On October 9th, NASA spacecraft will run into the moon, and on purpose. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite
) and its rocket's Centaur
upper stage will impact the moon, with the goal of sending some of the (possibly present) ice above the lunar surface. Once out of the eternal shade of the moon's south pole, sunlight will break the ice up into H+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
). The initial impact site was the crater Cabeus A
, but the target was later changed to Cabeus (proper)
, selected for highest hydrogen concentrations with the greatest level of certainty, and for the high-contrast back drop to detect ejecta and vapor measurements. NASA has provided guides for amateur observations of the impact
, a facebook group
, and a Twitter feed
so you don't miss the moment.
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 8, 2009 -
In honor of this morning's impressive lunar eclipse
, another moon-photo post: For decades you had to be a scholar or specialist to get access to the original Apollo flight films, most of which have been stored in freezers at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Now Arizona State University and NASA are scanning the negatives with high-resolution equipment and creating an online digital archive
of downloadable images for the general public.
Here are the first few
, from Apollo 15.
(Similar topics previously: 1
posted by GrammarMoses
on Aug 28, 2007 -
If you thought the video of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon was rather blurry, it might interest you to know that this was never broadcast as well as it could have been. The original video quality was much better. You can't view the original video today, because NASA has lost the bleepin tape
. Nobody seems to care, but the guys who once made the transmission possible are looking for it. An Australian minister
is on their side. If the tape hasn't been accidentally degaussed, there's only one machine left that is able to read it.
posted by Termite
on Jan 11, 2007 -
You've read about
NASA's plan to use new post-shuttle launch vehicles to return to the moon
But what, exactly, is the US planning to do
on the moon? What would a semi-permanent moonbase look like? And why return at all? NASA's announced answers to these questions remain vague. But last year eleven sets of responses to these questions were offered to NASA in the development proposals submitted to NASA by eleven Aerospace concerns
, each of which suggested different designs, missions, and philosophies for NASA's return to the moon. Some common themes:
"Provide nationally assured access to orbital locations for the placement of observation systems" and "assured access to space for development of force projection systems and movements of logistics." (pdf link, p. 5)
"Commercialize space products and services" (pdf link, p.6)
Keeping the public inspired with "regularly placed program milestones." (pdf link, p.7)
It's interesting to compare the details of these proposals. But taken together, they raise a broader question: does NASA's fear that the public will lose interest in this commercializing, militarizing, moon venture reflect an awareness that that the vision
has finally been lost?
posted by washburn
on Sep 22, 2005 -
Unidentified Titan Object
Saturn's moon Titan shows an unusual bright spot that has scientists mystified. The spot, approximately the size and shape of West Virginia, is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini spacecraft.
posted by Diamornte
on May 25, 2005 -
is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't
. Accurate maps were once prized state secrets, laborious efforts that cost a fortune and took years (or even decades) to complete.
How things have changed. (Yours now, $110
) It took almost 500 years to map North America, but it's only taken one tenth of that to map just everything else. In the last 50 years, we've been able to create acurate atlases of two planets
and one moon
(with a second
in the works). Actually, we've done a lot more than that
. We're actually running out of things to map.
posted by absalom
on Jan 27, 2005 -
Saturn's enigmatic moon Titan
holds on to its mysteries. Radar images
reveal quite a bit of variation but no clear interpretation. The hazy atmosphere prevents the sudden shock of discovery that characterized the Voyager and Galileo flybys of the moons of Jupiter, revealing little more than fuzzy Rorschach blobs.
With less than 1% of the surface mapped, researchers suspect that Titan has a young surface
shaped by processes that have yet to be revealed.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Nov 5, 2004 -
To the moon, Alice! (And then, on to Mars)
Time will tell whether this declaration will lead to an actual rebirth of NASA and realignment of goals for the agency. But I for one am absolutely thrilled that Bush is planning to give NASA a long-overdue new mission and goal. Avoiding the obvious pro/con debate of doing this (or the cost), I think it's absolutely vital to the national psyche for the United States to have a long-range goal that it can focus positive energy upon. This could be the first real "Challenge to the Union" that I think should become an annual event to replace the State of the Union.
posted by tgrundke
on Jan 9, 2004 -
Chinese planning on going to the moon.
I know some would like to see the US return the moon. Some think it was all staged in a big hoax, but could a joint US/Chinese mission be possible by say 2010? What companies in China are working to make this possible? Would having Russia next door make the program any better? Personally, I'm glad to see someone will be returning to the moon.
posted by brent
on Nov 23, 2001 -
: A hotel and resort destination on the Moon. Check out the Interior Design
. You will be able to skydive inside the tower!!
Do you think civilian flights to space will start by 2010 ? I sure hope so. I can't wait to see this planet from the outside with my own eyes.
posted by sikander
on Jul 12, 2001 -
Buy 1777.58 acres of the Moon "Probably the most romantic and original present you could ever give to a loved one."
My ass!! You too can claim ownership to planets/stars throughout the universe and sell them over eBay....
posted by grank
on Dec 17, 2000 -
This reminded me of one of the stupidest things I've ever seen.
Once on vacation in Eastern Oregon, there was a total eclipse of the moon, just like this one. And some people nearby were taking photographs of it.
photographs. The round-trip time to the moon at the speed of light is 3 seconds and I wouldn't even want to calculate the attenuation caused by 320,000 miles of range.
Sometimes it seems as if some people are completely and totally clueless about what they're doing.
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Jul 25, 2000 -