“Take only pictures, leave only footprints” is the message to visitors at many beauty spots. One place you won’t see it, though, will be at the first extraterrestrial national park, perhaps set up to preserve the spot on the moon where Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their giant leap for mankind.
Bruce Pitman: President, Silicon Valley Space Club; Founding Member, Alliance for Commercial Enterprise in Space (Moderator) Robert Kelso – Manager, Commercial Space Development, NASA JSC Dennis Wingo – Founder, Skycorp, Inc.; CTO, Orbital Recovery Corporation Tom Taylor – Vice President, Lunar Transportation Systems
A study performed by the Futron Corporation, an aerospace consultancy based in Bethesda, MD, predicts that companies such as those competing for the Google Lunar X PRIZE will be able to address a market in excess of $1 billion over the course of the next decade.
Robert C. Reedy, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, is mapping the moon’s surface elements using data gathered by an advanced gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS) that rode aboard the Japanese Kaguya spacecraft.
Today, Team Part-Time-Scientists announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition, marking Germanyâ€™s debut in this new race to the moon. The team joins the $30 million contest that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch a privately funded spacecraft to the moon. The spacecraft must complete a series of exploration and transmission tasks as outlined in the competitionâ€™s official rules. Team Part-Time-Scientists, headquartered in Berlin, Germany has seven team members and is among 19 teams from 42 countries that are competing for their share of the multimillion dollar prize purse.
Launching a spaceport Jeff Foust reports on the groundbreaking ceremonies at Spaceport America last week.
Gallery: WhiteKnightTwo Overflight of Las Cruces International Airport
Constellation and its challengers Jeff Foust reviews last week’s Augustine panel public session, which was primarily an examination of NASA’s Constellation lunar program and several potential alternatives.
Why is it so hard to go back to the Moon? Taylor Dinerman wonders just how it will be before the United States, or someone else, sends people back to the moon.
Gum in the Keyhole A proposal for a new series of reconnaissance satellites that are only marginally different from an older series has generated opposition from one key member of Congress. Dwayne Day looks at what may be for the intelligence community another case of political theater.
NASA robots soon will begin exploring the dusty, rocky terrain of a barren desert on Earth much like the moon. Scientists and engineers will study the images and information the robots gather to help plan where humans should venture next.
China may set up moon base camp by 2030 China Daily
In a roadmap for the development of China’s space technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said that China’s manned spacecraft could also launch from a moon base to explore further planets in 2050.
Astrium, Europeâ€™s leading space company, has been commissioned by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) to conduct a study for the testing of future moon landings. The aim is to prove the technological feasibility of a soft and precise robotic landing on the moon.
Aerospace hardware, whether for jet engines, space station payloads or lunar surface components, has some of the most demanding requirements of any design application. To ensure proper verification and validation during operations, Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) is now offering commercial in-house testing capabilities for systems, subsystems, and components.
Led by ORBITEC’s Human Support Systems and Instrumentation Division, the test capabilities include vibration, vacuum, thermal and humidity cycling, shock, lunar dust exposure, acoustic load, altitude, vacuum, and lifetime testing. Other capabilities supporting testing include precision gas mixing capabilities and gas chromatography mass spectrometry.
The Japanese lunar orbiter Kaguya ended a successful mapping mission with a controlled crash into the lunar surface at 2:25 p.m. EDT. The 3-ton spacecraft had been orbiting the moon since 2007. Scientists will study images of the impact to learn more about the surface.
We will post images as they become available from the Japanese space agency JAXA.
Recession in Space? NASA’s Constellation would be a leap forward from the space shuttle, but is it worth the price? Forbes.com
The space shuttle is set to be retired at the end of 2010. Until its replacement, the Constellation system, is operational, NASA astronauts will have little choice but to hitch a ride on a Russian rocket to get to the International Space Station.
Romania Targets Moon with Balloon-Launched Ball Space.com
Former X Prize contenders such as the Romanian team ARCA could have called it a day when Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize on Oct. 4, 2004. Instead, ARCA hopes to build on its previous effort to reach the moon and win the Google Lunar X Prize and even more prize money.