Kaguya Lunar Probe to Strike Moon on June 11

kaguya_earth

JAXA MISSION UPDATE

The KAGUYA, who carried out its regular operations for about 10 months and post-operational observations for about 8 and half months, is scheduled to be maneuvered to be dropped near GILL Crater (around 80 degrees east longitude and 63 degrees south latitude) on the moon’s front-side surface at 3:30 a.m. on June 11 (Japan Standard Time.)

As the KAGUYA’s expected landing position is in the shade on the Moon, we many be able to witness some flash from its collision; therefore, we are now informing all related organizations both in Japan and overseas of its falling time and location.

Please note that the KAGUYA’s falling time and location are subject to change as we further analyze its orbit and conditions.

Purdue Students Design Vehicle for Google Lunar X Prize

Students shoot for the moon in spacecraft contest
The Exponent (Purdue University)

After a semester of hard work and dedication, AAE 450 students are finally reaping the rewards. Students, faculty and a representative from NASA gathered Thursday morning to hear how the Project Xpedition Design Team plans to develop, test and fly the spacecraft they spent all semester designing.

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Odyssey Moon Aims to Win Google Lunar X Prize

Lunar Odyssey Shoots for the Moon
Space.com

When the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize premiered, the first official team to sign up was Odyssey Moon — but the company has plans far beyond winning or losing the private race to the moon.

“Odyssey Moon is about an ongoing commitment to lunar enterprise,” said Robert Richards, Odyssey Moon Founder and CEO. “We believe there is a long-term business opportunity with the government and commercial partners.”

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Surrey Space Centre Teams Up with Chinese on Lunar Rover

Space Centre to Develop Lunar Rovers
UK Trade & Investments

Surrey Space Centre is joining forces with one of China’s top engineers to develop lunar rovers.

The Royal Academy of Engineering is to provide funding for UK-based space engineer Dr Yang Gao to develop a new generation of lunar rovers, used to explore the surface of the moon.

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Lockheed Martin Establishes Altair Office in Houston

PRESS RELEASE

Lockheed Martin announced it has located its Altair program office in Houston, Texas, in its bid to provide support for the next-generation human lunar lander system for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The company submitted its proposal to NASA last month for the Altair Conceptual Design Contract and the agency is expected to award several contracts for the first phase of the program later this spring.

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India’s Ambitious Encore at the Moon

Chandrayaan 2 and the evolution of India’s space program
Taylor Dinerman
The Space Review

Chandrayaan 2, scheduled for launch in 2011, is a lander/rover mission that ISRO is developing with some technological input from Russia. This summer they plan to ask the international scientific community for proposals for sensors and experiments to include on the rover. This may be a difficult because the final configuration of the mission has not yet been determined. The rover may weigh anywhere from 30 to 100 kilograms. Obviously there is quite a bit of “trade space” so the proposals, or at least the early ones, will have to include more than a bit of guesswork.

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