Can We Preserve Historic Landing Sites on the Moon?


Landing spot ‘centre for Moon tourism’

“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.


NewSpace 09: Commercial Lunar Opportunities



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


Kaguya Finds Uranium on Moon


June 26, 2009

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.


Team Part-Time-Scientists Joins Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition



Today, Team Part-Time-Scientists announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition, marking Germany’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 competition’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.


Space Review: Constellation, Spaceport America and the Moon


New in The Space Review this week:

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.

China Aims for Moon, Other Worlds


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 Wins Contract to Lunar Landings



Astrium, Europe’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.


ORBITEC’s New Testing Services Include Lunar Surface Conditions



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.


Kaguya Crashes into Moon


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.

Kaguya Impact Information

The latest update on Japan’s Kaguya lunar orbiter, which will make a controlled impact on the moon Wednesday.

Expected impact date: 18:30, June 10, 2009 (GMT) Near side, night time area

Expected impact location: E80, S63

Lunar phase & age on impact date: 17.3 (London)

Is Constellation Worth the Price?


Recession in Space? NASA’s Constellation would be a leap forward from the space shuttle, but is it worth the price?

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.