crushed rock similar in composure to the surface of the moon. The new research, presented at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) meeting in Vienna, has some experts hoping that it carries implications of future human habitation.Bernard Foing, a senior scientist with the European Space Research and Technology Centre (Estec) in the Netherlands, said that learning to grow plants on the Moon...

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2008-03-12 09:35:00

A Japanese space probe named Selene, or Kaguya in Japanese, has sent back breathtaking high-definition video of the Moon's surface. The probe arrived at the moon last year with a large onboard HDTV camera to capture footage of the lunar surface from 62 miles overhead. The footage was unveiled at this week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas.   The video provides the spectacular imagery of the landscape seen decades ago by the Apollo astronauts as they...

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2008-02-27 14:35:00

NASA has obtained the highest resolution terrain mapping to date of the moon's rugged south polar region, with a resolution to 20 meters per pixel. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., collected the data using the facility's Goldstone Solar System Radar located in California's Mojave Desert. The imagery generated by the data has been incorporated into animation depicting the descent to the lunar surface of a future human lunar lander and a flyover of Shackleton...

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2008-02-21 09:10:00

The space around Earth is a busy place, as teeming with traffic as a roundabout. More than 500 active satellites are bustling about up there right now. Some are transmitting radio, television, and telephone signals; others are gathering information about Earth's atmosphere and weather; still others are helping people navigate down here; and the rest are conducting space research. Soon the space around the moon will be busy too. China, Japan, India, Russia, and the US either have sent or plan...

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2007-12-11 13:47:40

At a Monday, Dec. 10 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, NASA's Associate Administrator for Science Alan Stern announced the selection of a new mission that will peer deep inside the moon to reveal its anatomy and history. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will manage the Grail mission. The spacecraft will be built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.  The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or Grail, mission is a part of NASA's Discovery Program. It...

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2007-11-01 16:05:00

BEIJING -- Over a few short months, Japan, China, and India will all have lunar probes orbiting the moon, sparking talk of a new space race in Asia. China, for one, takes exception at that characterization. On Thursday, a top official in its secretive military-backed lunar explorer program defended the probe launched last week as an innovation that is part of a future wave of cooperation, not competition, in outer space. "It's all peaceful," said Pei Zhaoyu, assistant director of the Lunar...

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2007-10-05 06:15:50

TOKYO -- Japan put its first satellite into orbit around the moon Friday, placing the country a step ahead of China and India in an increasingly heated space race in Asia. The probe was set into lunar orbit after completing a complicated navigational maneuver late Thursday, space agency officials said. The probe will gradually move into orbit closer to the surface to the moon before conducting a yearlong observational mission. "We believe this is a big step," said project manager Yoshisada...